Escapologic is probably our favourite company in the UK for escape rooms. So much so, we decided, probably against our better judgement, to play three of their Leicester games back to back after a busy day at work. The first of our triple header was the hardest of the Leicester games, Chronos. We were playing this as a two as the rest of our team for the evening would join us later.
A version of the normally dormant Chronos virus has mutated, becoming deadly, resulting in the death of any living thing it comes into contact with. This pandemic has decimated the human populace and plunged modern society into chaos. After several failed attempts at finding a cure it is now time to activate the last resort.
The Powers That Govern, a mysterious secret society, have enlisted you to pilot a machine developed from the collective research of some of the most brilliant minds in history; Da Vinci, Tesla and Einstein. This machine is the final contingency, it will shift you through the voids of space and time… Your destination, Victorian London.
It is here that you will find patient zero, the only known fatality caused by Chronos up until it’s mutation in the present day. The research from this rare case was once lost to time but now you have the power to get it back and find a cure. Change the past, fix the present and give humanity a future.
I have to say we entered Chronos with a little trepidation. This is billed as the hardest game in the Leicester venue. Tackling it as as a two and it being a nonlinear room, we feared the worst. The game takes place in two spaces. The first, a time machine that will take you back to Victorian London and a steampunk inspired lab. The time machine is a unique start to the game and once we had clued into what we needed to do to travel back in time, the game opened up to a bigger space and the lab itself. The beauty of the game is that everything in the main space is on offer at the same time. The downside is that it means you spend some time looking at everything and trying to piece together what is needed where. But, once we started we found that we began to make decent progress. Alex, our GM was very helpful and provided little nudges where we needed them. The clue systems in the room were either subtle or obvious. The use of lights encourages you without giving anything away but notes can also be sent to give more obvious hints.
The game itself is very physical but we have come to expect that from Escapologic and that is one of the reasons why they are our favourite escape room company in the UK. Having said that, Chronos is the most mentally challenging Escapologic games we have played. Although there are physical puzzles galore these link to more observational, logic and mental puzzles, all of which are really satisfying and created a number of aha moments. What struck us about the game was the limited number of overall puzzles but each one is multi step and takes time to complete. The room also reuses elements on multiple occasions but sometimes in different ways. Some may say that this goes against escape room etiquette but for us it was clear how we needed to use it each time and meant the game play was fair.
Chronos is hard. It requires you to link together several elements to gather all the information you need to collect the antidote. It requires you to think out loud and jot notes on the large blackboard and it will make you feel a bit thick at times but that is the beauty of the room. It’s a beautifully crafted game that will make you work hard for your escape, no question!
We have come to expect nothing but the best from Escapologic rooms and Chronos is no different. The room is stunning and makes you genuinely feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The time machine has a really glorious feel to it. For a room that is used for such a small proportion of the game, it goes above and beyond its purpose. No expense has been spared in creating the larger set pieces in the room. The complicated workings of the piping would have taken an ages to design and develop and you can tell that one particularly physical puzzle would have been welded together with the knowledge that it would have caused some head scratching but it so satisfying to complete even if it’s not the quietest! What is so impressive about the decor is that it is filled with so much but without any of it feeling like it was a red herring. You admire it without taking too much time considering if its important because the game is signposted well enough for you to discount it.
Another Escapologic game that hits the spot. Frustrating at times but in a good way and harder enough for experienced escapees to have something to really sink their teeth into. Challenge yourself and take on the Chronos virus
Escaped: 43 minutes with 3 clues
Note: we didn’t not pay to play this game but it did not alter our review.