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Review: Tommy - Unescapable, Derby

Room Story - from Unescapable

We need to test that this portal works properly, we’re pretty sure that it does but we just need to be certain! From what we can gather Tommy has landed somewhere in the midst of the Western Front in 1917. There is a very significant chance/the slight possibility that the portal could break when you go through (but it probably won’t don’t worry) If it does though, don’t panic, your team are just going to have to fix the time portal before the bridge collapses and you’re trapped in the past forever.


Key Stats

Room NameTommy
VenueUnescapable
LocationDerby, UK
Date23/03/2019
Escape Time35:00
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size2 - 4

Review

The last time I visited Unescapable, I played the terrifying game Edith. Edith is an experience that combined time travel with horror and good puzzles. Not to mention a terrifying creature that pursued you around the room leaving you in perpetual fear. Aside from being constantly scared, I really enjoyed Edith and was looking forward to see Unescapable’s non-scary room, Tommy.

The thing I loved last time about Unescapable was the immersion that started from the moment you entered the venue. The whole venue is themed around a secret time travel testing facility with each room a portal to another time and place. It’s done in a humorous and theatrical style – the hosts really do play the part well to immerse you in the venue. This was the same again when we visited to play Tommy and something we all enjoyed.

Tommy is set in World War 1 trenches, with you heading back in time to test a time portal. After an amusing introduction to the task and being handed some strange equipment to take with us, we headed into the time machine to begin our journey back in time. It’s a strangely realistic experience, complete with a nice set of heavy looking doors that slide open upon reaching the destination.

As you’d expect, the trenches are a sparsely decorated space with not a great deal to look around and explore. Throughout the game, a lot of the action is centred around a table with a few code breaking style puzzles. It took us a while to get to an answer from a series of puzzles, and when we got there, we weren’t quite sure how to tie together two pieces of information until we got a hint – delivered via walkie-talkie. After the hint we were able to progress and explore two further parts of the room.

The WW1 storyline doesn’t really go very far, and instead, most of your time is focused on finding the necessary parts to mend your time machine and return to the present day. There’s a really amusing final step to get the time machine going that we particularly enjoyed.

The key positives for us around Tommy were the time travel element and the whole theatre of the venue. However, the room itself felt far too sparse with too few puzzles. We got out in 35 minutes, which really didn’t feel like a long enough game. The room was lacking any major centrepiece puzzles and variety as all of the longest tasks were heavily based around decoding.

For a team of beginners, it might be a slightly longer experience. But teams of enthusiasts will fly through this room as there just isn’t enough content. It’s a shame, because with the theatre and experience you get from the venue, there’s potential to do so much more with this room.

Ratings

Overall Unescapable is an immersive venue from the moment you enter. We loved the theatre and overall ‘story’ of the venue, but we felt Tommy was just too short and too simple.
Difficulty Some of the puzzles weren’t immediately obvious, but I can’t see many teams struggling to get out.
Fun The whole theatrical concept of time travel within the venue is great fun and we enjoyed the game.
Puzzles The puzzles in the game managed to blend time travel and the WW1 setting, but there just weren’t enough of them. All the puzzles felt quite simple. There weren’t any multi-part, showpiece type puzzles.
Immersion Unescapable does immersion well. You’re immersed from the second you enter the venue. They get the theatrics, humour and background story perfect. The room was fairly sparse – but it fit the theme.
Surprises This was a game of limited surprises and didn’t really have any major moments of wow-factor.

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