Impressive Set Design
As a group of treasure hunters and salvage experts you have boarded the SS Kraken a sunken submarine. However disaster is at hand, your way in is now blocked and you need to find a new way out…. Oh and the air you pumped into the wreck will only last 60 minutes.
‘Containment’ just outside Worplesdon (near Guildford) has a different set up to any other we’ve seen so far, for one it was on the campus of an agricultural college. I know it’s a pet peeve of the owner but it really does have the feel out a paintball centre, simply because it is in a wooded area with shipping containers – fortunately that is where the similarities ended.
When we arrived we were greeted by the owner and we had a bit of a chat about our experiences and the reason we’d decided to do all three of their rooms at one go. Next was the health and safety briefing, standard stuff, and with that out of the way we were taken to ‘the sub’ to begin our mission.
I’ll be the first to admit that I like padlocks, in fact I love them, but this room took it a bit too far. It was hard to keep track of how many three or four digit codes we were looking for at one point so when we found a code we had a lot of locks to test it in.
I’m not sure if it is because it was the first room of the day, or because we were warming up but this room felt hard. At times we (our team of five) were all standing around at a loss for what to do next, eventually having to resort to a clue or two.
It was nice to see that the puzzles in the room were linked to the theme, ok perhaps not quite how they were used, but they were on theme and didn’t feel out of place.
This was not a search heavy room so if searching isn’t your strong point you should be fine in this one. You do need to be aware of your surroundings and with some automation and tech it isn’t always clear to see what you may have unlocked with your solutions.
Considering this room was actually a shipping container they did a really good job in disguising it. It helps that a submarine is a pretty industrial setting anyway, but it is certainly surprising how realistic it feels when you enter.
I like it when rooms come with suspenseful music to add to the tension, or even ambient noise. This room did have the occasional ping of sonar going off, but it all just felt a bit quiet. Even just adding some creaking noises would have helped immerse us a bit better.
The ending was probably my least favourite part of the room. We’ve done rooms in shopping containers before, and in one of those you entered in one end and left in the other which gave a good sense of a journey. Unfortunately in this room, despite working towards a mission and an exit, it suddenly falls flat when the GM enters the room and tells you that you were successful.
This room trod a fine line between set dressing and red herrings, but generally everything felt like it belonged in the environment.
While in the sub you are limited to five clues, I assume if you need more you’re out of luck. Fortunately we didn’t need that many so we didn’t find out. Clues were delivered promptly via an integrated clue system by Fergus, your teammate on the surface in engineering.
So you knew how much oxygen you had left there was a countdown timer incorporated into a screen in the room.
It seems like this venue caters heavily to corporate events, which is fine, but it meant there were items in the room that looked like they should do something, and we did spend time on them, only to be told after the game that they were for corporate games when they add more info. I don’t mind games that double as corporate team building events, but it really shouldn’t impact on regular players’ experiences so it would be better if they found a way to either integrate or make it clear that they aren’t part of the game.
Team: 5 players, escaped in 49:50
Address: Merrist Wood College, Holly Lane, Worplesdon, Guildford GU3 3PE