“Six months after the great inventor Professor Tepet’s death – M.I.6. gained access to the lab where he kept all of his greatest inventions. Among the files, they found an abandoned document called A-I-9 detailing an artificial intelligence peacekeeping program. Scientists finally managed to recreate the program, rolling it out across the nation. A type of robot (called ‘9bots’) where integrated into society. The NHS could diagnose patients before symptoms appeared while the army neutralised threats before they happened, the country thrived, for a time. 24 hours ago an anomaly appeared in the code shutting down internet and telecommunications worldwide and soon after chaos ensued. A-I-9 is corrupting the system from the inside. This was meant to be impossible. The only way to stop it is to destroy it before it can destroy us – can you get past their self-protection systems?”
The game takes place in quite a small room, but something we’ve seen as a strong point for Clue HQ in the past is their ability to make a full game in tiny spaces. The now closed versus game “Sacrifice” in Warrington was built in a tiny space, but had more than enough to get a full 60 minutes out of it. This game is similar to the Manchester venue’s “CSI: The Panic Room”, in that it all takes place in one room (no secret doors or anything), but packs a large amount of decent puzzles into it, to the point the lack of a further room is quickly forgotten about.
The game is set in the control room of artificial intelligence program A-I-9, and the room is decorated as you’d expect; a wall of screens all flashing various imagery gives you the technology feel, while information across the room covers everything the government uses A-I-9 for – healthcare, travel, policing, etc.
The gameplay was a lot of fun, although it felt like one of the easier Clue HQ games we’ve played. Despite being quite badly hungover, we jumped from puzzle to puzzle, all of which were perfectly logical with no ambiguity. The puzzles were enjoyable to complete, and included the right mix of elements, with physical, logic, observation and more all coming into play. There was a good logic puzzle in there, something which I usually sit out of (they make my brain melt), but I enjoyed helping with this one.
Overall, this is a good game from Clue HQ, probably one of my favourite of their games. It’s not a difficult one, and I think it’s a quite accessible, very fun game for new players, whilst also being a decent stop on an escape trip to the area (maybe to play the excellent Curse of the Golden Lion!) for experienced escapers.
Host: I don’t remember our host’s name, but she knew her stuff when it came to escape rooms, and we had a good chat about some of our favourites with her.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success? Yes, taking one clue at most, we escaped in around 40 minutes (I think!).
NOTE: A-I-9 is also available at Clue HQ’s Birmingham, Blackpool Promenade, Leicester, Malvern, & Swindon branches.