Iris Game – L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante [Review]

The Case of the Bloody Trunk (available in English)

Location:  Monaco

Date Played: October 5, 2018

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 28-35 € per person depending on team size

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

We had a day in the south of France without any plans. When we saw that Monaco’s first escape room company had just opened… we felt compelled to play a room in our 12th country.

L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante was a small search-and-puzzle escape room created with a lot of heart.

At its best, Iris Game created tangible interactions that affected the gamespace. The set was decorated with high-resolution, large-format decals. It wasn’t the most immersive set we’ve seen, but Iris Game did a lot with a little.

We spent a large portion of L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante searching; it was a too much scavenging for our taste. 

If you find yourself in the Principality of Monaco and feel the need to play an escape room, Iris Game is the place to do it.

In-game: A bicycle locked up in an alleyway behind a gate.

Who is this for?

  • Searchers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A glimpse of local history
  • Charming staging
  • Interesting interactions

Story

Based on a true story: It was 1907 and a Mr. Goold was arrested with a bloody trunk filled with most of the remains of his neighbor Mrs. Lévin. Goold admitted to the murder, but our instincts as investigators told us that he wasn’t telling the full story.

We went to search his neighborhood for evidence and hunt down Mrs. Lévin’s missing body parts.

In-game: A weathered, white door addressed number 8 with a large mailbox hanging beside it.

Setting

L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante was set on the street in front of the crime scene at night. The dimly lit set was decorated with plants, detailed decals, and other items that one would find outside of peoples’ homes.

It was a small game, which wasn’t surprising; Monaco is a fun-sized country and property comes at a premium.

In-game: A hefty wooden door addressed number 10.

Gameplay

Iris Game’s L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

In-game: Closeup of the number 8 letterbox.

Analysis

➕ Iris Game based L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante in local history. We had traveled to Monaco for the day and as tourists, we especially enjoyed the escape game’s local flavor.

➕ The tourist in David was also excited to encounter a lock we’d never seen before.

➖ Much of the story unfolded in written materials. We would have liked to have felt the story through the gameplay instead.

➕ Iris Game built a lot into a small gamespace. They staged L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante in an alleyway, which gave them the ability to make it appear like there was more to the space then there actually was. It worked well.

➕ Iris Game used detailed, textured wallpaper to make the space feel bigger and more interactive than it was. This was one of the best uses of wallpaper that we’ve encountered.

➖ We recognized puzzle types quickly, as quite a few puzzles within L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante shared similar design. Puzzle diversity would improve this game. 

➖ L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante required too much searching.

➕/➖ Some of the searching was well clued through solving puzzles. These were satisfying solves. Other times we only knew we were missing a necessary component; we had to search the entire space without any direction. Hints for search fails proved unhelpful, giving us information we already knew or only vague direction as to where to search. This created frustrating moments that slowed our momentum. In one instance we spent close to 15 minutes and 2 hints searching for one item. 

➖ Given that this escape room relied heavily on searching and reading, the dim lighting was especially annoying. I ended up setting up a work station on the floor, in the place with the most light, which led us to continually trip over puzzle elements for the full hour. A spotlit workspace would have been a big improvement.

L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante included interesting interactions. We especially appreciated how these interactions connected within the space.

Tips For Visiting

  • Iris Game is located around the corner from the Starbucks. If you pass Starbucks, don’t start going up and down public elevators. You’re already on the correct level.

Book your hour with Iris Game’s L’affaire de la Malle Sanglante, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Iris Game comped our tickets for this game.

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