Posted in One Way Out

Framed! – One Way Out

Game 26

As part of our One Way Out double header we took on their take of a murder mystery, Framed!

THE STORY

Talented and somewhat eccentric musician Charlie Lagami is celebrating a big birthday with family and friends.

You arrive to join in the fun only to find the place deserted, all the guests dispersed and Charlie in quite a state, dead in fact.

Charlie has just managed to leave some clues as to the attacker’s identity. Can you eliminate the innocent, reveal the culprit and get the hell out of there before the detectives arrive? Or will you be caught with blood on your hands?

You have 70 minutes. The clock is ticking…

THE GAMEPLAY

It seems that One Way Out are the masters of non-linear rooms as this one, along with Gas Alert! bring open gameplay. What is amazing it that these rooms have been built having only played one escape room. The beauty of this is that the rooms then have a different approach to them. Here, there are elements of the game that you wouldn’t see in other games. In fact, there is one visual puzzle that outlines many of the hidden objects in the room and if you haven’t found them all by this point, it adds a really nice dimension that almost helps you catch up. We don’t recall ever seeing this before.

The game brings another great mixture of puzzle styles. There are several observation puzzles, some searching and another mix of word, logic and number puzzles and many of these give the players ah ha moments and sense of achievement as the game goes on. The gameplay is woven into the decor beautifully and this give the game a real feel. Puzzles are all logical and well signposted on the whole although there were a couple of moments where you had multiple locks and it was a case of trial and error. Just like Gas Alert! the game was hard. We found this one more difficult that Gas Alert! but that may have been that this was game three of the day and with the previous game really testing our brain we could have been tired. We managed to make some simple mistakes with number puzzles that did hold us up and our observation skills weren’t at their sharpest.

The added element to this game was the fact that it was a murder mystery. It’s the first of it’s kind we have played and it was a really nice added layer to not only have to solve puzzles to escape but to also have to eliminate suspects as part of the game. Eliminating suspects came with a nice mix of difficulty. Some were simple to link while others took a multi step approach.

Framed! was a joy to play and even amidst our tiredness was a lot of fun and a game that will stick in the memory for some time for its style and content.

DECOR

Designed to look like the house of the Charlie Lagami, this could be one of the most realistic and authentic rooms we have played. It’s clear that no expense has been spared with the creation of the room and that it really does transform you into their world. Every prop and item fitted beautifully and there were some moments, due to the design that really did catch us by surprise. One moment in particular that resulted in me trying to stop an inevitable mess! Because of the way the game was laid out, it meant that there were touches in here that were less noticeable at first glance but upon closer inspection, you realise what looked normal was actually an important part of the room and the gameplay. One other thing to mention here, that kind of fits with decor, is the added side quest that comes with the room is cake! Yes, you heard me right, actual cake! You are turning up to a birthday party after all. This is hidden in the decor as part of the game and if you can find it in the time available, it’s yours to enjoy. If you escape in less than 70 minutes, you can even have the remaining time to try and find it! It’s a quirky but enjoyable little extra that shows how One Way Out goes that extra mile

OVERALL

From the character filled intro, the puzzles, decor and the cake, Framed! is a truly wonderful game and one that will challenge the maximum number of players due to the sheer amount there is to do. It’s a joy to play and really makes you work hard to escape. One Way Out is a little gem of an escape room and one that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. We can’t wait to return and try out their other offerings.

Escaped: 67:07 with a handful of clues and some cake!

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

Note: we weren’t charged for this escape room but that in no way influenced our review.

Posted in One Way Out

Gas Alert! – One Way Out

Game 25

Oakham is known for many things: an old prison, a large body of water and a wildlife park. It wasn’t until recently that the county’s first escape room opened its doors and we were invited to go along and try out two of their games. First, Gas Alert!

THE STORY

You and your friends have snuck in to the laboratory of world revered scientist, Professor Wotamesser, in the hope of finding the ingredients you need for your practical jokes.

You’re just reaching for the bottle of snake venom when you accidentally knock over a bubbling flask, releasing an evil smelling gas into the air. Oh no!

Will you be able to find the antidote before the fumes finish you off and will you complete the science experiments and escape before the professor returns to discover who has messed up her life’s work?

You have 70 minutes. The clock is ticking…

THE GAMEPLAY

Imagine an escape room that tests all that chemistry knowledge you learnt back in your GCSEs and you have some clue of what to expect with Gas Alert!. Owner Tessa, a former Science teacher has used every inch of her subject knowledge to bring a very unique, touch and enjoyable game to One Way Out.

Before I get to the game, I have to mention a moment that there isn’t enough of in escape rooms, the host fully playing a role as part of your game. We had a lovely chat with Tessa on arrival and then, once ready to start the game, she asked us to wait in reception and a wonderful little scene played out with her fully in character. It didn’t add anything to the game play itself but it really shows the passion she has for her games and adds a really fun elements to the overall experience.

The game has a mix of linear and non-linear sections and the wonderful puzzles you find in the room will bring some great aha moments to group as you begin to explore further and further into the Professor’s lab. There is a mixture of observation, logic, word and maths puzzles along with something unique to any games we’ve played before, actual science experiments and the use of science equipment to solve puzzles. For someone who found science tricky in high school, it was good to know that another member of the team was able to remember how some of these experiments worked! Now, No Way Out offers a game for up to 8 people. Often, when escape rooms offer larger numbers there is always a concern that some people may end up twiddling their thumbs. Not here, there are a huge amount of puzzles to complete. More than enough to keep a team of 8 very busy. It’s the reason why the rooms are 70 minutes, because there is genuinely too much to do in 60. As a team of two, we had to really be on our A game to get anywhere near escaping on time.

Puzzles are all logical and the room is very well signposted. In an usual way, each puzzle has some kind of riddle that went with it. Where some rooms may give more visual clues, this room often gave word riddles to give you a clue of what to to. It was a little like your own personal narrator that helped you through the game, an element that we quite liked.

Be aware, this game is difficult. More brains will certainly make things easier but as a team of two we found it tough. If you are an inexperienced team, bring a larger group, you’ll need them. When we say it’s difficult, don’t think we mean ridiculously tough because it isn’t. It’s a room that really makes you feel like you’ve earned your reward. Due to the mostly non-linear nature of the room, it’s also a game that has to test your memory at times. You may complete something in the room and have no idea what to do with it only to find it comes in useful a little later on. You really have to keep tabs on what you’ve used and what you haven’t.

DECOR

The game takes place in the lab of the Professor and, as you would expect, looks like a science lab with all the props and details you would expect from a real, corporate laboratory. There has been real attention to detail here to make it looks as authentic as possible and all the spaces you explore feel real. There are some nice throwback props to use which brought a smile to our face and these are incorporated really nicely into the games theme and puzzles. Nothing here looks out of place or poorly put together, the whole decor really brings the game to life. You can see the level of thought that has done into the room with the quality of the finish.

OVERALL

A tough but really immersive room that will challenge any team. If you want a real test take it on as a pair or bring a larger group and tackle the game together. Either way, make sure you go along as Gas Alert is well worth the trip to the smallest county in England.

Escaped: 66:06 with a handful of clues.

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****