NorCal is about to turn five soon. After their first Condemned room they moved to Yuka city and created a saloon and Condemned 2. With the Coronavirus crisis the managers did not simply decide to wait for the crisis to pass but decided to adapt (to our great pleasure) Condemned2 into a remote playable room.
Condemned2 can make you think of the Sega video game that falls into the survival horror category.
So when we connect to their zoom we are received by Jamie, one of the managers of the company. He tells us a little bit about the history of the company. We smile when we see the papers hanging behind him turning NorCal Escape into NorCal Escape online.
A serial killer who used to lock people up and give them 75 minutes to solve puzzles and survive was locked up in Condemned, but this time people (as crazy as he is) decided to do the same (kind of copycats) and one of those lunatics caught our friend Cory.
Cory wakes up with a bag over his head, in a shed that had been turned into a torture and death chamber. But he manages to reach us and will try to escape in order to avoid death.
Just so we're clear, I really don't recommend this room for children. There are a few surprising moments, a few gory elements, but some might appriciate that being quietly at home is not as scary as it would be in the room itself.
This time there's no inventory to help us, which is nice because it allows us to concentrate on the screen. I also loved that this time we don't see through our hero, but that there is an extra cameraman in the room who films everything. So we have this mixed point of view between film and adventure of which you are the hero. It also allows us to see Cory's fear, which seems more real.
The riddles are quite diverse and they are often manipulations and enigmas that blend perfectly in this huge hangar with lots of space. The succession of spaces and the camera that turns in all directions manages to destabilize us to the point that we can no longer necessarily find our way around. This room is played for real with 2 teams starting in different places. This has been adapted here in a really interesting way.
That was just
We will finish with a little more than 2 minutes of the end which was most... surprising!
Exceptionally (because we come from far away ;) ) The manager showed us the end we would have had if we had lost and honestly I wonder if I don't advise you this end because it is so ... crazy.
To sum up,
even though I'm not a fan of escapes with serial killers, in cold, dark and filthy places, I really liked the cinematic aspect and the staging of this room as well as the large enough spaces and the enigmas/ manipulations that fit so well here. I got a real feeling of adventure, with a very raw side to it, but also a need for survival mixed with the reportage like filming. Very strange...
I'm curious to see how they will adapt their saloon to be playable online, if it's Condemned's idea I'm sure I'll like it.
+ We enjoyed +
Spaces (size and numbers)
The way it is filmed
The adaptation of this double start room into a one person room
Longer playing time
A kind of raw side
- We didn't like -
To finally have a hard time "seeing" it all.
Not much of a story at the end of the day.
Pour les fans de jeux horreur / survie
Why play it?
Pour la mise en scène
et pour le côté original et surprenant de l'enseigne