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Review: The Signal - Make Your Escape, Derby

Room Story - from Make Your Escape

Following reports of strange lights in the skies over Derbyshire, your team intercepts a distress signal, which leads you to an abandoned military bunker.

Once the door closes behind you, you quickly realise the signal was not all that it seemed, the bunker was not abandoned and you are not alone.

Work together as a team to solve the puzzles and escape. The truth is in there…


Key Stats

Room NameThe Signal
VenueMake Your Escape
LocationDerby, UK
Date24/03/2019
Escape Time56:07
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size2 - 5

Review

The Signal was our 6th and final game of our escape room weekend away in the East Midlands. It’s the most condensed period of escape room gaming we’ve ever played as a team – and that really started to show. Our performance wasn’t our finest.

There are also some games that really click with you – let's call it “the bond”. When you have “the bond” everything makes sense, you’re confident in all your answers and you float on a cloud through the room solving everything it throws at you. However, in some rooms, you have the complete opposite, a mist that shrouds the room in confusion for some unbeknown reason, preventing you ever entering a steady rhythm of puzzle solving. Unfortunately, this was a misty one for us!

After our briefing, we headed into what looked like a fairly ordinary office space with filing cabinet, desk and some limited military style theming. We began to explore the room and did a poor job of our initial searching and got stuck fairly quickly. After a clue, we managed to get going again and make some progress.

We then got a little bit stumped by a puzzle that we felt could have had a few different interpretations, but after a few tries and a hint we managed to solve it. We then proceeded on and followed a steady pattern of getting stuck and receiving a hint. There was a sequence of puzzles where the action we needed to complete didn’t really make sense to us. And there’s a classic rule in escape rooms that objects don’t get reused. There was an object in this room that was reused multiple times and caught us out every single time.

At this point, we were starting to get a little frustrated – both with ourselves and at the room a little bit. But there’s a nice sequence of events that unveils a surprise that makes this room a little different. You uncover something that requires you to make a choice. And the choice you make impacts the ending of your game. This was a really nice gameplay element that we really enjoyed, giving the game something unique. We’ve seen some element of choice in games before, but not in a way as binary as this game.

We struggled through the last few puzzles of the game with more hints and escaped in a time we were disappointed with. At that point, the host gave us the opportunity to see the alternate ending for the game which was a nice touch.

The Signal has a really interesting and unique element and a nice surprise towards the end of the game. It’s this part of the game that we enjoyed the most. For some reason, we really struggled with this game and failed to solve hardly anything on our own without a hint. I do think the game was a little bit ambiguous in places, but it’s not a game that’s as difficult as we made it look. This game reminds me that every game isn’t going to be suited to your style of play.

The team were Becky, Daniel (with an extremely ill-fitting hat) and Beth.

Ratings

Overall A fun game that features a fairly unique choice element that affects the ending of your game.
Difficulty A lot of teams will find this easier – this one didn’t click with us and we found it quite a tough one.
Fun We had fun – but it wasn’t our finest game and we were frustrated with ourselves at times.
Puzzles There were some good linear puzzles in the room, but we felt there was too much ambiguity at times.
Immersion It’s a fairly standard themed office space at first, but it becomes a more immersive experience as the game progresses.
Surprises There’s a big surprise towards the end of the game that incorporates the choice element – really the highlight of the game.


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