Masternet 9000 – good or bad? You decide! No pressure…
The Masternet 9000 (a rogue artificial intelligence) has staged a mutiny of the Bewilder Box Initiative. As per Dr Wilder’s orders, you and your team must journey deep into it’s cognitive training facility solving puzzles and utilising advanced field equipment to stop him before he escapes. Are you ready to use your mind and save humankind? Is your grey matter up to the task? Is The Masternet good, or is he bad? You have 60 minutes to find out… good luck.
Having completed the other room at The Bewilder Box the night before, The Bewilder Box Initiative, we had a rough idea of what to expect from this room and we were certainly excited by it. Like their other location this room is located above a pub which is good if you wanted to grab a bit of food/drink before or after your game.
After spending 45 minutes in the pub (we were early) and soaking up the typically unique Brighton atmosphere, our very much in character GM came and greeted us, this introduction to Professor Tummytubes was exactly what we were hoping to see.
The Professor took us upstairs to the briefing area where we were able to dump our jackets and bags and then he proceeded to play a video that explained what our mission was, and also that at the end we had a decision to make that could affect all of mankind forever.
With two security passes in hand we were taken into the room and our first encounter with the Masternet 9000 (Norman Lovett from Red Dwarf fame) started us on our path to saving the world (hopefully).
Liz and I have been discussing this room and trying to decide what our favourite puzzle was, but we can’t seem to come to a consensus as there were so many good ones. There is an element of searching required but not at the level you’ll see in other games, and the other stand out difference that you don’t really realise at the time is that there are no padlocks in the room – impressive.
We were able to split up and work on different things which helped move us along and as a team of two we were kept busy for the entire time.
The puzzles in this room were very good and although we had seen one or two of the concepts before in other rooms, there were puzzles here that we had never seen before. Most of the senses were called upon for this room and they win the prize for the most creative use of sound that I have ever seen.
There is one thing you have to do at the end of the game that you know is coming and the room has been building on it since before you even got in, yet when it comes to this moment it is one of the hardest decisions you’ll ever have to make in an escape room. At the climax of the game, Liz and I had to make our decision and seal the fate of the world. Once our decision was locked in, a video played and showed the repercussions of our choice, fortunately we chose correctly and the world was saved. Of course we’ll now never know what would have happened if our decision went the other way, but let’s just assume it would have been bad.
It’s so hard to write a review about an escape room without giving away any spoilers, especially when the puzzles were so good that all you want to do is talk about them. But you’ll have to take my word for it on this one, the puzzles are great, challenging, achievable, and fun. At the end of the game the GM asked if we had any questions and I had but one question, ‘Can I do it again?’.
Despite being a pretty small space above a pub (smaller than the other room) they have done a good job with maximising it and they have crammed a lot in. Each room that you enter feels distinctly different from the previous, and each one has different types of puzzles to really get the grey matter going.
The Bewilder Box don’t seem content with just creating creating good escape rooms (which they have done) and really want to get you immersed in their world. For the most part they achieved this, however there were two points for me where the immersion failed slightly, but I’m not sure this is their fault. Being above a pub there is obviously a good amount of traffic and noise and we were able to hear many loud people somewhere outside the room, but worse than that is when I was working on a puzzle and the main door was flung open by a women who I can only assume was looking for the toilet. Obviously health and safety plays a big part in this so the door can’t be locked, but something to politely tell people not to enter this room may stop this happening. It is minor but it did break the immersion for me.
The GM was wonderful and didn’t break character once, but he wasn’t delivering clues and nudges, no, it was D.A.V.E. We had encountered D.A.V.E in our previous room and as before, he was on the ball with clues which were delivered promptly, and occasionally he found ways to interject a bit of humour into the experience.
Both the rooms at The Bewilder Box are more than just escape rooms, they are very much live experiences where everything works together to immerse you in their world. Each time you think you know what to expect they do something different, wonderful, and unexpected, even the customary team photo is not just a regular photo, but a 360 degree photo – not my most flattering of photos.
Team: 2 players (saved the world in 48:23)
Address: The Brunswick, 1 Holland Rd, Brighton and Hove, Hove, BN3 1JF