Clock Escape Rooms – Rebellion [Review]

Arrested Rebellion

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 3, 2020

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: from €48 per team of 2 to €75 per team of 5

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Rebellion was a good, puzzley escape room. It was generally more puzzle-focused than the rest of the games that we played in Athens.

In-game: A metal door within a dungeon with runes inscribed in the stone above.
Image via Clock Escape Rooms

I legitimately enjoyed this game. It would stand out a lot more in other parts of the world. In Athens, it didn’t have the drama, intensity, or heavy storytelling that etched other games into my brain. When I went back and looked at my notes I remembered how much fun I had playing, but those moments weren’t persistent memories.

For locals, Rebellion would be a fantastic game. For travelers, it was good, and I’m happy that I played it, but I didn’t need to play it.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fantasy fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Amusing opportunities for character interactions
  • Puzzle heavy (for Athens)
  • A couple of cool set pieces

Story

We needed to infiltrate the king’s keep and the easiest way in was through the dungeon.

So… we got ourselves captured…

In-game: a map of a fantasy land surrounded by gold, and weapons.
Image via Clock Escape Rooms
Continue reading “Clock Escape Rooms – Rebellion [Review]”

The Darkwood Village – Mrs. Rose’s House [Review]

“I’ve been a watching you.”

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 2, 2020

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

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: from €26 per player for teams of 2 to €16 per player for teams of 6

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

When Mrs. Rose’s House was strong, it was fantastic. When it wasn’t… it wasn’t bad, but it fell flat.

The opening sequence, the early scares, and the final puzzle were wonderful.

In-game: The turfed grass covered in leaves.

So much of the gameplay – and the middle of the game in general – was amorphous, repetitious, and barely memorable. While we enjoyed the final puzzle, the concluding sequence left a lot to be desired… because Mrs. Rose’s House didn’t have a conclusion; it just ended. When it was over, I initially didn’t believe that we were finished.

Knowing the context around this game, I can appreciate that it was a pioneer in the Athens horror escape room scene. It had some features that we loved and had never seen before. But compared it to some of the other top-tier horror escape games in Athens, it didn’t hold up. We enjoyed playing it, but if you’re only looking to play the top of the market, Mrs. Rose’s House was one rung down.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Horror fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The opening sequence was phenomenal
  • An atmospheric set
  • The final puzzle

Story

It was 1777 and our village outside of London had been cursed. A decade earlier a woman had lost her son. Stricken with grief, she had turned to dark magic and bound her son’s soul to a doll… or so she thought. The malevolent entity that she believed was her son’s soul haunted the village and used the grieving woman to draw in new souls to feed on…

Continue reading “The Darkwood Village – Mrs. Rose’s House [Review]”

Room 54 – Swamp of Sorrows [Review]

D&D&Escape

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: February 29, 2020

Team size: 1-5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 2.5 hours for insanity mode (reviewed here), 1.5 hours for horror mode, 1.5 hours for mystery mode

Price: from €54 per team of 1 to €140 per team of 5 for insanity mode (reviewed here)

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Few things excite me as much as seeing an escape room company put a completely new spin on the format. Room 54 did just that with Swamp of Sorrows by mixing escape rooms with fantasy role-playing.

Now, I’ve played games that have role-play components and character cards. None of them committed the way Room 54 did. It was novel to explore an escape room loaded with actor interactions, a rich story, and a battle system that sounded silly at first… but we got really into it.

Post game photo - the team looking into a candle in a dungeon.

Whenever we find a company pushing boundaries, some things inevitably don’t quite work. Room 54 combined a lot of game mechanics in Swamp of Sorrows and they didn’t all mesh together as cleanly as intended. There was too much lore and mechanics at the outset of the experience, the set felt cobbled together, and the puzzles frequently seemed tacked on.

When this game was at its best, however, the story, setting, and gameplay merged to create magic… and that was what we were there for.

