Published on September 10th, 2018 | by Dean Love0
Elusion Escape Rooms, Southampton – Seven Sins
There’s an interesting divide in escape rooms about where the “game” itself actually begins. At some locations, you’ll be greeted fully in character by the staff. At others, it’s not until the briefing begins. In others, it’s once you enter the room. Seven Sins is definitely the latter. We were being chained up by a vicious serial killer, but were left to attach our own cuffs to our wrists in reception! The nice thing about going on trips to play escape rooms, is that sometimes you end up in bondage cuffs at 10am in the morning before the first coffee has really kicked in. (Though top marks to Elusion for safely using leather and not metal cuffs, unlike some places.)
Just before we entered the room we were of course blindfolded and split up – it’s amazing how quickly you get used to be chained up apart after you’ve done a few games – and we were off, trying to find items to get ourselves and our teammates out of there. It’s a simple enough, but it’s a great way to emphasise teamwork early on, when each person can only reach a few things.
The relaxed “attach your own cuffs” nature of the intro is reflected throughout the game. It’s a horror-themed game but not a particularly scary one. It certainly looks horrific, and there are a few moments that are really quite gory and explicit, but the scare level is low. There’s a couple of jump scares but nothing too awful. It feels like that might be a conscious choice to make the game accessible, as design they have they could certainly up the scare level to make a genuine horror experience.
Instead it’s a strong game with a distinctly creepy vibe, that perhaps aims more to gross you out in places. It’s one of the more well dressed horror games I’ve played, with a lot going on in the space. As you may be able to guess from the title of Seven Sins, there’s seven distinct strands of puzzles to solve, each related to a sin, making it pretty non-linear (though not everything is available from the start). Some of these puzzles are quite different to anything we had seen before and main portion of the game was really strong.
It fell apart a bit at the end: we had the escape door open but we also needed to find two antidotes each. So this is meant as a sort of semi-competitive twist. Anyone who escapes with two antidotes wins, anyone who doesn’t loses. But since we had plenty of time left at the end and there were enough hidden for everyone, it was easy enough to team up and search from top to bottom. None of the antidotes were behind extra puzzles, they were just really well hidden within the game. I can see this almost working if you are running short on time and rushing to get everyone out at the end, or risk sacrificing someone. Or if maybe there were one fewer antidotes than the players needed so it wasn’t even possible for everyone to escape. Even a super-hard puzzle that has an entire cache of antidotes to give an alternative to just searching the room over and over (not as a replacement, but in addition to the hidden ones). It might seem like I’m nit-picking, but what it all meant was that our final interaction with the room was picking up a well-hidden antidote – which just isn’t as satisfying as entering the final exit code.
Sidenote: we were told when the game was originally designed the idea was that each player would take on a different role, and there would certain things that only certain players could do, and it would be possible that one player could be a traitor. Which sounds both fantastic and utterly impractical!
Result – we escaped with all the antidotes in 50 minutes
Date played: 24 March 2018
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess
Summary: A great game that's not too scary, but perhaps not for those put off by unpleasant imagery.