Enigma Room: In Memoriam [Review]

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

Date completed: April 2016 (4 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 9Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 9; Fun: 8.5

Requirements:

  • Fluent English
  • 2-6 players
  • Life skills help!

A woman is in a coma after going through a traumatic accident. Players have to use cutting edge experimental technology to delve into her memories and regain consciousness. The catch is that you only have one hour or you could risk getting stuck in her mind.

That is the premise of In Memoriam, which has been widely recommended by other escape room operators and reviewers alike. Its reputation for being one of the best escape rooms in Sydney and our previous experience with Enigma Room in Dr. Disaster made us comfortable enough to bring two friends who are escape room first timers – we’re very glad that we did!

Just how do you create an Inception like scenario into an escape room in the first place? That was the question in my mind before we returned to Enigma Room. Dreamscape type scenarios have been done elsewhere around the world, including the convincing Nightmare Room from Riddle Room in Canberra, but I’ve never heard of one which actually delves into the subject of memories. Whereas nightmares tap only into a person’s fears, memories tap into so many other aspects of an individual.

It’s hard to recreate the sense of surrealism of memories and dreaming. However, Enigma Room have done an excellent job in building this idea not through techno gimmicks, but through good setting and gameplay designed to help players show empathy to the comatose main character. In Memoriam, players have to understand the life of the character through the puzzles as you go through her memories. Life skills, experience and empathy are actual employable skills in this escape room. Sociopaths will get there eventually but I suspect they might not do as well….

95In Memoriam is also one of those rare cases where 100% of the puzzles relate directly to the story without feeling like a ‘bolted on puzzle’. Logic, searching, and puzzles with activities are in the game, sure. However, the strong point of the game is the way technology is used so discreetly to create puzzles which draw on abstract thinking, inductive reasoning and the ability of players to relate to other people (the character). In the end, you feel like you know her.

In terms of difficulty, Enigma Room offers a ‘hard mode’, where hints are only provided at player request, or a ‘normal mode’ in which the gamemaster will drop hints periodically. According to the staff of Enigma Room, only 40% of teams complete In Memoriam and use approximately 14 hints on average. We managed to complete it with 3 hints, however, Pa and I have already played 50 or so rooms.  The game’s hint system uses a tablet which accesses the ‘memory bank’ of the character, which come from her perspective and give subtle nudges for what players should focus on.

In Memoriam is also very family friendly, not dark and having kids in the game could actually be a good thing. Do you remember how life was like as a child?

By this point of the review, it should be obvious that I was a big fan of this room. Quite frankly, more rooms should be like this. We also created two escape room addicts out of our friends, which is a bonus. Enigma Room proved to be an excellent venue in Sydney and both their rooms, In Memoriam and Dr. Disasterare highly recommended.

 

Out of the room

Service: The Enigma Room gamemaster paid close attention to progress of the team without ever interfering and was a very accommodating host. The briefing was also very concise and clear.

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. After the game is over, Enigma Room will send you an email with a post game photo and a percentage grading of how well your team did in comparison with other teams.

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. 😀

In Memoriam has been reviewed by other escape room bloggers from Brisbane Geek Social ClubEscape Rooms in Sydney, Sydney Escape RoomsEscape Room Hunters, Escape Me and Escape Room Reviews. Some things about the room have changed in the year since these reviews have been written – for the better it would seem.

 

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