Category Archives: tourism

Escape Room (2017) The Film

 

Image result for escape room films

Be aware there is another film with exactly same name released in exactly the same year.  The really bad one is about a demonic box and a scarecrow faced idiot.  This one is a bit better and the escape room itself is not too bad.  The next escape room film is also called Escape Room and is coming out this year.

“For Tyler’s 30th birthday, his girlfriend Christen gets him an unusual gift: admission to a mysterious escape room event. As they enter with four friends, they find themselves trapped in bizarre rooms where they must solve tricky puzzles in order to advance. But Christen has disappeared, and Tyler is shocked to see her on a video monitor, naked and trapped in a cage while the seconds count down. When the cruel game begins to turn deadly, he realizes they may not all escape with their lives.”

I hardly need explain the premise.  A group of friends go to a very exclusive escape room that you wont find on the internet or wondering down the high street.  This is a little bit “secret cinema”, a concept I like, but of course this escape room is no ordinary Escape Room.  In a similar fashion to Saw, bad people need their comeuppance, and with one of the party trapped in a cage, the others have to solve deadly puzzles within an hour in order to escape and save their friend.

I’m less interested in reviewing the film and more the escape room but for those of you interested in watching the films I should say, its not terrible but it can’t be described as good.

Like many a good room the group are separated into 4 different rooms.  There is a retro room full of old junk, newspapers and computers stuff.  One of the rooms is a small autopsy style metal room.  There is also the kind of room that we have all seen, full of random things that wouldn’t be out of place at a themed pub.  The final room involves a very simple game theory puzzle.

There are some pretty revolting scenes but for anyone who likes the saw films they will find this kind of tame.  If I played a similar escape room, minus the element of death of course I would probably consider it pretty decent.

 

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10 Things I hate about Escape Rooms

Ok so I could have written this in a vey industry friendly, positive and constructive way but instead I chose to follow in the footsteps ( do they even have feet?) of my two favourite muppets. Yes, sorry, I chose Statler and Waldorf. In the words of Peter Griffin I wanted to tell you what really grinds my gears when it comes to escape rooms. Now since I really love escape rooms, good ones that is, I found it difficult to come up with 10 so I enlisted the help of the antipodean Puzzle Queen, Nicole. Nicole is the one on the left by the way.

Number 1 – Brick Wall Paper. Ok so in the grand scheme of things maybe this doesn’t deserve top spot but I just hate it. If you want a wall, build one (Yes I am doing that in the style of Donald Trump). But seriously this speaks to the heart of what immersion is. (Me)

Number 2 – Clues given by people entering the room. Ok yes, this is a non existent problem in the west but quite common in Asia. A handful of games are changing this odd practice but not enough. I suppose I would add to this clues being given at the beginning of a game because no one can work it out without help. The is by very definition a bad puzzle. (Nicole)

Number 3 – Book wall paper. Let me ask you this, have you ever seen an ordinary room with wall to wall coverage of books. Even in a library you don’t find this. It really doesn’t take much to think of a creative way of dressing a room without resorting to a picture of what you want to display on wall paper. It’s lazy (Me)

Number 4 – Clunky puzzles. These are puzzles that don’t quite line up, they are puzzles that require matching something that doesn’t actually match but is considered right. A clock puzzles where the hands fall half way between numbers… is it 5 or 6? I can’t tell you how many times I have played a game, worked out the puzzle first time and then spent 10 minutes trying other permutations because the correct answer is temperamental. Sometimes this is wear and tear but more often than not it is just bad room design. (Nicole)

Number 5 – Rooms set outside. Before you think all I care about is aesthetics let me explain. In an escape room you want people to fell like they are actually in the place the room is set. Why set things outside making things harder for yourself. To create the illusion of being outside you need money and skill. I have rarely found this combination. A couple of pot plants and vine leaves up the wall don’t distract from the recycled dropped ceiling tiles. Use your environment to is advantage. (Me)

Number 6 – Games that overly rely on memory rather than logic. Probably a controversial one this. If you won’t give out a pen or paper don’t be surprised if people use their phones. You have to respect the room sure and yes you have to respect the rules but being able to retain 10 numbers in your head at once’s isn’t fun and I don’t want to play. (Nicole)

Number 7 – Laminated clues. Picture it, you walk into a perfectly fashioned Victorian living room, you open the mahogany desk and find a laser printed map that has been laminated within an inch of its life. I get that laminating preserves the life of a prop but seriously once a month printing 12 maps, staining them with tea and then crumpling them up goes a long way to help suspend disbelief. Laminating is lazy. (Me)

Number 8 – Overly complicated story lines. I suppose it depends on your definition of complicated but I really like a story line that permeates the Puzzle world. Sometimes I think Nicole would be happy with just one big puzzle room like the white room. We can just lock her away happily working through one unrelated puzzle after another.

Number 9 – Death by padlocks. Pretty obvious really but I have to say I am started to feel death by electromagnetic mechanisms too. Let’s have balance and variety.

Finally 10 – Rooms that feel like they have been put up in haste because the owner has read an article about how lucrative escape rooms can be and, since they have played one once they think it will be a quick way to earn a few quid. To those people I say this… Walk a mile in the shoes of those owners who have poured out their very souls into a room to ensure customers have the best game play possible. Bad rooms hurt everyone. It’s not like a restaurant, a bad experience means you never go back but you don’t stop eating out. Bad rooms can put new people off for life.

Nicole is the one on the right