It’s good to be free
“You are taken to Yuri’s cell where the deal guard has set up the perfect escape scenario and bought you time to find the code to the map and escape. Can you make it? Are you able to find the code? Will you dare to trust a stranger? It’s time to decide..
The ladies had decided to go off on an adventure to explore the city of Athens, so James and I decided to play a few games by ourselves and G-Factor group was the chosen location (thanks to availability and price). We had already blitzed our way through ‘Through the Mirror’ – and thoroughly enjoyed it, so we decided to give ‘Freedom for Sale’ a try. We were actually under the impression that this wasn’t available in English, but apparently it was recently translated and made playable in English so we decided to give it a go.
G-Factor Group is an interesting place but it has a lot of space for hosting large size groups. I’d imagine if you’re in Athens and you want to host a party or team building event then this would be the perfect location. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing a jukebox in the reception area but unfortunately it wasn’t turned on so I didn’t get a chance to put on some tunes.
After a short break between games, we were ready to head to prison. Our GM gave us the mission briefing. Basically, we needed to escape prison; nothing new there. Interestingly, this was the only game at G-Factor where our host disappeared and then came back in character (even if it was just a Russian issue hat and coat). He proceeded to give us the most friendly possible Russian guard welcome and then escorted us into our cell.
I’ll say it now, this wasn’t a game we particularly clicked with or enjoyed, but the strongest aspect of it was definitely the set design. There was some clever use of design, particularly early on to make this feel more like a prison cell and there was a good sense of adventure as we progressed through the various spaces – with a good amount of back and forth too!
I can’t recall any ambient noises or music in this game other than the street noises outside, although the occasional police siren in the distance certainly helped with the immersion! It’s also worth noting that to get to this game you have to go up a flight of stairs and there is an additional ladder in the game that you will need to go down.
The set, at least the early part of the set, felt well built and like it was going to be very robust, but the last space we encountered felt a bit more rushed and like it was quickly put together. Most of what we found felt like it belonged, although perhaps one or two items blurred the lines between set dressing and red herrings. That being said, the rooms we encountered followed the story and made sense in that respect and the escape at the end felt like a clear ending.
I started this game with great expectations and the first few puzzles lived up to them, unfortunately the longer we stayed in this game the more we found ourselves getting frustrated and wanting the experience to be over. I don’t know if the puzzles weren’t great puzzles, or we just didn’t click with them, but I can’t think of any puzzles that we thought were stand out puzzles and many felt like they were just taking large leaps.
Although this game has been translated into English, we did find that there were one or two occasions where the translation wasn’t perfect and it led to some confusion. We did feed this back to our GM so I think there’s a good chance it will be rectified soon.
The puzzles involved; searching, observation, physical manipulation, logic, and one puzzle that I’m not sure how to classify and I’m still not sure how James solved it – he tried to explain it when we were in the game but my brain was having none of it so I’ll just leave it there I think. We found one puzzle in particular stumped us for longer than it should, but once we got a little assistance it became clear, so I would say it probably was fair, we were just burned from the earlier translation issues and this dented the confidence in the game.
We needed much more help in this game than we would like to admit, and I’m positive that without it we would never have managed to escape. Our GM was attentive and did provide us with clues, using a smuggled in phone, when needed. Again the language barrier proved a bit problematic here so some of the clues actually confused us more than helping us.
One problem with the phone was that it needed a pin code to unlock, and unfortunately we would often forget the code, which meant having to solve the puzzle again to get the code. Fortunately our GM could feel our frustrations at this so helped us out.
I’m not a huge fan of prison rooms in general but this one felt just a bit too rough around the edges. We spent more time being frustrated and lost in this room than we did having fun. It’s nice it is available in English now, but it’s not one that we’d recommend to others.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 1hr 7 mins
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