Enigma Room: Dr Disaster [Review]

logo_white_edgy2Location: Enigma Room, Sydney CBD (near Town Hall), NSW, Australia

Date completed:  Jan 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8.5; Difficulty: 6.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players
  • Acute senses

In Dr Disaster, a Kim Jong Un-esque crazed villain has decided to destroy the world’s capital cities with nuclear missiles, and you have one hour to stop him! We arrived at Enigma Room expecting a James Bond scenario but ended up with Austin Powers or Kingsman.  Shake it, baby!

With the preponderance of dark themes in the escape room genre, it’s nice to be fighting a hilarious control freak supervillain rather than escape from some horrible fate for a change.

The introduction video sets the tone for this adventure, showing Dr. Disaster in all his might. The players are also introduced to an ally, a scientist who is hiding from Dr Disaster’s goons. She helps the players by providing hints to through messages on a tablet – a very clever way to not break the atmosphere and keep everything “in game”. Theoretically, you don’t talk to a gamemaster, but to this lady.

Notably, the Enigma Room offered two difficulty settings. In normal, players will receive hints on a regular basis, everytime the ‘scientist’ realizes you are stuck. The hints are not obvious though. You have to see how her comments apply to your game. If you choose to play on hard mode, hints will only be available on request.

IMG_0956The clock is ticking. Hurry!!!

In Dr Disaster, the Enigma Room delivered some of the more creative and layered puzzles which require you to make best use of your senses. This room doesn’t do too much ‘hide and seek’ with clues, but rather engages the player with mostly what is hidden in plain sight. A fair few of the puzzles required multiple steps of different types of thinking and weren’t simple ‘one stop’ linear puzzles.

There are also physical and spatial puzzles, and a very mind-boggling one towards the end. It was so simple, but so hard! I tackled that one with my friend, as Pa (who has English as a second language) just fried her brain trying to read it.

drDPoster

Many have commented on this room’s difficulty and the staff at the Enigma Room indicated that less than 40% finish it in under 60 minutes. For some reason, we had a very easy flow to the game and completed it in 48 minutes. I think the reason we had a smooth run on this one was because we had team members who understood information extremely differently. All three solved or contributed to understanding puzzles from very different perspectives. Whether you are a visually minded, associative, logical, intuitive or organised thinker, you’ll assist in getting out of this room if your teamwork is good.

It made us curious to try their other room, In Memoriam.

Out of the room

Service: Our Gamemaster paid close attention to progress of the team without ever interfering and was a very accommodating host.

The Enigma Room provides a locker for your belongings, soft drinks, lollies, and even has an 80s retro arcade gaming table with Donkey Kong and Pacman. Thumbs up!

Communication: As mentioned, we were given a tablet to receive hints. We were pleased with how the hints were not obvious, provided direction and were consistent with what was happening in the story.

Surroundings: The Enigma Room is extremely close to the Queen Victoria Building and Town Hall train station. It’s pretty easy to find food in that area and fellow geeks will be happy to know that this place is pretty close to King’s Comics, Kinokunya and Games Paradise. 😀

For other opinions on Dr Disaster, check out Escape Rooms in SydneyEscape Room Reviews or Masters of Escape.

 

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