A room of two halves
You have snuck in to the laboratory of world revered scientist, Professor Wotamesser, in the hope of finding the ingredients needed for your practical jokes.
You accidentally knock over a bubbling flask, releasing an evil smelling gas into the air. Oh no!
Will you be able to find the antidote before the fumes finish you off and will you complete the science experiments and escape before the professor returns to discover who has messed up their life’s work?
You have 70 minutes. The clock is ticking…
Day nine of our escape room roadtrip started off as a three game day at Escapologic in Leicester, and before we knew it, it ended up as a seven room day as we added on all of the games at One Way Out in Oakham. Having just played Robot’s Return, Rhyming Room, and Framed, our final game of the day was Gas Alert.
I believe that Gas Alert is one of the first games that One Way Out put together, but we had been hearing good things about it so we knew we had to book it as we were there anyway. Once again, we knew nothing about Gas Alert as we hadn’t read the story, but we were eager to get going and give it a try.
Our host, Tessa, did another stellar job with the introduction to the room, and gave us one final warning before entering the room. Of course, the first thing we did? Not heed that warning!
Covid-19 Procedures: track and trace was available and plentiful hand sanitiser was available to use. We did see another team in the venue, but we were never close to them. We wore masks and staff also wore face coverings, although we were encouraged to remove masks for photos, and to wear props (we played in May 2021)
First impressions of Gas Alert were good, the space was huge and instantly reminded me of high school science lessons (I think that’s a good thing?). After not heeding the warning that Tessa had given us, we suddenly found ourselves in a race against time to complete our mission and escape. This was a great start to the game and instantly gave the perfect mixture of fun and theatrics.
Literally everything in this part of the room felt like it belonged and nothing felt out of place. We’ve played a lot of ‘lab’ themed rooms yet this one still managed to feel different to the rest and certainly had puzzles we had never seen before.
Gas Alert was a game of two halves and after completing everything in the lab, the game took a massive turn, both in terms of the set design and the puzzle styles. I’d say we flew through the first half, and then crashed and burned in the second. Whoops.
We played as a team of two, but this game will have no problems at all fitting the maximum number of players and there should be enough puzzles to keep everyone busy.
Although Gas Alert reminded us of our school science classes, everything needed to solve the puzzles was within the room, so no outside knowledge was needed. Saying that, some of the puzzles used real science which was pretty cool and made it feel all a bit more real.
There were a lot of puzzles in here and the gameplay was very open so if one thing didn’t make sense you could move onto something else, which we did often. Couple that with decent signposting and the puzzles were a joy to complete.
There were a lot of different puzzle types; searching, observation, wordplay, maths, logic and even some that were very sciency! I’m not sure if we got complacent but early on we found the puzzles easier than what we encountered later – but that could have been fatigue and heat exhaustion.
If I had to find flaws with the puzzles it would be that one could have gone horribly wrong for us if we weren’t stopped by a very attentive GM. We were going to try something that we had seen in other rooms, and if we had, we would have screwed ourselves over.
The other puzzle we didn’t particularly like was one that we encountered later in the game. This puzzle style is one of our least favourite as it can be hard to differentiate what we need. This is especially the case in a time of Covid when senses are perhaps not what they once were, and people (like us) are dubious about performing this task during the pandemic.
So I don’t finish this section on a low, there was one particular puzzle that stands out in my mind as being particularly clever. Again, I can’t reveal too much about it for fear of spoiling the fun, but I’m pretty sure when we solved it we both audibly said ‘oh that’s cool!’.
As this was one of the earlier games at One Way Out, I’d guess that the clue system wasn’t high on the agenda when making it, and that’s totally fine. If we needed a clue, we simply had to request it and our GM would chime in over the speaker system to get us back on track.
Tessa was obviously keeping a close eye on us as she swiftly stopped us sabotaging our own game, and gave clues very quickly when we needed them.
Walking into Gas Alert felt like a blast from the past, all it was missing was a working bunsen burner (but it’s probably a good thing if didn’t have one).
This felt like a game of two halves for us, we loved the first half but struggled in the second. Either way, this is a solid game with a massive space to explore!
Team: 2 players – escaped in 52 mins
Address: ROL House, Long Row, Oakham LE15 6LN