Escape Rome: Bodies [Review]

Location: Escape Rome, Via Carlo Botta (Termini region), Rome, Italyescape_rome_logo_small

Date completed: March 2016 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 7; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 7; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • 2-5 players
  • To be unafraid of the dark
  • English or Italian (for the hints)

Before we started Bodies, our third room at Escape Rome, our gamemaster Daniel asked us two questions: “Are you afraid of the dark?” and “Can you think like a madman?”. As my sincere answers to these questions were “a bit” and “I hope not!”, I could foresee some difficult times ahead. Thankfully Trapspringer was by my side. He’s not a madman at all, but at least he’s fine in dark places!

Bodies is the hardest room in Escape Rome. Evil Professor Carmelo is doing experiments with living human specimens  and you were trapped in his lab. To escape, your team will have to decipher his insane logic and take some hard decisions to see the light of day again.

There is a very good reason for the question about the dark. The entire room is played with lights turned off. The only source of illumination are little head torches provided to the players. With only two players, it was not easy to see things, but we found our way around.

Creepy mannequin parts and creepy dolls. Graffiti on the walls. Hospital and hospice equipment. That Prof. Carmelo was really not a nice person… You can see the entire laboratory from the start, but there are places you can only reach after unlocking a set of metal bars.

In addition to the light deprivation, there is no timer in the room, so it’s harder to keep track of time. The hint system also changes. As per CSI and Secret of the Vatican,  you press a white button on the wall if you need help. But instead of seeing an image on a screen, the gamemaster slides a piece of paper with a hint under the door. All hints were written in both Italian and English. However, the puzzles in Bodies do not require language!

Corpi - 3

Most of the puzzles in Bodies are in the logic/association field. However, the associations are not simple – until you solve them, then they become really clear. In some puzzles, there is more than one way to reach some of the answers. Be creative. You are trying to solve what a sadistic individual thinks. Also this is a madmen we are dealing with here. Madmen don’t organise their thoughts like normal people.

This room requires methodical search and paying attention to everything around you will pay off. Some puzzles are very easy to spot, but hard to solve. Others are very hard to find, but they compensate being a bit easier to go through.

The music and the noises in the background are quite unnerving and weird. Escape Rome did a very good job with the sound in this room. Sometimes, you can hear sounds from people playing in other rooms, but because they get muffled and distorted, it actually adds to the creepiness of this room. We were surprised on how something that usually detracts from the experience ended up working very well in this case.

The last puzzle has an evil touch, certainly well fitted to the theme – probably Prof. Carmelo’s favourite.  We needed 3 hints to get out of Bodies with around 10 minutes to spare. I had lost track of time and thought we were actually about to blow it!

We would not recommend to bring kids to Bodies due to the nature of the room, but it poses a nice challenge for escape room fans. We went to Escape Rome during a holiday in Italy and it was a great option for an evening after a lovely sight-seeing day in Rome. We also played Escape Rome’s CSI and Secret of the Vatican rooms.

Out of the room

Service: Daniel and the other staff at Escape Rome were friendly and approachable. Briefing before the game was great, as well as the debriefing afterwards. Our gamemaster was sincerely interested in our impressions of the room – and the other rooms we played there as well. We had a good chat about puzzles in general and he recommended an awesome trattoria (pasta restaurant) for us to have dinner, just around the corner, called Vecchia Roma.

Escape Rome has a large waiting area and they offer water and lollies to all players. You can hang your stuff at the reception or bring it with yourself to the room.

Communication: You do not talk to the gamemaster during the game. If you are stuck in Bodies, you can press a white bottom on the wall and he/she will slide a paper with a hint under the door. The gamemaster will also send a hint if he thinks you are spending too much time on the same activity.

Escape Rome tends not to give out hints in the first 10 or so minutes, letting players settle down, find stuff, think for themselves and get into their own momentum. Daniel was flawless in the way he assisted gameplay flow by providing well timed subtle hints for all three Escape Rome games.

Surroundings:
Escape Rome is located in the Termini region, Southeast of Rome’s city centre. It’s a 5 minute walk from Vittorio Emanuelle subway and 10 minutes from attractions such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore.

There are plenty of places to eat around there. Word of advice to foodies: try not eating at restaurants right next to touristic points. Go one or two streets adjacent and find places with a high proportion of locals. Also, Italians tend to have dinner after 7pm/1900. Beware of restaurants that serve dinner before that time.

IMG_6854
Killer view of the Roman Forum next to the Colosseum.
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