We won’t bore you with all the details but we had a little Halloween trip to Wales planned where we were going to experience two scare events. Accommodation and travel was booked and then things started going wrong! One event got cancelled and the other we managed to miss owing to massively delayed trains. We still had the accommodation in Cardiff though so booked ourselves onto this room so as to not completely waste our time!
We don’t really need to describe this room to you at all. If we tell you that we were pretty much living out the bathroom scenes from the first ‘SAW’ movie, you’ll know exactly what to expect! It was pretty much that film in everything but name and makes me wonder why a licensed game doesn’t pop up somewhere. We reckon that beyond the initial outlay, the game would attract a whole new audience who may not have encountered escape rooms before, purely on the brand recognition…
Anyway, this was the film for all intents and purposes. From beginning the game restrained in a fashion similar to the characters in the movie to your captor’s desire to test you; we’ve encountered games before with a ‘SAW’-like theme but none come close to emulating the film like this.
Being horror fans, living the ‘SAW’ movie was brilliant. It had all the little touches, down to playing the tape recorder for the introduction!
Beyond the setting, we found that the majority of puzzles all made sense even if we did get stuck on one or two of them! We also appreciated why they were present in the context of the game. They had purposefully been laid to determine if we were worthy of living. Adding a reason for the existence of puzzles in a room makes all the difference.
The difficulty curve went mad on the last few puzzles. One of them was full of red herrings to the point that it felt a bit obnoxious; rather than being difficult, it was deliberately wasting time. And another one offered no real guidance as to how it could be solved. It’s a shame as everything all followed a logical train of thought until that point.
And we have to mention that the clue system is totally broken. We managed to lock ourselves out of the iPad twice for clues that we actually didn’t need.
Because the clues are pre-scripted, if you do need help, you better hope that the clue helps. You’re stuck otherwise unless you request the solution which locks the iPad out for ten minutes. We did this once when we thought we got something wrong; it turned out that we were right but just weren’t being forceful enough on the padlock. Having a person delivering the clues would have avoided this issue as they would have recognised that we had the correct answer. Now, they do have human intervention but the way its set up, they have to come into the room to walk you through the puzzle which obviously breaks any sense of immersion.
We loved the theming to this game and enjoyed the fact that the puzzles, for the most part, made sense, even if some were difficult. If you like the ‘SAW’ movies, you should just go! However, we do have to point out that clue system – be very, very careful about using it!
Rating: *** (Out of 5) – Flawed but worth checking out
Ticket Price: £15-22 per person, depending on group size.
Address: 2nd and 3rd Floor, 6-7 St. John Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GJ