A beautiful ending, but logic leaps a-plenty
David, a painter with a lack of inspiration, had a dream that painting had returned to normal for him and he believes that a masterpiece was born from there.
Eager and desperate he went to the DreamGallery to discover the end of his dream and try to recover the memory of this work.
His desire to relive the dream was so great that David signed a deal without reading it. Ignorant of the risk he is taking, he will need your help to escape the terrible fate that awaits him if he fails in his mission.
If there is anything good that has come of the current situation in the world (Coronavirus), it’s that escape rooms around the world are now available to play remotely from the safety of your own home. Safarka is not a company we had heard of but having read a review of one of their physical rooms we thought we’d give their new online experience, Dream Gallery, a try.
We actually ended up doing this room with two other sets of bloggers which was completely unplanned by us but worked out well. It was a surprise when we logged in to see our friends from Escape The Review and Escape The Roomers already in the waiting area waiting for us.
The first thing to note about this experience is, that unlike most online rooms, this one uses Discord. We’d never used Discord before so we had to create an account and download and install it, then try and work out how to actually use it. Once we sussed it all out, we joined at the allotted time and met our team in the waiting room.
It’s also worth noting that each player in this experience gets five lives. That is five lives over the entire hour, not per puzzle. So if you get something wrong once, you lose a life. If you lose all your lives you are still able to watch and help your team but you can’t physically enter anything in the web browser page.
This experience started off by a video introduction which set the scene, essentially someone was having their dreams analysed and we were watching via a camera. The video was in Portuguese but there were English subtitles on it so we were able to understand what was going on. When the video ended there was quite a smooth transition from it to the live actor in the room. The fact that it was the same chap in the room as it was in the video made it flow together well.
We had to have a browser open in another window which enabled us to progress through certain bits of the story online. It was a simple system that worked well and we could drag and drop items within it to interact with them. But it was also a bit difficult to come to grips with what was needed to unlock something in the room, as yes, there were locks in the room, and what information was needed for this external website to continue to progress the game.
The camera view switched between the camera on our avatar’s head and the CCTV camera in the room although we weren’t able to control this, so the behind the scenes game master controlled what we saw.
The experience was as you’d expect where we told the avatar what we wanted to look at and he then investigated. Fortunately, language wasn’t a barrier and nothing got lost in translation when explaining what we wanted.
One issue all of us had was that because they used both Discord and Twitch was that there was around a three or four second lag between audio and video. This meant that we felt out of sync with what was going on and somewhat tainted our experience. Also, as a bonus tip – don’t forget to leave the Discord channel after your game or you’ll keep receiving messages from it!
The puzzles all fitted around one main theme, which I won’t give away and they mostly resulted in combinations which were entered in padlocks.
Unfortunately, we found that some of the puzzles took some rather major leaps and relied heavily on outside knowledge to know the answer. There was nothing in the room that would have pointed you to a solution so we had to do some external googling to find the answer.
One thing that threw us off was that some items were to be used more than once, although we weren’t told this from the start. In the UK, at least, it is an unwritten rule that you use an item once unless told in the briefing. Since playing the room we gather their briefing now includes this note.
We didn’t use any clues so I’m not quite sure how this would have worked, I can only assume either the behind-the-scenes GM or the live avatar would have provided guidance to get us back in the right direction.
It wasn’t quite a clue system, but we often noticed that there were emoji prompts popping up on our screen, mostly to indicate if we were hot, or cold, and occasionally to applaud when we did manage to arrive at the correct solution.
We liked the premise behind this room and felt it had a strong start and a lovely end, but there were a few areas where it needed improving. Normally in a room you can interact with the whole room, but this had areas taped off so we couldn’t explore, yet there were items that looked of interest in them. It wouldn’t be hard to use the whole space or just hide some of these other objects.
After our session, we all gave some feedback to the team at Safarka and afterwards they contacted us to let us know that they have taken a lot of it on board. Your experience will likely be different from ours, and our rating reflects our experience before it was (hopefully) improved.
- Internet Connection
- Discord account
|Value for Money|
Team: 6 players
Time Taken: 40 mins (approx)
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review.