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Review: Volatile Laboratories - EXIT Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne

Room Story - from EXIT Newcastle

You’re trapped and infected in a top secret laboratory. Will you be able to find the antidote, and EXIT?


Key Stats

Room NameVolatile Laboratories
VenueExit Newcastle
LocationNewcastle, UK
Date29/03/2018
Escape Time42:10
Team Size2
My Recommended Team Size2 - 4

Review

We’d booked a night away in Newcastle, so I thought it would be fun to play an escape room whilst there. We usually select games based on the reviews of other enthusiasts, but strangely, we couldn’t find anything for any of the games in Newcastle. We decided to play Voltatile Laboratories at EXIT Newcastle as it sounded like a fun game. We saw a video on their website with a trailer for the room that gave us a little sneak peak on what was in store.

EXIT Newcastle is based right in the heart of Newcastle city centre, near the o2 Academy. It’s got a big sign above the door so it’s not hard to miss. We were invited upstairs to the waiting area which had a “mansion” library feel to it with it’s desk made of books and brown leather sofas. With our room around the corner and after a brief introduction to the room from our host, we were on our way to find the antidote for our improptu viral infection.

You initially find yourself in quite a small space, but with doors at either end you know that you’ll be out of there very soon as you start to solve puzzles. There were a few clues around that got us going fairly quickly, allowing us to open one of the doors and progress to the room beyond. This gave us an item to help us unlock the other door. Although quite a simple concept, I found the puzzle to unlock the second door really enjoyable. I got the answer, inputted the correct code, but the padlock didn't open. We wasted a few minutes looking for some other clue to help us, before I realised the code had worked and I’d been fooled by a lack of a satisfying click from the padlock! Cursing my silly mistake, we unlocked the second door.

The rest of the game uses both of the areas you’ve unlocked, causing constant dashes from room to room with items and clues. At this point, the room became a little less linear with quite a few different puzzles you could solve in any order. Everything felt very logical and well put together with no red herrings to distract you.

There are a couple of skill based puzzles that you need to solve to progress. One of them requires you to have a reasonble aim – I did okay with this one, but Becky struggled. Some teams could get stuck on this one for a while! The other skill based puzzle required a great deal of patience and a steady hand. I managed to complete it with my patience still intact, but I was reaching the patience borderline! The laboratory setting in the room is very light-hearted with a few puzzles involving toy animals that greatly amused us. There’s definitely a budding comedian behind the design of some elements of this game.

We eventually found the antidote and our means of escape and exited the room with quite a few minutes still left on the clock. When we exited, there was nobody around so we waited a few minutes before somebody eventually realised we’d escaped. We only had a single clue in the game and didn’t really get stuck, but it did make me wonder how closely the hosts were monitoring the game.

All in all, we had a really great time in the room. There are a lot of puzzles to solve with a variety of logic, code and skill based puzzles to keep you entertained. The room is nicely themed and kept us immersed. It’s a room I’d highly recommend to beginners, but one that I think enthusiasts would also enjoy.

The team were Daniel and Becky.

Ratings


Overall A well designed and fun game that never felt too difficult, but always felt entertaining and amusing.
Difficulty Despite being rated as Difficult, we found the game quite straightforward, but still requiring some thought. A small team of beginners should be able to get out in a reasonable time.
Fun It’s a fun game, we were fully entertained. There are quite a few things in the room that made us chuckle. It’s a game that definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Puzzles There are quite a few padlock and code based puzzles, but some unique puzzles we haven’t come across before. There’s even a couple of skill based puzzles to try your patience.
Immersion It’s a well themed room – you definitely feel that you’re in a laboratory setting. There’s a lot of noise from the upstairs rooms – however, it’s nothing that spoilt our experience.
Surprises A lot of the time in this game, you can quite clearly see your next goal, so it’s not a room big on surprises.

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