Date completed: October 2017 (2 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 8; Atmosphere: 8; Fun: 8.
- 2-5 players
- 1 player not colour blind
For some reason, there is a vast portion of people, who having never tried an escape room, automatically associate them with the Saw movies. That apparently prompted the owners of Quest Room to create a game with that vibe. Besides the series of movies, there is also a Jigsaw-named murderer in the UK, so in any case, having to Escape the Jigsaw surely means you are in trouble.
More traditional (in terms of puzzles) than Quest Room’s other room Sherlocked, Escape the Jigsaw was still challenging and atmospheric. It was also the proof that you don’t have to be in the dark to create a tense and scary environment: despite being very well lit, this game had a lot of unsettling details. But we were able to see our way out – cutting very close!
We started the game separated from each other, and with our movements constrained in different ways. Trapspringer was in a worse situation, probably on the edge of what can be done in terms of physical constraints in a escape room under Australian regulations. We had to apply teamwork to free myself in an interesting maneuver and carefully observe the weird laboratory around us to finally free Trapspringer.
The immediate following tasks were also quite creative and involved unusual props and good use of space. Once we got a better idea of what was expected from us, we advanced quicker through the maniac’s hideout. There were machines and medical utensils which seemed real and fit the setting. There was a lot of stainless steel around us too. The room required a lot of search and observation, which was by far the skill most employed. Some tasks required spatial thinking and/or mechanical aptitude, but nothing too complex. Simple association also helped us advance and the deduction set piece used the scenario to but needed a bit of reading.
What did NOT help us advance was not finding a marker for the white board right at the start of the game (it was in a very obvious place, and I still don’t know how we did not see it). It forced us to memorize a lot of things and made some puzzles quite hard for – I imagine this would have been hilarious for our gamemaster who was probably asking himself why we did not simply just use the white board like a normal team. But who is normal when you are locked into a crazy dude’s lab? 😛
As mentioned, everything was well lit. There were no jump scares, but it was creepy. In all honesty I prefer this type of room a hundred times over those rooms which are dark “just because” – i.e. “so the players do not solve things too quickly”. Despite the name, there were no direct references to the Saw movie in the room (which is actually good) and it was a more generic kidnapping-serial killer type of game.
Escape the Jigsaw was also linear, so working as pair was probably more efficient than if we had a large team. It had a good start, then the mid-game and ending were quite traditional. Overall it was a fun room, with puzzles that matched (I suppose the premise of manic-locks-victims-in-puzzle game genre gives game designers a bit of freedom of what to include). All the mechanics and tech parts worked well and we escaped with 2 minutes left on the clock.
In Quest Room we also played Sherlocked, which is a very strong room and a very different experience. They have recently open a new Egyptian-themed game called The Lost Tomb, which we would be curious to try in the future.
Out of the room
Service: Andrew was an attentive, welcoming gamemaster. There were lockers for our belongings, toilets and water. After the game we had a very nice chat with the owner, Nikita, who told us about future plans and his style of game design, and we would surely go back to Quest Room to try more.
Communication: A walkie-talkie radio is provided to facilitate communications with the gamemaster. We needed a couple for Escape the Jigsaw. Hints are unlimited, but to appear in Quest Room’s leader board the room must be solved without clues.
Surroundings: Quest Rooms is a short walk away from Brisbane Southbank Parklands, one of the most beautiful areas in the city. It is also very close to the Queensland Arts Centre, if you are a fan of theatre and art exhibitions.