By Snow & Saol
We just came back from a real trip.
We played Going underground in Vienna....
We had heard that this room was great, but we didn't expect that. We really went out stunned, looked at each other and smiled. Something changed in us that day. I think we're going to start comparing the venues we're going to play in the future to this one. We also realized that we can find little treasures where we don't expect it.
But let's go back to the beginning.
As you may know, I am Austrian. That's why we go back to my house in Vienna twice a year. In addition to spending time with our families and visiting this beautiful city, we also enjoy escape rooms.
Vienna is close to Budapest (3 hours) and so we can assume to find a lot of escapes here, but I have the impression that it's not really the Austrian way of life. In any case, we discovered rooms that were of very different levels.
From the beginning, everyone has told us about Crime Runners, which seems to be one of the best brands in the capital. So we wanted to wait before playing it (to save the best for last).
At Christmas we finally couldn't wait anymore, so we decided to play their first room and we were indeed very pleasantly surprised, but without any feeling of wow. So we decided to continue this summer. We first played chapter 2, which gave us a discount of 10 euros sent by email for another room! How could we miss such an opportunity? I really like this idea of customer loyalty that is practiced in Vienna
So we quickly booked Going underground. BUT we started by facing a first problem.
It is advisable not to wear a skirt, to prefer clothes that do not fear and to wear sturdy shoes. So what's our concern? Snow (me) doesn't have any pants! Except for pajama pants! So first you have to buy some pants (I could have made it in a skirt for those who are like me).
Well, come on, we're going to tell you about the room, because that's what you're here for.
So first of all this mission is not at the same address as their 3 other rooms, so be careful with the confirmation email.
The room is on a street corner and you are asked to be there just 10 minutes before. So it's at 8:20 p.m. that we ring the bell.
We are welcomed by two nice young women: Arlette (who also speaks French) and Carina. Two MJs only for us? Coool!
The decoration of the small reception area is great ther is a pergola with drinks as if we were in Grinzing, a tobacco stand nearby, and a piece of furniture from the 50s and 60s with drawers to lock up our belongings! I simply love it.
And then: Arlette briefs us. The security brief is different from the once we are used to: everything is only used once and the exit buttons (in all!!! the parts) are in case of emergency if you need to leave. So if you don't feel comfortable with a passage: tell us by walkie-talkie and we'll make you take another path. There's no: no strength, nothing above six feet... well... that's interesting. And then we go. Arlette explains that we are sent by the operator (our favorite hacker) to an Austrian tobacco shop. A seismic measurement suggests that there would be a World War II bomb nearby. It is up to us to find out what the situation is. The mission itself - is explained to us in the room by the operator.
And then we start to discover the place.
So our mission now while writing: no spoils and still make you want to play this room.
Will undergo some upheavals. We really felt like we were moving forward a little like in a movie and we feel like actors. We take great pleasure in discovering the spaces, the history and we also do it thanks to the audio comments of the Hacker / Operator. He comments and explains our different discoveries as if he were with us, but makes sense and really adds value to the narrative.
That is the enormous strength of this room. From space to space we believe in it. We forget that we are in an escape. There is a huge amount of work that has been done on light, sound, smoke machines... all to make us travel. There are surprises to make us lose (a little) our orientation.
Here safety is paramount, from every space you have the possibility to bypass a passage and there are emergency exits everywhere, and they have still managed to capture our attention so much that it doesn't bother us.
We loved the spaces, the transition between each room was very ingenious and interesting. The exit too...... The light effect: top, the way we come back in real life too.
The puzzles and manipulations are coherent and fit perfectly into the setting and the story. We really appreciate this. We never feel like something stuck here to extend our adventure.
We also enjoyed finding puzzles, all different from each other, varying the pleasure. None of them were very difficult, which allows the players to have a lot of feelings of satisfaction. But these enigmas and quick manipulations alternate with others for which it is necessary to land and work with more precision. One of the creators will tell us that it is often more difficult to create a feasible room than an infeasible room and we agree with him here. The riddles are not difficult, but they are not easy either. It's a good balance that game designers have found here.
It's also nice to always know when we've validated something.
So we walked out of the room with stars in our eyes. Our adventure was perfect. We were ready to do it all over again....
When we rate the rooms, it is often not the total score that counts, but the detail is important. Not everyone likes the same thing. Here for the notes we were missing a little more digging, even if we were always busy with something else. We consider the search (visual or physical) important especially when there are many players (but not all players like it). And here is one of the concerns for us. This room can be played up to 6, but for us 4 is a perfect number.
This room is the result of a long work with very high requirements by the 4 bosses who are themselves passionate players and you can feel it all along our progress. We loved the result. We thought this room was perfect. Perfect in the balance of the enigmas, perfect in the immersion. Perfect for us anyway!