The final game of our triple header visit to Escapologic Leicester was their game Reactorvate. Having heard so much about how people have enjoyed the game, I was very intrigued to see what people felt was so good about it.
Your Great Uncle was once a leading scientist known for developing state of the art nuclear technology. In central Europe, during the late 1970’s, one of his experimental reactors went into meltdown as soon as it was activated, causing one of the most catastrophic disasters in modern history.
The government blamed him for the event, stating that his reactors were not safe to begin with, he was imprisoned for life and remains locked up to this day.
After receiving a letter from prison you have reason to believe he was framed by a fellow scientist and that the original reactor was tampered with.
Your only option is to break into an abandoned power plant located in rural Russia, find a second inactive reactor and start it up. If it is fully functional then you may just have the evidence to free an innocent man. If your Great Uncle is lying, then you may need to run for your life!
Imagine playing an escape room that doesn’t feel like an escape room but gives the satisfaction of an escape room and is 100% fun! That is Reactorvate! The gameplay here is pure, unadulterated fun and although not particularly difficult, it provides a huge amount of challenges for players, pretty much all of which are physical in nature.
The premise here is that you are turning back on a Nuclear reactor and, in essence, that is what each puzzle in this room is leading you towards doing. This is where it doesn’t feel like a traditional escape room. The puzzles are so well integrated into the game that you become fully immersed into the idea that you are genuinely turning it on in order to help save your uncle.
The game on the whole is linear with a small section opening out to completing a few things at the same time but in any order. It then comes together beautifully at the end to a fairly impressive finale.
Throughout the game we didn’t need a single clue so I can’t talk about the clue system as I don’t even know what it would be. I could say that this was because we are the best team ever and we are so good at escape rooms we like to give the GM a rest. The truth is, this game is so well signposted that completing it without a GM’s interaction is potentially fairly common place. It means that the game leaves you with a real sense of achievement and continues progress that really builds a momentum. There was one particularly tricky point that requires some logic and reasoning which could be a stumbling block for some teams but the cheer that came from members of our team when they completed it shows that it’s as enjoyable as it is tricky. There is also one set piece in the room that is key to reactivating the reactor and this is ALOT of fun. It requires teamwork and communication but it a magnificent puzzle that fits right in with them theme.
One word of warning though is that part of this game takes place in the dark. It’s not scary but you aren’t getting light until you provide it. If you have a team member that is of a nervous disposition, make sure they aren’t the one you send into a dark room. Leave them to guide. It harked back to the days of the Kid’s TV show Knightmare (those below the age of 30 might need to Google this), where one person directed you in a room where you can’t see. There was no nap sack or 8 bit graphics here though!
Gameplay here is one of our favourites out of all the games we’ve played. It’s also my favourite game at Escapologic’s Leicester venue.
It couldn’t have looked more like a nuclear reactor if it tried. There are some many items to interact with and each of them has switches and buttons galore. Press them all! You might just need to. The decor here has a real industrial feel and it wouldn’t surprise me if Escapologic has been to a genuine nuclear reactor and ripped it out to use here, it looks that real. There is nothing here that feels out of place. Every prop is fitting with the theme and I think that pretty much everything that is in there has to be interacted with at some point. The time and thought that was taken to create the space has paid off ten fold. To call it beautifully created would be wrong because it’s not beautiful and that’s the point. It looks like a disused 1970s reactor just like your Uncle built.
This is my favourite of the 4 games at Escapologic Leicester. It doesn’t feel like an escape rooms but it has all the joys of one. If you only have time to play one game, this would be my top choice if you aren’t worried about a high level of difficulty. A must play.
Escaped: 35:21 with no clues.
Note: we didn’t not pay to play this game but it did not alter our review.