We have to start by saying that it feels a bit reductive featuring this game on the site. The synopsis of the room, plus the artwork on their site (the featured image of this post) piqued our curiosity but what we got was something way more considered and substantial.
So we’ll say this now – if you’re expecting a scary game, you’ll likely be disappointed. That’s not to say that there isn’t a dark atmosphere supplemented with some horror-laced props. But, given that the story of the game touches on mental health, Archimedes Escape take the high road and treat the subject matter respectfully.
And that’s the biggest takeaway from this game, it’s definitely the most narrative-rich room that we’ve escaped from and it’s impressive how on-theme everything is. We obviously won’t go into spoilers but you won’t walk away feeling that anything was out place. It’s refreshing to play a game that focuses on the journey rather than the destination. Every puzzle progresses the story in some way, rather than just being a way of activating the next one.
This was a mostly lock-free room with progress made via automation. Instead of finding a code on a padlock, you have to physically do something in the room to move on. It’s a method that’s thematically true to the game whilst being a nice change for anyone that’s played more than a few escape games. And the objects provide enough feedback so as to not leave you in any doubt about what you’re doing.
The story. We can’t oversell this enough. It’s possible that it stuck out to us because we weren’t expecting such a richness but it was so completely woven into the fabric of the game that it ends up being a huge part of the experience. All we’ll say is, take everything in because it’s all relevant and serving the narrative.
As for the puzzles themselves, they’re all fair and none of them required a leap of logic although we did debate whether one was adequately clued in the room. Ultimately though, there wasn’t anything that we felt was a cheat and that’s really important to us! There was a nice variety of things to do, including one section that forces all the players in the team to work together. We’d love to see games incorporate more moments like this because it’s sometimes easy to miss a puzzle in a room if someone solves it whilst you’re occupied elsewhere.
And one final thing we have to point out – the people running the game were super passionate about what they do, spending a lot of time with us afterwards to talk about the game and story. It makes so much difference when the people running a room genuinely care about what they do!
This is a minor thing and if we’d been a bit quicker through the game, it would’ve been a non-issue but there’s a moment that takes place which lasts for a fixed amount of time. It’s possible to mostly ignore it but you’ll miss story beats if you do. For us, time in a room is a premium so there shouldn’t be anything that potentially holds you up. In this case, it doesn’t prevent you from continuing so it isn’t a game breaker at all. We just wished we’d been able to pay more attention to it!
Kill M.A.D. (2017) Archimedes Inspiration
If you're looking for an escape game that's more than a procession of puzzles, you should check out Kill M.A.D. A strong storyline along with a well-themed space makes for an experience that's a cut above most of the other games that we've played to date.
Ticket Price: £29pp
Address: Unit 002, Block K, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Clements Road SE16 4DG