I will be completely honest, i knew nothing about this room before I was dragged to Bermondsey to experience it. I hadn't heard of it and I didn't even look at the website because, well, I forgot to look, so I went into this room completely blind. We arrived at the gate to some complex site which had many different buildings with many different names. We were let in and walked over to the building but once we arrived at the building we couldn't work out out how to get to the room. It took us a good 5 minutes to see the sign pointing to the room. Either it was a really bad start for us or the sign posting wasn't that great. I'm going to go with we weren't paying attention. Anyway, we found the door and descended the stair case and were greeted by our host. I think her name was Yan but i'm not 100% on that so i'm sorry. We were a little early for our room so we sat in the reception area. The group before came out and the room was being reset and our host took our group pictures and played us the video explaining the room. She then led us to the door, told us to line up, put our hands on each others shoulders and close our eyes. She stamped our hands with something and then led us into the room.
WARNING: Spoilers Ahead
The countdown finished and we were allowed to open our eyes and we were in a spacious room. It did feel like we were on a spaceship but at the same time there wasn't much in the room. There was a screen with a joystick, a computer drive, a robot behind a glass door and something that looked like a Stargate gate. We were told the game was a linear game which means solving one puzzle and then the next and so on as the story progresses So we started with the first puzzle which we got quite quickly if I do say so myself and then moved on to trying to open the gate/door thing. This is where things started to go a bit downhill. I got quite quickly that we had to work out the number sequence and between us we worked out it was the seconds that would give us the right code but the directions on how to work out what the code actually was required us to think about time and dates and know leap years, which was infuriating. By the time we solved the puzzle and opened the door our frustration levels were quite high and the room was only going to get more frustrating.
Our next puzzle required us to open the terrarium. This meant turning some dials to make the animals do something. We knew exactly what we needed to do but it took us what felt like forever to get them in the correct places. We worked out very quickly that only two of the team should work on this at a time to save on confusion which meant the other two were just stood around waiting. This puzzle, however, was time consuming and annoying as hell because there was no way to know if the dials were in the correct place as all three had to be in the right place in order for it to open. There was no lights or sounds to tell you that that particular dial was in the correct place. Eventually we solved it and obtained our frog. By this point we were all highly annoyed with this room.
Our next puzzle was to change the dna sequence of the frog. You had to use the giant stylus to tap the DNA strands to change them. The puzzle concept was really good and I enjoyed the idea but I felt like the execution wasn't great. It was very slow and sometimes didn't react to use. At one point the lights didn't appear on the DNA sequence so we had to start the whole thing again. Once we figured out how to do it correctly (Again there was more to this puzzle and required you to dive deeper into the clues), we opened up the next part of the room. This room required us to fly the ship through an asteroid field. There was three controls in the room so this meant one of us was just sat around doing nothing again.
A short video sequence played out and we were told to board a ship that we found floaing in space that was supposed to be the crew that was sent before us that had gone missing. We came out of the console room and the ship had be turned into something slightly creepy with darker lights and bloody blankets over some bits. I liked the transformation, it was fun. We then found out the ending to the story.
HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD
It turns out we were clones of the people we just found on this ship. The twist was pretty obvious and I guessed it quite early on. I don't really remember much about the finale of the room unfortunately but I do remember having to redo the DNA strand.
Anyway, we did manage to escape this 100 minute room in 95 minutes but I don't feel fulfilled about it like I have done with other escape rooms. The puzzles felt difficult for the sake of being difficult and the depth of them just became frustrating which made our experience not as enjoyable as it could have been and the fact that a lot of o r team were just sat around or stood around didn't help. I can not fault our host. She was lovely and welcoming and I feel bad that I'm not so positive about the room.
Anyway, for more information about A I escapes you can visit their website here!