This game took us by surprise! Four of us ventured into the city of Amsterdam for a well-known escape room in the enthusiast community.
Our adventure started with a typical confirmation email after we booked, complete with fine print and an address. Our attention immediately zeroed in on the address and we headed to the room.
We arrived at a very dark patio entrance to the iconic church known as the Posthoornkerk. We rang the intercom and a deep voice asked, “What is the password?” I was clueless and quickly checked my email. Of course, the password was in the disregarded fine print. We should’ve known better than to ignore small details after reading the escape room’s website:
“Become the main character in this real-life horror experience. Explore the dark secrets of Amsterdam’s underground. Face your fears and investigate the evil that lurks in the Catacombs. This is a 90 minutes Room Escape experience. It involves moments of stress, darkness and flickering lights. You should be mentally stable and physically fit“
After reciting back the password, we were allowed in the patio and were told to wait. This created a bit of tension that was barely relieved when a very tall man open the door (All Dutch are really tall people). The man was already in character as we stupidly joked around (must have had something to do with the one beer we’d had earlier). He made sure we entered a serious mood before starting the game’s instruction. This reminded me of a Vampire game in Turkey.
After all instructions were given we were led down stairs underneath the church, into the catacombs. He pointed to a black curtain and asked us to go through and start our journey. We entered the absolute darkness, struggling in vain to check out what we could before the clock started. All of the sudden we heard a voice from within the room— this was a live actor escape room.
I won’t go into spoiling details, but after the introductions we had a series of rooms filled with authentic props and very nice puzzles, some of which I hadn’t seen before. There was a dark tone to the game, but we loved it. When they said “mentally stable and physically fit“ they meant it. You need to stay strong through some parts of the game as you are tested in ways you have only imagined in your nightmares. I did find myself in a tough position towards the end of the game, but I won’t say much more than that.
Our 90 minutes were almost over when we finally uncovered what seemed to be the last room/puzzle of our game— at last, we faced “the evil that lurks in the Catacomb.” The intense ending left us in a bit of confusion until we saw a light and were asked to follow it.
We made it out!!!! It felt really good, but we were still trying to figure out what just happened. Yes, achieved our mission and escaped……. But did we win?
It turns out there is no win or lose in this game; there was a points system, for which you need to complete some tasks during the game to earn those points. We were so into the escape part that we disregarded any puzzle or clue that wasn’t needed to continue forward. Unfortunately, based on points system, we lost by a hair.
We had fun and couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards! It is definitely one of the top 5 rooms I’ve done. If you are ever in Amsterdam, I highly recommend checking it out!
Game Design 8/10
WOW factor 9/10
Scare factor 8/10