So much fun in such a small room!
With the recent rapid increase in the capabilities of artificial intelligence most homes have adopted some helpful AI to assist in tasks around the home.
venus represents the latest in home assistance technology and is the first product that claims to have been created with a human-like personality to help integrate venus into your family.
Reports have recently been coming in of some bugs in the venus system. As part of the tech team, can you investigate?
venus. always on. always listening. always there.
It had been nearly 18 months since we were last at Guildford Escape Rooms (now Paradox Parlours) to complete ‘The Case of the missing Gun’ so this visit was long overdue. Having just completed three games at Containment Zone and eaten a sufficient amount of cake, we felt prepared for Venus.
After climbing the stairs to the fourth(?) floor, we were given a warm welcome by the team and we all seemed to forget why we were there and chatted for a little while about escape rooms in general; we could have chatted for hours with these guys.
The health and safety and room briefings both took place in the room by our enthusiastic GM, Steven. Normally we don’t like it when you take bags into the room with you as they often get in the way, fortunately that wasn’t an issue here thanks to a certain design choice in the room.
Like a number of rooms now, the main room was never locked so if you needed to go out and go to the toilet or simply get some fresh air, you could leave at any point (but the timer wouldn’t stop).
The aim of the game was to stop Venus spreading, so it was time to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and we were all outta gum….*
As a team of five in what is arguably a small space you would think that we would have struggled for things to do, but without realising, we separated into two mini-teams and worked on different puzzles.
This room wasn’t at all linear so we were able to work on whatever tickled our fancy, while still working towards the same goal, and all the puzzles were logical, fun, challenging, but achievable.
As much as I enjoy a good search, it was nice to do a room that didn’t make puzzles harder by hiding things in an obscure location or turning the lights down stupidly low.
One more thing that you probably don’t appreciate at the time is that this is a padlock free room. I love a good padlock provided they fit the theme and in this setting they really wouldn’t have, so credit to the team for doing something different.
In terms of actual room design, it’s not going to blow you away as it is basically just a living room, however it was a damned comfortable living room and I enjoyed my time in it. Saying that, the way you interact with Venus and solve the puzzles is a master stroke and was something we’d not seen before.
Ignoring the fact that this is ‘just’ a living room, the room design is exceptional as it is so much more than this. Everything in the room feels like it belongs and how you interact with Venus is truly something special.
I don’t think we have ever laughed more in a room than we did in Venus, nor have we potentially had more fun. They’ve designed Venus to be more than just a random voice, she is an integral character to the room and took our experience to a whole new level.
Sometimes it can be the small things that make a difference, pen and pencil for writing notes and no red herrings (clear set dressing). Also, considering this room has been around for a couple of years, I didn’t see any signs of wear and tear, they’ve obviously got a good maintenance schedule here and take pride in their rooms.
It’s worth remembering that Venus is not there to be your friend so she will do everything she can to slow you down and distract you, our advice? Just go with it, you never know what she may try.
While this was a good room with strong puzzles, where it really excelled was the interaction with Venus. If you look at our rating system you will see that we rate the GM (it covers many areas but you can see that in our Rating System page) and although we were interacting with Venus, she was obviously controlled by our GM, Steven.
Steven read the room perfectly and took our entire experience to the next level. He was listening, watching, and then issuing instructions to Venus that had us laughing throughout the experience.
We didn’t need any clues but if we did I have no doubt they would have been delivered promptly (from Future Tech HQ) and in a way that gave you just enough info to keep you going.
We enjoyed The Case of the Missing Gun, we loved Venus. This room instantly went into our Top 10 and it will be there for some time to come. Exceptional work Guildford Escape Rooms!
*Bonus points if you get the film reference
Team: 5 players
Address: Jeffries House, Jeffries Passage, Guildford GU1 4AP