Having read a rather daunting introduction on The Panic Room's website; taking into consideration it's 16+ rating, the plethora of warnings including the games use of gore, nudity, morbid themes and even cautioning use of claustrophobic passages - we entered this escape with hesitant curiosity.
You and your friends wake up inside a gloomy and grim basement. You have been chosen as the next victims of a deranged killer with an obsession for dolls and mannequins and known for stripping the flesh off of his victims and much worse. His collection grows day by day and night by night. Will we be become his latest victims? Can we find a way out where so many have failed before us?
And so it began...The timer on a clock, which upon on its final tick would seal our fate, had begun to count down.
We were quick to observe how exceptionally immersive this game was in comparison to others we’ve played to date - Impressively, we all came over with a genuine sense of dread over what might happen!
Having eventually freed ourselves from a certain obstacle of constraint the puzzles that followed were both creative and original - and given our predicament - surprisingly a lot of fun!
Having passed through the imperceptibly claustrophobic area, which you'll find referenced on the website, an array of puzzles unlocking various portions of the room ensued, ticking all the boxes of what was fast becoming the perfect escape game.
The room itself was superbly executed, jarringly sinister and brutally intense, making it easy to become fully immersed in the plot. This is further assisted by the somewhat disturbing video feed of Danny; your time-keeper, clue giver and sole survivor of the group before you….
Danny managed to escape the killer’s evil clutches yet he remains trapped in the fatal lair! Having stumbled upon a control room he’s discovered all of you. He’s able to communicate and desperate to help - but don’t forget, he is still in immortal danger himself.
The atmosphere created is nothing short of fantastic; the blood curdling theme, the clever use of decrepit props, the unsettling games, the gruesome execution of The Dolls sat unnervingly in the room - Danny’s desperation on the video link - all of these elements only serve to heighten your primal sense to survive.
The puzzles themselves were by the same token inspired; some lateral thinking, others logical, and on occasion just horrifyingly brilliant! Whoever came up with the ideas for this room had a vision that was realised. This was a dark humoured, adrenaline-fuelled juxtaposition of Macabre terror and delightful charm.
The twists and turns all exhaustingly imaginative left us feeling witless yet accomplished… and get this, we survived!
Having lived to tell the tale, we highly recommend it being well worth a visit.