Published on July 13th, 2016 | by Dean Love0
Enigma Escape, London – The Killer
Enigma Escape bills itself as a very different kind of escape room – it’s less to be treated as a series of logic puzzles, and more as an experience where you’re expected to do exactly as you would if in that situation in real life. We didn’t quite take that seriously enough at first, leaving us quite confused until we figured out that they really meant it. And while the game is still primarily puzzle driven, there are also aspects of physical and dexterity challenges to it.
The setting is that you’re in a cinema, about to watch a film, but then pass out and wake in a cage. The game appropriately, sort of, starts with you sat in a cinema, but what you’re watching is a cartoon explaining this plot, before being taken into the game proper.
We loved the first half of this, once we got our heads around it. It was using common sense, real-world logic, and occasionally “movie-logic” (no-one really sets their locker code to that, but then no-one really drugs and locks up people in the cinema either). If you’ve done a lot of escape rooms it’s also interesting seeing some fun twists on well-known sorts of puzzles that need to be approach from a new direction.
It fell apart a little towards the end, I’m not sure we quite followed the story the entire way through, and some of the puzzles at the end were reasonable enough but seemed to break the “what would you do in the real world”. Either that, or maybe the serial killer was just a big fan of escape rooms himself!
It’s definitely a room worth playing once you’ve done a few games, as it offers something very different. But the reality is when you create something this different, you haven’t been able to see all the mistakes that everyone else has already made in designing things like this, you have to make your own and learn from them in future designs.
It’ll be interesting to see where they go with this. My gut instinct is that the design space for this sort of thing is relatively small (without resorting to the Saw style “the serial killer loves games and puzzles” cliché). But it’s still a particularly interesting space to explore. I also wonder if there’s scope for a room along these lines that is genuinely physically tasking, as one would expect in most real-world escape style situations a degree of physical exertion to be involved.
Disclaimer: I backed this site’s launch campaign on Kickstarter.
Result – we got out with around 7 minutes to spare
Date played: 2 January 2016
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess
Summary: Great for those after something different