Posted in Extremescape

The Lost Tomb – Extremescape

Game 20

The second of our double bill at Extremeescape came with a tinge of sadness as it would be our last until they build some more. The final game we took on was the second they built, The Lost Tomb

THE STORY

Your team of adventurers & archaeologists, enter an abandoned gold mine in the heart of the Mexican mountains, your mission is to find the hidden gold. Legend says that the holder of the hidden gold of El Narangel will find the Lost Tomb. The miners left subtle clues & hints, if you use all your skills you may find the hidden gold and ultimately the Lost Tomb but be careful, the miners won’t give up their gold easily.

THE GAMEPLAY

The Lost Tomb is a very difficult one to explain. It’s a non-linear game for the majority but even so it feels like you are playing it in a linear style. In fact, during conversations with the owners, they commented on the fact that many teams will play it like a linear room. The game play is varied. There is a wonderful mix of physical, logic, observation and word problems with a few tricky numbers puzzles thrown in for good measure. The room has a real sense of progress and it’s clear from the outset how well you are doing in the room, or so we thought…

The first part of the game gives you a clear indication of how well you are doing. We felt we had made slow progress due to the amount of time it took us to collect everything we needed and make our way into the second part of the game. It turns out that, with a few clues, we hadn’t fallen behind at all and the game spends a disproportionate amount of time in the spaces. If I’m going to be picky, the final space is so fraught and frantic, you don’t always spend enough time taking in your surroundings. We played the room as a 2 but there is more than enough in the space to occupy a much bigger group than us. This would allow you to begin to complete multiple puzzles at the same time. It will also allow you to search more effectively than we did.

The game also brings the Extremescape sense of humour. Some of the puzzles have you shaking your fists at the creators because they are deceptively simple if you take yourself out of the norm for an escape room. One in particular goes against all escape room conventions but in a fun kind of way.

DECOR

Just like every other space, The Lost Tomb decor is superb. In fact, twice as superb as it brings together two completely different themes and molds them together superbly. The game, as it suggest, takes place in an old mine and the old stable building the game is housed in gives a real feel of a mine, to the point that the creative design uses the building to its fullest. There are several large set pieces that work beautifully and automation is used really well in the space. The authentic look of so much of the room and they way you have to interact with it at times really adds to the immersive feel of the game. Extremescape have really created something, once again, that throws you into the middle of something really fun and creative. One of the pleasing parts of the game is the way in which you are actively encouraged to interact with the space. I loved the ways spaces were revealed to us and, on one particular occasion, how we had to reveal it ourselves in an really fun, physical way.

There is no doubt that the way the game has been designed has meant that the game oozes authenticity. Props and decor come from the era and locations appropriate to the setting. If I am going to be picky, this can throw in some red herrings. There were a few occasions where we come across a set of numbers that we thought would unlock something but they were part of a props design and weren’t useful at all. Some couldn’t be helped but some, with some work, could be removed. As I said, this is a minor issue but one that some people who aren’t a fan of misdirection, accidental or not, may be irked by.

OVERALL

Another wonderful game by Extemeescape. It’s clear that they have learnt over time and having played all of their games there is clear development from Pirate Ship to Lost Tomb and ultimately Vikings. This is truly a 90 minute game. I dare say that very few will complete this in less than the standard 60 minutes unless they are a large VERY experienced group. It’s safe to say that Extremeescape don’t build easy rooms but no matter, they are all worth playing as they are examples of some of the best in the country. Please build more, we are dying to see what is going to come next!

Escaped: 78 minutes

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

Posted in Extremescape

Viking – Extremescape

Game 19

Since playing Pirate Ship we’ve been itching to go back to Disley and take on their other two games. When your wonderful wife books both games as a surprise for your birthday, you know its going to be a good one!

THE STORY

You have entered the Kingdom of the Viking Gods & you are sat in the House of Thor 

In an attempt to prevent Thor’s succession to the throne of Asgard, Loki, Thor’s menacing brother, has stolen & trapped Thor’s weapon in the golden rings of Aesir.

The ice giants have got word of this, and they know Thor is helpless to protect the human race without his enchanted war-hammer. The giants are on there way, there mission to defeat Thor and destroy earth.

You must find the Gods and return them to Asgard as they will help you in you quest.

You must find the thunder hammer and put it in the sacred place to create a storm like no-one has seen before.

You must release Thor’s Hammer from the golden rings and return it to Thrudheim where it belongs

If you fail you will be the first to die

THE GAMEPLAY

After only playing Pirates Ship, we knew coming to Extremescape meant we were in for a challenge. None of there games are classed as easy and Vikings is no different. This is the smallest game they have with regards to space but what they do with it is truly remarkable. As we have come to expect, the games are a fantastic mix of logic, observation, maths and physical puzzles. Each of these fit perfectly within the realm of the Vikings and nothing at all felt out of place. It is also one of the funniest escape rooms we’ve played to date. The use of humour in this room is brilliant and there are several really laugh out loud moments. Some puzzles even put people in unique positions, places I don’t ever remember seeing before. The game flows really well and although not a linear game, feels a lot like one with many things helping to lead to another. There is also a very clear way of understanding your progress through the game. The beauty of Viking is that the game is fully automated. It means there are many, many, many moments in the game were an action creates a reaction. With not one padlock in the whole game there is a chance to create some beautiful moments and these are endless. We found ourselves working through the room, trying to discover what could activate something we know we still needed to use. It meant a different way of thinking to those rooms which contain more you have to physically manipulate to move on. The ending of the game is simply sublime. It may have contained some maths (not my favourite kind of puzzle), but the physical element of it more than makes up for it and the magical finale is worth the price of the room alone. We played the game as a two and found there to be an abundance of puzzles. Being non-linear meant we could split up on occasion. Larger groups would be able to tackle even more in a shorter space of time.

DECOR

Walking into Viking was like walking onto a film set. The room immersed you into the environment perfectly and it was clear that some real research had gone into the creation of the room . This not a game that has been thrown together and the decor not only complimented the space but also hid anything that you didn’t need just yet. The rooms transformation towards the end of the game is a stroke of genius and, without giving too much away, managed to transform the space totally. The room definitely has that wow factor as you cross the threshold and there isn’t an inch spared without detail. It’s a truly remarkable feat.

OVERALL

Extremescape have created another truly immersive experience. There is a reason they are seen as one of the best in the business because every minute you play their games they are a joy. They could have easily kept this as a 60 minute game but the additional 15 minutes gives you just enough time to take in the visual feast that is such an amazing game.

Escaped: 61 minutes

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty (main game) *****

Overall *****