Quest Factory: Operation Balkans

Game experience: VERY GOOD
Immersion4,5 stars    Puzzles4,5 stars    Hosting4,5 stars
Plus Minus
The “electronic magic”
The role of the gamemaster integrated in the scenario
 Nothing

Book here

Paris - Quest Factory - Logo.jpg

During my last stay in Paris, I heard the name of ‘Quest Factory’ coming back insistently from various sources, so I definitely had to check if they were as good as what people would say! They opened in January 2018, next to the beautiful ‘Marché Saint-Quentin’. When entering, your eyes are sure to be attracted by this beautiful sculpture designed by Georges, one of the room creators:

Paris - Quest Factory - Lustre.jpg

which fits, I must say, quite well in the elegant hall:

Paris - Quest Factory - Operation balkans - Réception.jpg

But as you can guess, you are not here to admire the hall. We are in the early 1980s, in a small Balkanic city, and professor Raditchkov just created an infinite source of energy. The DGSE (French secret service) suspects he wants to sell his invention to international weapon traffickers. You cannot let this happen, and have been recruited for this mission: the world’s stability now rests on your shoulders! 

Quest-Factory-operation-balkans-2.jpeg

The game features a great immersion. You will first watch an introductory video in a dedicated space, which should please everyone who has lived in France during the 1980s (remember Minitel?).

Paris - Quest Factory - Operation balkans - DGSE.jpg

Your local informer will then bring you to the warehouse where your adventure should begin. The decors fit well to the story: nothing jaw-dropping at first, but they reproduce realistically this Eastern warehouse full of secrets. The musical atmosphere will also evolve during your progression in the game. The game is designed to surprise you a few times, which will certainly lead to some great memories. There is even a very unique (to my experience) “mise en abyme” in one of the rooms – you will certainly recognize it when you’ll be there! And last but not least, we were flabbergastered by a mechanism at the end of the game, which really felt like magic!

Paris - Quest Factory - Operation balkans - Mur.jpeg

The puzzles are also a strong asset of the room, with an impressive variety of mechanisms thanks to an intensive use of electronics (although a couple of others are more classical deciphering riddles). The searching process is far from obvious, and I managed to miss some elements although I was looking at the exact right spot (well, my observation skills have never been so remarkable). You sometimes have to find the relevant clues among a variety of reading materials, which strengthen the realism of the room without constituting real red herrings.

Paris - Quest Factory - Operation balkans - Electrique.jpeg

Finally, our gamemaster Georges played his own role to accompany us during our adventure. His help was given in a convincing and immersive way, though we barely needed it.

Paris - Quest Factory - Operation balkans - Valise.jpg

Our team of five eventually escaped the room after 46 minutes. We had the chance to see Benoît’s electronics switchboard after our game, which looks a bit like the following picture, but with ten times more connections:

Pixabay - Switchboard.jpg

(OK, it might have been slightly more modern)

With this game, ‘Quest Factory’ enters right away among my must-plays in Paris. And if you already played it, stay tuned, as they should open soon a new game named “Cannibal island”!

Game tested in April 2018

Other reviews (in French): On the world a game, Escape game Paris, Escape game Toulouse, L’Escapeur, les potes d’échappement, Escape game France.

(let me know if you reviewed this game but are not listed here)

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