YES! we went back to Istanbul, a city of over 100 escape rooms. We were lucky to meet our friends from House of Vampires and chat about the industry and about scary escape rooms. We also managed to visit the Escapist, a very well recommended venue with 6 rooms.
We did their 1796 room. The 3rd part of a series in their story. We traveled back in 1796 by using the Light Stone stolen from Prof. John Howards Office. We’re in the cabin of Howards great great grandfather Captain Howard one of the last member of “Scholars of Light”. We now know that this is the only time that 6 Light Stones were all together. Our final mission was to find these 6 “Light Stones” in the cabin of Captain Howard and bring them all together.
As we entered the room, we felt like in 1796. It had a great decor. Right away we looked everywhere and started recognizing some puzzles but the logic was great. Everything tied into the story. There was a reason for every detail. We found ourselves in a cabin with a slope top and a mezzanine with lots of old paintings and wooden artifacts. A great fireplace with a door hiding a stone puzzled our minds not knowing how to open it. We started working with some candles and some photo-eye puzzles. A great example of using technology in old themes. The tech was there but it didn’t show. We finally made it to a map puzzle and a 5 letter lock. We struggle with this puzzle for a long time as we later discovered the map was just worn out and needed urgent replacement. Needless to say we couldn’t see some information we needed to solve it. After this point we tried rushing through the rest of the puzzle but were a little disappointed we wasted so much time on a broken puzzle. The next puzzles were great. Without going into detail, we had to climb on top of the roof to solve additional puzzles, There were hidden doors and crawling was required. I couldn’t help thinking that it would be great to do this in the US but I know some customers might not be able to climb up a narrow ladder or even crawl up on an inclined roof. This was the first time I saw long ropes being used and the puzzle was nicely done. We managed to solve the last puzzle and didn’t know what to do. We finally found a hidden door on the floor and climbed down and through a 4′ x 4′ hole only to find the real last puzzle. This one required memory and covering our tracks. At this time we just wanted out. Getting stuck with the map puzzle changed our mind set and our minds were as invested even though we tried to enjoy it. YES! we made it out.
I need to point out that we were given 10 more minutes to compensate for the 25 we spent trying to solve a broken puzzle. The only communication was an old telephone and a push button. This created a lot of frustration. When the RM came into the room, he saw the same numbers we did and relized that map had to be replaced. Having said this, The room itself was amazing. The puzzles were solid, the game flow kept the theme and we felt we were back in the 1700’s
I would definitely recommend this venue and might even go back to do Agatha’s room, which seemed to be their favorite. It seems that Istanbul has excellent rooms. They don’t have a lot of the restrictions we have here in the US and manage to push some limits easily.
All I could think when we left was how do we provide similar experiences and work within what our townships allows. That’s something we’ll find out as we continue in this business.
Game Design 9/10
WOW factor 9/10