Impressive Bomb – Weak Room
A rogue military outfit have stolen a nuclear device, in your attempts to retrieve it you have found yourself locked in the room and now it is ticking! With the help of a bomb disposal specialist on the outside can you defuse the device before time runs out?
Due to the remote location of Containment, when we made the booking to try out all three games in one day, we asked if the company would be willing to condense the bookings to avoid having to kill time walking around the grounds of the college campus where the venue is located. They kindly agreed, and so as soon as we successfully escaped The Sub, we proceeded directly to the container next door for the Bomb. After another quick health and safety, and room specific brief, we were locked inside with our mission to defuse the bomb clear.
The space felt more spacious than a shipping container has any right to be, and the team quickly set about exploring. Sadly, this room just didn’t live up to our expectations from the Sub; it was fun to play, and while there are no obvious problems with the game to my eye, it just lacked any sort of wow-factor.
Locks, locks, locks… so many locks! This possibly falls under design, rather than puzzles, but even Gord, who loves a padlock more than I, agrees that there were a great many combination locks, with little indication as to which code might open which lock. That being said, even with an overabundance of padlocks, they did actually fit into the context of the story for the most part, and the methods by which one arrived at the combinations, were varied enough that it kept the room from being stale, and included some logic, codebreaking, and a little bit of searching; the main issue was just that there were so many padlocks, I found it became a bit tiresome as I like a game where things behave in unexpected ways (but that’s a personal preference).
The centerpiece of this room is, without a doubt, the very thing that you’re there to defuse. This isn’t the first time our team has been called on to defuse a bomb, but this is certainly one of the most impressive looking ones we’ve come across, and really the most impressive aspect of the game. The surrounding set decor worked well, with crates, tarps, and camouflage – the sorts of things one might expect to find in the secret lair of a rogue military outfit.
There were few areas to be explored, you are in a shipping container after all, but even that worked well with the theme, and with plenty of wide, open spaces, it never felt cramped, so it’s certainly well suited to larger teams and the corporate market. The game unfolded in a non-linear fashion, with each puzzle linking back to the central task of defusing the bomb, which was a real bonus for a team of five, as it enabled us to divide and conquer, and no one ever felt left out of the action, as they could simply start in on another challenge.
Containment have opted for one of the more standard clue delivery systems, sending them through the screen within the room, but it’s not your GM delivering help; it’s your colleagues in bomb disposal outside, at a safe location, making the clue system integrated, and your GM an integral part of your team, allowing for a more immersive game.
While we don’t often require clues, one of my pet peeves with clue systems in games is limiting the number of clues that will be provided. I understand the logic behind it, I’m sure GM’s don’t want teams to just demand a full walk through, but you just never know what will click with a team, and what won’t. However, in terms of a limit to clues, five is pretty generous, so most teams probably don’t need more than that. And while we didn’t require much help, we did find ourselves at a bit of a loose end every now and again, and in need of a clue or two. These were always promptly delivered and were just enough to get the team back on track.
Unlike The Sub, which had extra puzzles that were only activated for corporate groups, everything in The Bomb had a purpose, and we didn’t find ourselves distracted by other elements in the room that were not part of our game. Perhaps this is because the game is already well-suited to larger groups, and doesn’t need any extra tasks added to keep larger groups busy, but it did give the game a slightly better flow.
Team: 5 players (defused the bomb in 35:04)
Address: Merrist Wood College, Holly Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford GU3 3PE