Nordo – The Interrogation of Alice [Review]

“Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

Location:  at home

Date Played: November 6, 2021

Team size: We recommend 2

Duration: 1-2 hours

Price: $117 plus shipping

REA Reaction

If you’re a Through the Looking Glass fan, a collector of berry curds, or a devotee of absurd theater, Nordo’s The Interrogation of Alice may be for you. From the post-purchase email through the very end of the video credits, it’s clear that the creators of this game invested extraordinary attention to the details of its source material. They infused every aspect of…well…everything with references to the book. If I’d played a game like this about one of my personal obsessions, I would absolutely die. In a good way.

A box filled with smaller red and black boxes that are labeled, "eat me," "drink me," & "evidence."

If you’re an average escape room enthusiast who prioritizes puzzling and/or has just a passing knowledge of Alice lore, this is a much harder sell at $117. Nordo’s background and strengths lie in immersive theater, so the details woven throughout the videos, puzzles, and food were well-executed and delightful. However, we found the story to be disorienting in a way that, while honoring the nonsense of its source material, left us constantly uneasy that we were missing something. Ultimately, that confusion was irrelevant because the handful of simple puzzles didn’t hinge on clues from the videos, and the characters seemed to solve the overall mystery on their own. This was both a relief and a disappointment that left us feeling like befuddled observers rather than useful participants. Fortunately, there was some exquisite berry curd and biscuits to soothe our feelings.

Overall, this concept has enormous potential for filling a gap in the world’s offerings for a premium date night at home. With a more intelligible script and a tighter interrelationship between the puzzles and performances, there would be a huge opportunity to transform an experience like this from a collection of impressive details into a more thorough engagement of the audience. This was a respectable effort in that direction, but at the price point, it needed to be exceptional.

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Escaparium – Rain Corp. [Review]

Terminator

Location:  Laval, QC, Canada

Date Played: October 9, 2021

Team size: 3-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: $39.99 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: at least one player has to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Rain Corp. was an undeniably premium escape room. It was unique and included many impressive and unusual interactions… and all of it was contained within a massive and gorgeous set.

A large, illuminated, and broken Rain Corporation logo mounted to a wall, with an upside dow Honda Civic crashed through the wall.

It’s difficult to convey just how large Rain Corp. was, so I’ll say: it included more than one full size vehicle, and managed to make them feel small within the context of the world. Put another way, Rain Corp. on its own is probably larger than your typical escape room facility. It’s big.

On top of that, Escaparium was telling an ambitious story in Rain Corp. They went out of their way to pull players into the game world by giving us a strong character to interact with.

That said, we felt like the set came first, followed by the character and story, with the gameplay at times feeling small. The puzzles mostly worked, but they didn’t shine.

This was an impressive experience that felt like it wanted a little more cohesion, as well as refinements in interaction design.

All-in-all, Rain Corp. is a must play game in Montreal. Our critiques do not diminish how jaw-dropping so much of this experience is. Montreal is a top tier escape room destination, and this is one of a number of jewels in its regional crown.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • It’s gigantic
  • The character is so fun to engage with
  • Ambitious design decisions

Story

Tech company, Rain Corp, had created a revolutionary new artificial intelligence and then lost control of it.

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Chinese NeXT SUMMIT 2021: Online Date is December 12

Earlier this month, the NeXT SUMMIT: Global Immersive Industry Summit 2021 took place in China. We participated virtually, we sending in a recorded talk on western escape games.

This event continues online on December 12 (postponed from its original online date in November).

Lisa & David giving a talk that is subtitled in Mandarin.

Details

  • Sunday, December, 12 Shanghai / Saturday, December 11 New York
  • Introduction at 8am Shanghai (GMT+8) / 7pm New York
  • Live Discussion at 9am Shanghai (GMT+8) / 8pm New York
  • Early bird tickets (purchased before Dec 7) at only $15

With your ticket, you’ll get access to all the talks in English, and if they get at least 100 registrants, they’ll subtitle all the talks Chinese as well… which would be really cool!

You can read more about all the international speakers here.

Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Rebel Run [Review]

Bought a ticket for a runaway train

Location:  South Windsor, CT

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Most players must duck through an opening repeatedly

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Rebel Run was an escape room that highlighted physical manipulation puzzles blended into an immersive, technology-driven set design. These challenges allowed us to work in a non-linear fashion in several different spaces at one time without crowding.

The game area was impressively designed to match the storyline, with the integration of special effects and lighting that complemented the puzzles at hand.

Metal devices and chains, dramatically lit.

Most of the game play flowed well, but there was one puzzle towards the beginning of the experience that seemed to continually give feedback that it was reset in the middle of a sequence, surprising all of us when we completed it and were allowed to continue.

P.T. Railways: Rebel Run 
was a solid escape room and certainly worth the trip if you are in the Hartford, Connecticut region.

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Exit the Game – Kidnapped in Fortune City [Hivemind Review]

Kidnapped in Fortune City is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Looking for holiday gifts? Find Kidnapped in Fortune City and other great games in the Room Escape Artist Holiday Gift Guide – 2021.

Exit: Kidnapped in Fortune City box depicts the old west. A sheriff's badge laying on the ground.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Why is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: pen & paper

No scissors were needed, which is unusual for this series.

It is helpful to take notes in this game, as you collect information from the locations and characters.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 1.5-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The sheriff of Fortune City disappeared after a gold robbery, and it was our job to search the town, interview witnesses, solve the crime, and find the sheriff. We had more materials to help us than in other Exit: The Game installments: a map of the city, the sheriff’s notebook, clue cards, a set of “strange items,” several location pamphlets to explore one at a time, and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. Because this was a higher difficulty game, the puzzles were not presented linearly, and we had to determine what game pieces to use for each puzzle. As in all Exit: The Game installments, we had to use game pieces in unexpected ways, but there was not as much destruction in this game as in others.

Game contents include a number of old west themed items.
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