|Game experience: GOOD
|An ingenious system to make you feel hangover.
An original theme.
|No grandiose decoration (but it fits well with the atmosphere)|
Anticafé is a chain of café where you pay depending on the time you spend there, rather than on what you order. Such places have popped out around the world in the last years, and in Paris, the first one opened in 2013 – the same year the first escape game opened in the city.
Those are pleasant places to do some work, meet friends for a chat or play some games for a couple of hours. The Anticafé near République is special however, as it is only available to groups, on reservation. The manager got the great idea of combining this with a couple of escape games – and here comes Clue & Co! This combination makes the waiting room one of the most spacious and friendly I have ever seen for an escape game venue, and it is a perfect place to relax over a complimentary coffee or juice while getting ready for your experience.
Speaking of drinking, you drunk way too much yesterday – and believe me, it was neither coffee nor juice. You now wake up with a pasty mouth and cloudy eyes, in the locked back shop of the bar where you could not hold your liquor. Doing so, you just triggered an alarm, and the Russian owner will be there in one hour with his two dogs – including a very agressive chihuahua! He is not happy, and you definitely don’t want to meet him. So you’d better hurry escaping this place!
Interestingly, this escape game benefits from a good immersion while being mundane in some respects – after all, you’re supposed to be in a bar, not in an alien basis or in a cursed manor. So although you should not expect any grandiloquent decoration, the immersion is really adequate for the scenario. Moreover, there is a brilliant system that will enable some of the players to really experience the hangover during the first minutes of the game, which was actually my favorite part of the game – although I felt utterly useless during all that time!
The puzzles are well integrated in the environment, in the sense that the relevant elements do not stand out of many other items that are only present for the credibility of the immersion. As much as I dislike red herrings, those are quite adequate, as they do not lure you in ostensively pretending to be useful: part of the challenge will precisely be to dissociate what is useful from what isn’t. Moreover, several puzzles are quite original, with very few padlocks overall, and a couple of them have a logic reminiscent of point-and-click video games, giving to the experience a slightly cartoonish touch.
Finally, our gamemaster Jean Rémi was very sympathetic and energetic, both in his welcome and his guidance, with a good sense of humor, and gave us the few hints we needed at the right time.
Overall, this was an original and very pleasant escape game. Despite my love for elaborate and fancy decorations, this was a nice change from more classical historical or fantasy atmospheres: if you have already played a few escape rooms, this one will refresh your perception of the genre. Moreover, Jean Rémi is a true passionate who has a lot of original ideas to use escape games for companies, so you should definitely contact him if you have special interests in this domain. But beware of the Russian bar owner and his aggressive chihuahua when coming to the place!
Game tested in March 2018
Other review (in French): Escape game Paris