By Snow & Saol
I love Harry Potter and you?
I'm just going to assume so. In every room we discover with the Harry Potter theme in an escape our emotions run riot. On the one hand we can't wait to be immersed in the magical world of J.K. Rowling, on the other hand we are afraid of being terribly disappointed. At the same time, could a theatre really live up to a big Hollywood production or worse: to our imagination?
When we discover that a company in Georgia offers a venue inspired by the famous Ollivander store, we don't hesitate for a second.
We receive an email asking us to connect 30 minutes beforehand. This is huge! However, we comply with this request. We also log in to a page that serves as an inventory page, where we enter passwords to view documents and items during the game.
Once logged in, we wait and wait and wait. 32 minutes of waiting before deciding to call the sign. Heiner calls, we hang up on him after he says we are waiting for the online room. I call back, they make me wait 4 minutes (yes at this price I have an eye on the time) then they tell me that the young lady is alone, that the session has just ended and she is coming;
We are still waiting (do you think I'm repeating myself?). It's to make you feel our... waiting).
And finally she connects. Are you ready? Let's do it! What? Where are we going? Why are we here? Nothing... She's asking us what we want to do... we'll still get an audible introduction (badly audible on the zoom) after 3 minutes. Ok, why not.
We find a first paper. She doesn't bother to read it to us, she tells us to type the keywords in the inventory, she's wrong, she doesn't really seem to know what to type. She'll have a good time looking for the right passwords, all rather complicated. She'll tell us it's the first time she's MJ for this format. We get it, but why are we paying for it?
We'll dig around, but there's not much to see. Especially since the light is low for an online game. We get discouraged. We feel like we can't see much. Besides, a light source gives up its will to live during the game... It's getting complicated. I feel like stopping. The stress of the young girl is great, we feel it, yet it is not bad (well not often ;) ).
Jackie finally solves a riddle. The others will always be difficult and few, but we manage. There is little searching, a little observation. The room could have been fun with a DOJ who will be doing role-play, who will know where to look to work with us.
The puzzles could be fun if everything worked, if we could see better, if we were more free to move around. And then there's one thing we can do to skip some of the riddles... We'll come back and do the same thing a few minutes later...
There are certain "magic" moments. But, hey...
The worst thing is, as soon as we're done after 45 long minutes she doesn't even take a picture, just a good one, I'll leave you on the zoom. I yell STOP. I try to tell her that I concoct that this is her first part, that she made an effort but that when you are 40 minutes late a little forgiveness is the least you can do. In the end I let it go, because I'm not her boss to teach her about customer service. And yes, I say that because I've been teaching 10 years how to provide good customer service...
But I don't think it's her fault, we all have to start in a job. For 20 euros per player we should be able to do better.
I'm not sure how to sum up this room. We shook our heads, we got angry and we were disappointed.