Good, but not for us
A version of the normally dormant Chronos virus has mutated, becoming deadly, resulting in the death of any living thing it comes into contact with. This pandemic has decimated the human populace and plunged modern society into chaos. After several failed attempts at finding a cure it is now time to activate the last resort.
The Powers That Govern, a mysterious secret society, have enlisted you to pilot a machine developed from the collective research of some of the most brilliant minds in history; Da Vinci, Tesla and Einstein. This machine is the final contingency, it will shift you through the voids of space and time… Your destination, Victorian London.
It is here that you will find patient zero, the only known fatality caused by Chronos up until it’s mutation in the present day. The research from this rare case was once lost to time but now you have the power to get it back and find a cure. Change the past, fix the present and give humanity a future.
Our third and final game of day nine of our escape room road trip was to be Chronos. So far at Escapologic Leicester we had already successfully completed Reactorvate and The Gateway, so the only one left was Chronis (Magnus was broken so we’ll have to go back another day for that one).
Escapologic Leicester are in a great location in the centre of Leicester and the building they’re in is perfect for escape rooms. I was very surprised when we entered through the very grand doorway and then descended straight down into the basement through the massive entry way. Inside, there is a waiting area and plenty of space to get lost in the cavernous expanse of it all (the toilets were nice too).
Alex had already been our gamesmaster for the previous two games and he was to draw the short-straw again, as he was to be our gamesmaster for this final game. It seems like Escapologic’s Nottingham location gets all the attention so we actually knew very little about any of the games in Leicester. Alex took us down the corridor and then proceeded to give the health and safety briefing, followed by the room specific briefing – finally we knew what we had to do!
Covid-19 Procedures: staff wore masks and there was plenty of sanitiser to use. Normally there were lockers and a waiting area but these were closed off. We didn’t see any other team when we were on site. We were told we could take masks off in the games, but we wore them at all times (played May 2021).
After reading the description for this game you’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a simple laboratory setting, and yes it was a lab, but it was so much more. A nice take that we haven’t really seen very often was that Escapologic made this a Victorian laboratory, so it had a really cool Victorian steam-punk vibe to it.
The start of the game was very theatrical, as was the ending – it’s always good to start and end strong. Once you’re in the game there is a lot to take in, but once you work out what you need you will quickly distinguish what is set dressing and what is needed. There isn’t a lot to explore in terms of space, Chronos is really about the puzzles and the fun mechanisms that you get to play with to solve them.
Chronos was certainly an impressive space and the attention to detail was typical of Escpologic. Really, the only thing we didn’t particularly like was that there was an old puzzle in the room, this puzzle still had markings on it, but apparently it was decommissioned a little while ago, but there was no way to tell. So we used a fair amount of our time working out what to do with it, when really it was obsolete – it basically became a red herring.
Although the game was pretty and the start and end were strong, we really didn’t click with it. That’s not to say it’s a bad game, as actually, it was probably a good game, it just wasn’t one we particularly enjoyed and we left the game feeling rather frustrated by it.
Once you get into the main area of Chronos, the game is very much nonlinear and puzzles can pretty much be solved in any order – makes it great for larger teams as everyone can work on something. Although the game only really had perhaps five or six puzzles, some of them were quite complex and required some outside-of-the-box thinking to solve them.
Chronos did have a variety of puzzle types; observation, logic, wordplay and lateral thinking. It’s also worth noting that colours played a part in them, so if you’re colour blind, bear this in mind. You’ll also need to accept that some things may be used more than once and in multiple ways – it took us a long time to work this out!
There was also a bit of searching required, not a lot, perhaps just one bit of searching, but it was certainly quite sneaky! Most of the puzzles resulted in part of a combination for a lock, but this was no ordinary lock and credit to Escapologic for avoiding a modern padlock.
For us, other than not clicking with the puzzles, we found the biggest let down to be the clue system. There seemed to be two clue systems, one subtle, and the other less so. The first clue system just seemed to add to our confusion so that didn’t help, and then the second clue system was essentially our GM shouting in through the gramophone horn in the corner of the room. The problem was, that with all the noises going on in the room we just couldn’t hear what was being said, so we had to have it repeated many times.
I’m not sure how many clues we needed for this room, but at a guess, I’d say a lot. In fairness, Alex did try his best to subtly clue us, but on the day it just wasn’t to be.
Sometimes we just don’t click with a room, and that doesn’t make it a bad game, our brains just weren’t wired correctly for this game. It was a very pretty room and the puzzles were tactile and interactive, but so far, Chronos is at the bottom of our Escapologic list.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 47 minutes
Address:2B St Martins, Leicester LE1 5DB