|Game experience: ENTERTAINING
|Some fun and clever manipulations
The variety of puzzles
|Too many red herrings
A relatively simple immersion
Before playing Professor Zoltan’s virus adventure at Happy hour escape game, we played their other scenario ‘Police academy of Palamento city’. You are applying to be part of the police force in Palamento city, and as a final test, your colleagues have simulated a bomb defusing exercise – so you now have 55 minutes to defuse it, and then 5 more minutes to leave the room.
The immersion was decent if not fantastic, relatively sober in terms of decorations. Actually, you can find the same Palamento city scenario in two rooms, and the other room (where we did not play) has been redesigned by the decorators of the famous French TV game ‘Fort Boyard’. According to the scenario, the bomb disarming is just a training exercise for joining the police in Palamento city (so you’re basically simulating a simulation), which does not really foster the immersion (but it might have been adapted this way to manage people’s sensitivity after the recent sad events in Paris).
However, there was a nice variety of puzzle mechanisms. A few are relatively classical, but some others in the second room are cleverly innovative. In my opinion, there were too many red herrings in the first room, which are, like nearly always, useless – as they just delay the team in a non-gratifying way; they would be better replaced by a couple of additional real puzzles. However, if you have not played many escape games, you will certainly be delighted to discover the variety of mechanisms here.
The gamemastering was well-adapted, and we received hints just before we would become frustrated of stalling, so this was good gamemastering job.
Overall, I had a preference for the Zoltan’s game at the same venue, but this one was also a pleasant experience. We eventually went out after 39 minutes en 56 seconds, having received 2 hints. Although this game is touted as more difficult than Zoltan’s, I found the difficulty of both to be approximately on the same level. Because many puzzles are relatively classical here, I would say this game is well-adapted to teams who are unfamiliar with escape games, but feel confident with their ability to solve puzzles (if you don’t feel so, you might turn to the ‘Dark knight’s dungeon’ at the same venue, which I haven’t tested, but is geared towards beginners): they should be pleased to discover the variety of puzzles and mechanisms that are the bread and butter of the escape game scene. But even more experienced players will probably discover a couple of nice new puzzles (special mention to the last one, which I found quite nice).
Game tested in March 2018