You've become the top detective in your city and you've heard suspicious rumours about a Casino Underground recently. You've taken it upon yourself to enter the Casino Underground that is owned by troublesome Mafia, you are undercover, no one knows who you are. Somehow you've ventured into the VIP section and the doors lock behind you? No one can know you're here! You have to escape, otherwise, the Mafia will figure out who you are and they will not be nice!
You do not have much time left before the head honchos return and find out who you are. They will not be nice to you. You have to make a quick escape, choose the standard mission and get out alive and they will never know you've been in their Casino. Can you get away from the Mafia?
You have the chance to finally catch your men. You have 1 hour to get out of that place with some form of evidence of who the head honchos really are. Find what you need, become the best detective and get out of there as fast as you can! Do you have what it takes to expose these crooks?
Our team were feeling much more relaxed and confident going into The Casino Underground room as we had previously experienced The World War Room together. Even though we felt like "seasoned pros" we found that we were confronted with a totally new experience and our egos were knocked back a bit. It goes to show that previous experience doesn't help you in this situation! What helped you is being extremely observant and not just thinking forward to the next puzzle. Always remember what has come before! This is actually a good thing as it means that people could go through multiple rooms and still enjoy and be challenged by future experiences at the Confinement Escape Rooms.
Last time we had a team of six and this time we only had four. After experiencing two different sized teams, I found that the team of four meant that each of us felt more useful and able to contribute more to the solving of the puzzles. Perhaps it was the fact that everyone in our group was over the age of forty, but we all found that it was difficult to see some of the letters/numbers on the locks. We found that the lighting in some areas was darker than other areas of the rooms. It was necessary for us to pick up one of the boxes and move it under a bright light to allow us to enter the code correctly. After the event we discussed this issue and decided that we may need to bring little torches next time (one of the team suggested caps with inbuilt torches!).
The Casino Underground was split into different little rooms like The World War room. The first room we went into was a good size and easy to move around it. This did make it a bit tricky to focus in on what we were looking. Moving from one room to the next in this game required our team to get down on the ground and crawl through a smallish door. I am really glad that I was wearing jeans in this room as it made things much easier (and decent) as I crawled through!! This could have been an issue for people with mobility issues. Our team managed it just fine!
When faced with the option of choosing the 'basic' or 'advanced' version of the game, we naturally wanted to push ourselves and we went of the 'advanced' option. After spending way too much time on one of the puzzles, we realised that we were not getting anywhere. We are all a bit strong willed and we were determined to solve what we could without any help. Because of this, we went back a few steps and opted for the 'basic' version of the game. This led us relatively quickly to solve the rest of the puzzles and escape from the room in 48 minutes. The time was good, but we were all feeling a bit ripped off (by our own lack of ability to solve a puzzle). When we got out, we asked where we had gone wrong. It turns out that we were on the right track. The only issue is that we were attempting the use the correct information on the wrong lock. That was so disappointing and a reminder for us to ALWAYS look back to where we have been during the game when we find ourselves at a loss to solve a given puzzle. I also asked the staff member what sort of hints the staff would have given us if we had actually asked for help. The guy reassured us that they would try to direct us to think back through the game ourselves to see if we could come to the solution ourselves rather than simply dishing out the answer. This made me realise that if we get stuck next time we should use the walk talkie to get a little hint. We live and learn!!
By talking to the staff, we also found that there are in fact discounts for students and children. This would make things much cheaper for families to go. This information is not presented on the website and I think that would be a very good addition to their site. I would recommend that you ask about these discounts when you book. Yet again, a fabulous evening out. I love the fact that it made us think and challenge our ways of thinking. I can't wait for the next opportunity to join the team and try out another room in the Confinement Escape Rooms.
After one successful foray into an escape room with several other team members a few weeks ago, I was prepared for another fun and challenging experience. This time there were four of us, all confident that we could solve any puzzle the room wanted to hurl at us. I was impressed with the start of the challenge because we had a fairly big space to work in so we could spread ourselves to look at different possibilities without falling over each other in the process. There was a certain amount of competition of course as we each tried to be the first with the solution, but it was all very good natured!
I found that, as with the last room, having some computer gaming experience is useful. Except that, instead of hovering over objects with a mouse so that they react in some way to show you they contain a clue, you use a real torch designed to use UV light to highlight hidden codes. It is almost like being inside a retro game and having to think your way out without having access to digital aids! We also found we needed to explore everything, no matter how innocent, because clues are concealed in the most surprising places.
I like the way that the rooms follow a specific theme. Many of the objects used to contribute to the ambiance are there just for decoration, but some are live and help the team to progress the play. It is deciding which ones hold the key to the escape that is the challenge. I also like the way that the team members get their "briefing" before they start their mission. This adds to the realism, and sets the mood for the adventure to come.