Swamp of Sorrow had its flaws, but it was fabulously interesting. Personally, I’d rather play a bold game with flaws than an unremarkable one that doesn’t make any mistakes. If you’re looking for a novel experience and you’re willing to lean into the role-playing elements, Room 54’s imaginative playground is waiting for you.

Who is this for?

  • Dungeons & Dragons fans (or fans of other RPG systems)
  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Novel role-playing & combat mechanics
  • Some strong and unusual interactions
  • An interesting approach to escape room storytelling

Story

After selecting a character (warrior, bard, mage, thief, priest), and learning our individual backstories, we adventured into the ominous Swamp of Sorrows. Our mission was to free the imprisoned embodiment of nature… and fulfill our own individual quests.

In-game: A water well.
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Great Escape – Survivor [Review]

“We’re going to talk about this game forever.” -Dan Egnor

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 3, 2020

Team size: 2-7; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: from €50 per team of 2 to €105 per team of 7

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Survivor was one of those rare, unforgettable games… one of those games that left me amazed that it exists at all. Survivor was a game that – as one of my travel companions said – I’ll be talking about forever.

In-game: A man sitting on a rock in a cave.
Image via Great Escape

This game took place over 2 acts.

The first act consisted of a reasonably traditional escape room experience. The set was lovely and the puzzles were mediocre, but the weak puzzle flow was smoothed over by a helpful character who swiftly jumped in front of otherwise obvious flaws in game design. The actor did this so effectively that we honestly enjoyed what would have been a disaster in almost any other game.

In-game: A cargo net under a thatch roof.
Image via Great Escape

The second act… I can’t spoil it. The most memorable part of this game was realizing what the second act was. The second act was a physical challenge. Great Escape’s booking page warns:

  • “Not suitable for people with fear of heights.
  • Athletic clothing is necessary.
  • Require basic physical abilities.
  • Recommended players to carry a second pair of shoes and socks.”

You can infer quite a bit from those warnings.

So the question that I’ve been pondering since playing this game was:

“Did I like Survivor?”

My feelings were and remain complicated:

  • I’m glad that I played it, but this game was not for me, not at all.
  • Lisa would have loved it, but she missed it due to her real job.
  • I’m honestly amazed that anyone thought to build this thing, and I legitimately wonder if the building can handle the weight of this game.

I recommend this for people who like physical adventure and have good balance. (That’s my struggle, if I’m being honest.) Be prepared for a workout because Survivor was a wild ride.

Who is this for?

  • The physically fit
  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A hilarious actor/ gamemaster
  • The reveal of the last act 👀

Story

We were a group of explorers traveling by hot air balloon when a storm had brought us down on an uninhabited island. We’d created a raft and attempted to leave, but another storm had dragged us back to the other side of the island, where we hadn’t yet ventured.

This side of the island was full of surprises.

In-game: The interior of a cabin.
Image via Great Escape
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Mystery Lab – The Requiem [Review]

“How big is this place?”

Location:  Athens, Greece

Date Played: March 2, 2020

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

Duration: 120 minutes

Price: from €28 per player for teams of 2 to €18 per player for teams of 6

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Requiem was a thrilling adventure through a massive set.

This was the second exorcism escape game that we played in Athens, but it was completely different from El Exorcista. This game was far less frightening and far more player- and set-driven… and the set had a lot to offer.

For me, The Requiem was among the most fun experiences that I had in Athens. I genuinely loved exploring the game’s world. I say this because as you read the analysis section, you’ll find a lot of criticism. The weakness of The Requiem was in Mystery Lab not fully seeing their designs through to completion from a game design standpoint. They repeatedly built something incredible, but left us wanting more from it.

Nevertheless, I wholeheartedly recommend The Requiem because of its strengths. The sense of adventure was palpable.

Who is this for?

  • Horror fans
  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • It was huge
  • The set was captivating
  • It was thrilling

Story

Priest Jeremiah’s Godwine had sent an urgent letter to the Vatican requesting assistance with a demonic exorcism. We were sent to investigate.

Continue reading “Mystery Lab – The Requiem [Review]”