Earlier this week, we had the honour of visiting Escapologic’s brand new venue in Leicester, which will soon open with three new games. Escapologic has always been one of our favourite escape companies, with the original Nottingham centre giving us genius puzzles, excellent immersiveness, and a team of enthusiastic ‘minions’ keeping the place running.
We were invited to test the new games out with a group of 15 enthusiasts and owners from across the UK, with us rotating teams as we played each room. Our first game was ‘Reactorvate’, which we played with Mark from Really Fun, Jackie from Exit Games Scotland, and Dean from Escape Review.
“Your Great Uncle was once a leading scientist known for developing state of the art nuclear technology. In central Europe, during the late 1970’s, one of his experimental reactors went into meltdown as soon as it was activated, causing one of the most catastrophic disasters in modern history.
The government blamed him for the event, stating that his reactors were not safe to begin with, he was imprisoned for life and remains locked up to this day.
After receiving a letter from prison you have reason to believe he was framed by a fellow scientist and that the original reactor was tampered with.
Your only option is to break into an abandoned power plant located in rural Russia, find a second inactive reactor and start it up. If it is fully functional then you may just have the evidence to free an innocent man. If your Great Uncle is lying, then you may need to run for your life!”
There’s a very good chance this game is actually built within an abandoned power plant, as it looks incredibly real. You start the game in the control room, and it does look like it has been untouched for several decades. The rusty old equipment slowly flickers into life, as you try to work out what the hundreds of buttons do, something which may be easier if you speak Russian. Theming and immersiveness are spot on, but you’d expect nothing less from an Escapologic room.
In terms of gameplay, I’m not entirely sure if this is an escape room, as the majority of the game is spent doing everything needed to get the reactor running. All of the puzzles in the game feel completely authentic, and there’s a lot of fun to be had throughout the hour, involving fuel rods and geiger counters. The game ends with a dramatic finale, and some great effects are put to use, adding another few tablespoons of immersiveness to the mixture.
Overall, this is another cracker of a game from Escapologic. The approach to the gameplay gives it a slight ‘Robin of Lockskey‘ feel, in that nothing feels too puzzle based, and everything is instead hands-on action. In short, an immersive game, with a solid design, exciting moments, and a big handful of unique puzzles.
Host: Our game was hosted by a couple of the Escapologic minions, and I don’t remember which – it was a long day!
Clue System: Clues will be delivered via instructional video messages, but this system wasn’t yet in action, so our hints came from the occasional shout through the wall.
Success? Yes, despite feeling like we’d definitely gone over time by about 20 minutes, we escaped with just under five remaining.