One of the activities involved working at floor level - fine for us on this occasion, but I think it would be good to include a reference to any physical challenges that might cause problems for some people. Anything that involves stairs, crawling, climbing, etc. could be an issue for someone with a disability, whether permanent or just temporary (e.g. broken limb). I realise that the venue itself imposes some physical restrictions, but if one of the escape rooms could be all on one level and advertised as such it could be a drawcard for people who would not normally attempt the challenge in case they could not negotiate it. It is important to advertise any possible problems before a team commits to a room as this may influence their choice.
Something I personally had difficulty with was the low lighting in some areas of the rooms as it made it difficult to see tiny numbers which of course were vital to solving the clues! Again, this could be addressed by ensuring any essential clues were positioned so that they could be easily seen rather than placed in the shadow of other objects.
We "escaped" with plenty of time to spare but this time we took the easier option - something we regretted in retrospect as we might have had time to complete the harder challenge after all. There again, we might not. Nothing would have been worse and more shameful than to have gone over time and lucked out. That would not have been a good outcome for a team made up of very determined and very proud people! It will be interesting to see what happens next time when we visit a new room.
The Casino Underground is the second escape room I have done, having done the War Room a couple of weeks ago. Based on my experiences in The War Room, I had an idea of what I was in for and knew I would enjoy myself.
This time our group was 4 adults and ironically the first room in the Casino Underground was the larger than any in The War Room. I enjoyed the group of four more as we were all able to contribute much more and see the folder of codes. It did mean however that there were fewer brains and sets of eyes to find and solve problems. I remembered to bring my reading glasses today and that made it much easier for me to see the digits on the locks. I found that the lighting in the Casino wasn't the best so I would have been lost without my glasses. We were even talking about bringing torches next time we do a confinement room.
We were slow to start the puzzle as the first clue seemed too simple and we were looking for something more. Once we did exactly what the clue suggested we were away. There was a variety of puzzles to solve and it wasn't long before we had opened the door to the next room. The doorway is actually a crawl space so not the best for people with mobility problems or those wearing a skirt. As a bigger person, I was able to fit through with no worries, which was good as we went between the first two rooms several times before finishing in the third one.
When we reached the part where we could choose the basic or advanced level we checked our time and initially decided to do the advanced level. We stumbled a bit with this so decided to go with the basic so that we could get out of the room within the hour. Once we were finished we talked to the staff member, who explained where we had gone wrong and it was so obvious once he told us. I found the staff very helpful both before we went into the room and once we were out. They listened to the problems we had and said they were going to address them so no one has the same issues in the future.
So... the second Escape Room (aka Puzzle Room) I have experienced, and I strutted in there expecting to simply wipe the floor with it. Oh, how the mighty ego doth fall... because halfway through the "advanced mission" we were stuck! Too proud to call for help, we instead opted to switch to the "basic mission" so we could progress. What stumped us? Finding an obvious clue in the second room, and utterly forgetting about a lock we couldn't open in the first room. Upon our exit, when we mentioned to the team member why we switched tracks mid-puzzle, he asked us if we remembered the lock... immediately we all looked at each other sheepishly and admitted that we had indeed forgotten all about it! So, the fault was ours.
Still, we did escape, well ahead of the deadline, and solved half of the clues for the Advanced Mission, so we walked away heads still held reasonably high and happy with ourselves for doing a pretty good job still. A lot of that was that there were some functional similarities between the mechanics of the puzzles from our previous experience, and we had a better idea of where to look, what to look for, and how they may play out as the plot progressed.
I found it a lot of fun to stretch my brain and think laterally when it came to deciphering cryptic clues. I also appreciated how it honed my observational skills - spotting potential clue fragments, locks, etc. Entering the room and spending a few minutes browsing the entire room, noting down all the locks and what they needed to open them, eg. "Here's a lock that needs 5 letters, and another that needs 3 digits, and another that requires a 5-digit code, and..." meant that as we discovered codes, we had some idea where to try them, saving us a lot of valuable time, and stress.
Still, forgetting about a lock, especially one that we spent a LOT of effort trying to solve before we moved into the second zone, was somewhat embarrassing for us all. This is, of course, no fault of the puzzle room - such things as this are not designed to be a cake-walk because no-one is going to want to pay for a 10-minute meander through a puzzle room... they want to get their money's worth by hitting the exit somewhere near the time limit, after all. Well, I have to say, this venue makes very sure you have the opportunity to push yourself, no matter what your skill level is.
This time around, we aimed for a team of four, to see if a slightly smaller crew made for a better experience, and we found that it did. Everyone walked out feeling that they had made a valued contribution towards the escape. No-one said they felt they were dead-weight or felt left-out in any way, and that made it all the more impressive for me and appreciated by us all. So, teams of four seem to be an ideal balance of mental resources, points of view, and division of labour.
Overall, the biggest piece of advise I can offer anyone new to escape/puzzle rooms and wanting to give them a try... if you see an obvious lock, and don't open it before you progress into the next zone... REMEMBER IT! You will likely have to go back and unlock it with a code found later in the plot. The second best bit of advise I can offer is that if you have less-than-ideal eyesight, pack a small torch in your pocket - we found that in both rooms we have done so far, that some of the locks are in shaded areas that really could use extra light to make them easier to get the tumblers lined up correctly.
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