A fun room from start to end
After being told his granddaughter Lily had only days before the virus would end her life, Dr. Hector Stein took matters into his own hands to find a cure.
This came as a risk though, as he knew that his actions could kill him so driven love fuelled madness, the crazy scientist found you to experiment on.
Can you find the antidote in one hour to help you escape?
Maidstone happened to be en route on our way back after a long weekend away, and as we were short on time, we opted to stop off at the Extraction Room, as Extraction is their only game at present, so there was no temptation to make a day of it and spend multiple hours puzzling away.
We arrived bright and early, with just enough time for a stroll around Maidstone before arriving at the Extraction Room. We met our hosts, and owners, outside the venue as we arrived. After a nice chat, with two people who clearly have a passion for what they do, it was time to be kidnapped by a crazed scientist.
Blindfolded outside the themed door to Extraction, we were led in, with only 60 minutes to escape.
Extraction provided a variety of puzzles to keep us occupied, with some search elements thrown in. The majority of these puzzles resulted in padlock combinations, but all were logical and flowed well from one to the next. We did go into the room knowing that there would be moments of low/no light – generally not my favourite thing. Ordinarily, I would be quick to criticise my least favourite escape room tactic (“difficulty by darkness”), but here it was a deliberate choice, and it was used to great effect, where these moments served to enhance gameplay, rather than simply making a puzzle more difficult because it can’t be seen.
The game was free from red herring puzzles, and there was plenty of sign-posting to help prevent teams getting distracted. That being said, I did find a number of locks that weren’t in gameplay. As these were all keyed locks, located on small cupboard doors that were flush with the wall, I can only assume that they were there for reset purposes and to provide access to various elements behind the scenes, but I often found myself looking for keys, wondering if we would need to open them, particularly at the start of the game.
The start of Extraction was unlike any I have experienced before, and was certainly disorienting. So disorienting in fact, that I walked around the room holding the very item we needed to progress in my hand for what felt like an eternity, but was probably only five minutes. But that’s a lifetime in an escape room.
From there, gameplay progressed in a relatively linear fashion, so for us, it was beneficial to play as a smaller team, however there were opportunities to branch off as we progressed through the game. We travelled through the game, experiencing three very distinct sections of the space as we made our way through to discover the antidote. These distinct spaces all had very different feelings, and given that Dr Stein is a mad scientist and you’re trapped in his home, it is actually perfectly feasible that each section, though very different, fits perfectly into the context of the game. This not only kept things interesting as we progressed through the game, but also gave the game stages, culminating in a clear, solid ending, which also adds a little bit of adrenaline if your time is getting short.
In terms of accessibility, it’s worth noting that there was one point where teams will be required to crawl, and it’s a rather tight space. I couldn’t see a work around for this, but it’s certainly possible, so teams for which this a concern should get in touch with the lovely team at the Extraction Room before booking.
Clues arrived over a speaker system, either as a nudge in the right direction, or in our case, when we requested them. We generally only needed a bit of help when we failed to search thoroughly, or forgot how to spell, and clues arrived promptly, along with periodic time reminders.
We had the privilege of having both owners on site, running our game. They were clearly paying attention, and were ready to jump in when we finally admitted to needing a clue or two. On top of that, they were just generally nice, and easy to talk to.
I was impressed with Extraction. It was a fun, and interesting If the first game from the Extraction Room team is anything to go by, if they decide to expand and design more games, I can only wait with anticipation to see what they come up with.
Team: Two players
Address: 44 Lower Stone St, Maidstone ME15 6NA