|Game experience: GOOD
|A second generation room with no padlocks.
High quality red herrings.
The symmetric structure of the game.
|One or two small dysfunctions during our game.|
If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, you must certainly have wondered what it would feel to be trapped in the Upside Down. That’s the experience Find the Key proposes to you at their game Insomnium, loosely inspired by the story of Eleven: you are trapped in the troubled psyche of a kid – the patient 53 – and try to help her to exit from there. As usual at Find the Key, you can choose between three serums before your adventure: one will give you more time (between 1 and 10 minutes, randomly chosen), another one an additional hint, and a last one a virtual reality view of the room before you start, that features some hidden hints. The virtual reality bonus is quite fun, but in my experience, the most helpful bonus is the additional time.
There is a good immersion, with a symmetric structure between dream and nightmare, featuring dream pieces creatively patched together. The gamemaster will help you by writing hints displayed on a screen: even if it is not the most immersive way to give hints, it does not damage too much the immersion in this dream-like environment as it does in other environments.
There is a nice variety of magnet-based puzzles that heighten the feeling of magic, with no padlocks. Several of those puzzles were quite smart and destabilizing, working in a reverse way of what you would expect, or involving several layers of interpretation. I generally dislike red herrings, and this room features a lot of them, but I must say that they are the most smartly designed red herrings I’ve ever encountered in an escape game! Many other venues should really take example on this game to understand how red herrings can contribute positively to the gameplay. There is no real item searching per se, but it does not mean that observation skills are not important: trying to make sense of which items are in the room and how they could be used is an important part of the game.
The welcome was friendly and the gamemaster sent us helpful indications when we asked for the three hints we were allowed. We had one or two mishaps with slightly dysfunctioning elements, but this was quickly arranged by the gamemaster.
The space is not that large, and 6 players is probably too many – I would recommend to go there in a team of at most 5 players. This is a difficult room and we failed it by a few seconds. It may thus not be suited for beginners, but I would definitely recommend it to people who have already played a few escape rooms – it clearly ranks in the upper tier of escape games I’ve played in Montreal!
Game tested in May 2018 (Photos 1 & 2: Find the Key / Photos 3 & 4: Escape the World)
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