Date completed: June 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 6; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 7.5
- Either fluent English, Portuguese or Spanish
- 4-10 players
- Basic Maths
In this officially produced Assassin’s Creed spin off, players assume the mantle of being descendants of the secretive Assassins, which are locked in a battle through history against the Templars. As prospective members of this group, players must prove their worth and escape from the room, set within a created memory, within 60 minutes as a test of their viability. Failure will result in them being stuck in this memory (presumably created within the Animus/Helix for those familiar with this series of games).
Returning back to Brazil for a short time, I (Trapspringer) was intrigued with the idea of an escape room set in one of the most successful gaming franchises in recent years. We decided to embrace our inner Assassin and gave this room a go. Let’s make it clear from the start that no people were killed and no parkour/freerunning was necessary.
A 19th century dining room with some late-medieval trappings is the setting of this created memory of Assassin’s Creed. The nice set was furnished details such as a chandelier and a replica of the painting Virgin of the Rocks (normally displayed in the first room of the National Gallery in London). In fact there were numerous props from the franchise and references to London, as the city was the setting of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, released in late-2015. To reinforce the Assassin’s Creed atmosphere, music from the game was used and hints were delivered through a preprogrammed ‘voice from the walls’ similar to how a player might receive training instruction in the Animus/Helix in the computer game series. This voice provided hints in a timely fashion and also when we asked for them, however, the hints were too direct to the solution.
Photo: IGN Brasil
Technology is discrete and well used, and some items that you find while solving the puzzles are replicas of gadgets seen in Syndicate. Pa’s favourite Assassin is Ezio, but she was pretty happy playing with Evie’s stuff. The layout of the escape room was conventional, with a fairly linear flow, mostly based around a sequence of combo locks. Having said that, Assassin’s Creed is a good introduction room for escape room beginners and is a great way to engage those already familiar with the massive computer game franchise with escape games. Our third team member was one such person and he had a pretty good time of it with us as we tackled puzzles centered around association, deductive logic, some arithmetic, searching and observation.
We played this game in English, but the room is available in English, Portuguese or Spanish (preference must be informed at time of booking). I should also mention that knowledge about the Assassin’s Creed series is not necessary to play this game.
Although the size of the escape room would physically allow the 10 people maximum team size, we recommend teams up to six players due to the linear flow of the puzzles. Despite not having a fourth player, Escape 60 let us play the room with 3 in the team, we just had to pay to the remaining empty slot.
All in all, this escape room was pretty fun and it was interesting to see how an official partnership between an escape room venue and a famous brand would turn out. I raise this point again and will go on a slight tangent to the review as the escape room industry is replete with scenarios ‘inspired’ by major franchises which walk a fine line between tongue in cheek references to outright copyright infringement. Some of them are good, a lot of them are average, a sad amount are just bad. (Harry Potter, Resident Evil and Pirates of the Caribbean are some of the franchises which seemingly ‘inspire’ most rooms).
In this environment, Escape 60’s history of doing official escape rooms is kind of unusual. In addition to their own normal escape rooms, they previously conducted a temporary Goosebumps room coordinated with FOX before the DVD’s launch and have partnered up with Ubisoft for Assassin’s Creed. An Uncharted 4 escape room in partnership with Playstation Brasil is also available at their venue in Moema, another district of São Paulo.
We contacted Escape 60′ to enquire about advantages and challenges of building a room like this. According to the company, there are positive aspects for both the escape room venue and for the brand. While the partners are able to promote their brands among a very diverse public, Escape 60′ reaches selected audiences, which they consider strategic to increase their business in markets less exposed to the escape game genre. For example, in addition to their usual public, Escape 60’s indicated that the Assassin’s Creed and Uncharted rooms have also been attracting game lovers who are new to escaping.
The company says the results are positive and the intention is to keep working on this type of partnership for all their venues, owned or franchised. Escape 60′ has seven venues in four cities around Brazil. Assassin’s Creed will be available until the end of August 2016 according to Escape 60’s booking system.
We wish we could see more official rooms like this and less of the “not-quite-so-Hogwarts-castle” type rooms.
Out of the Room
Service: The staff at Escape 60′ was very friendly. The gamemaster followed our progress reasonably well and the briefing was to the point.
Players not from Brazil have the option to pay by Paypal, otherwise they have to email Escape 60′ to organise bookings. Direct credit card payments are tied to the Brazilian National ID numbers (called CPF, which every Brazilian has). The staff were responsive to that too and helped us secure a spot for the day by email.
The venue has a medium-sized waiting area with free wifi but you’ll have to solve an easy puzzle for the password! There are also soft drink and coffee machines and lockers for personal belongings outside the rooms. We were allowed to take our stuff in and leave it in a corner of the room. The toilets were also very clean.
Communication: As mentioned, hints are given through a sound system in the room when the gamemaster notices you are stuck.
Surroundings: Vila Olímpia is a business district in São Paulo with a buzzing night life. The venue is very close to some fast-food options and a 5 min drive (15 min walk) from a fancy shopping centre. Our advice is to catch a cab to get there from the city centre though.