A wonderfully-themed game with superb attention to detail
Date played: 26 August 2021
Team: Jamie, Harri & Meghan
Time to escape: 39:29
I’d played a few rooms at AdventureRooms Cardiff and had a good time, so having a go at their Bridgend venue was the logical next step.
Its 1942 and you and your platoon are an advance party of the allied forces, the enemy are in full retreat and have just abandoned their woodland stronghold containing precious intelligence which will lead to the end of the War.
A bomb has been set to self-destruct in one hour to ensure the allied forces do not triumph. Can you stop the explosion and end the war……. before it stops you?
For what was a relatively small space, AdventureRooms managed to pack multiple rooms into this game, creating tight-knit corridors in keeping with the claustrophobic bunker theme.
The side effect of this was that the space was a little cramped in places. A team of 2 or 3 would be fine, but larger teams might find it a little cosy.
The game is set during World War 2, and the whole build was well made in keeping with this theme. There’s some really nice wartime paraphernalia to heighten the immersion, though players should be aware that the game does contain Nazi iconography in parts of the room.
As befitting the theme, almost everything in the room is low-tech. We used a stopwatch to record our time rather than have a screen, and hints were delivered through a postbox in the room. This made the experience much more tangible and helped with our suspension of disbelief.
There’s a decent mix of puzzles in Sabotage, and included a few puzzle types I’d not seen before, which was refreshing.
You can expect a blend of searching, path finding, plotting and deduction puzzles, with a bit of good old fashioned bomb defusal for good measure.
We came up against a couple of bottlenecks during the game that had the three of us crowded around a single puzzle, which stunted our game flow a little. Coupled with the smaller physical space, larger teams might find this particularly frustrating.
As I mentioned in my review of The Mask, the time spend away from escape rooms during lockdown has dampened my observational abilities. On a few occasions we’d completely missed some not-too-opaque clues and needed a hint.
Sometimes (literally) taking a step back to see the bigger picture is all you need, and that’s on me.
We’d accidentally solved the first puzzle without using the clue, and we just kind of blundered into it. In fact, we initially thought we’d broken the room! That was the only case where the signposting wasn’t too clear, everything else in the room was clear and easy to follow.
As I said above, the lo-fi approach in keeping with the theme extended beyond just the decor.
We uses 2 hints, which were written and deposited into mailboxes from outside the room. The hints were pre-made, which doesn’t allow much room for customisation, but I don’t see that being an issue for players.
Our host Bella was friendly and fun, and we had a good chat after the game. They even took us back into the room to take a look at the thinking behind one of the puzzles, which was nice to see.
We had a lot of fun at Sabotage. It’s wonderfully themed, solidly built and with a good mix of puzzles, despite some issues with game flow.
The lo-fi approach to theming the on point wartime aesthetic really sold it for us. I’d recommend you pop in and play it if you’re in South Wales.
27 Caroline street,
Prices start at £16 per person