Sunday, 29 December 2019

Enigma Room - Temporal Tangle review

Hey everyone

After having caught up with Leanne and Aaron from Next Level Escape at PAX, I learned that they had purchased the Enigma Rooms business and were busily constructing a new room there called Temporal Tangle. 

Time travel is my all-time favourite theme for an escape room (and Goonies, but that really goes without saying)…

So when I heard about the new room, I was hooked.  Temporal Tangle replaces Enigma Room’s Dr Disaster room.  We checked out Temporal Tangle in late November 2019.  The last time we had been to Enigma Room was when we did their Dr Disaster and In Memoriam rooms back to back in March 2015, so it was something like 4 years and 9 months between drinks. 

The place hadn’t changed much at all.  My team had hoped to go back to Enigma to check out a new room for years, but unfortunately the previous owners never created a third room.  I caught up with Barry and Matt (the then owners of Enigma Room) a few years back at Google HQ (for an escape room in a box event) and they told me that they were working on a third room.  Unfortunately, that obviously didn’t eventuate.

After having tried various rooms designed by Leanne and Aaron from Next Level Escape, we had high hopes that Temporal Tangle was going to be a cracker.  Temporal Tangle was our 133rd room to date and our 85th room in Sydney.  Here’s what we thought:
  • if you have checked out either The Artefact or Ex Libris at Next Level Escape (and you REALLY should), you will know that they are the masters of weaving humour into a cleverly-themed escape room experience.  This was no different at Temporal Tangle;
  • the puzzles throughout the experience were really well done – they ranged from being pretty straight forward to pretty tricky.  There were also a couple of puzzle elements that we had not seen anywhere else before, which is always really nice;
  • I would describe Temporal Tangle as a pretty linear room – whilst there are small sections where players can break out into small teams, the majority of the room sees players working together in a logical puzzle order.  The linear nature of Temporal Tangle makes it a really good option for newer players in particular;        
  • Leanne and Aaron told me that it was a “narrative heavy” room and that is very much the case. There is a strong backstory that players really need to focus on in order to solve the puzzles and progress through the room – this is an aspect that I really enjoyed and which absolutely sets the immersion in the room;
  • the puzzles are a nice mix of high and very low tech, with a little bit of hunt and seek fun for good measure;
  • consistent with Enigma Room’s other rooms, the experience started with a short video which explained the backstory and room objectives;
  • by memory, Enigma Room uses a tablet for communicating and obtaining clues – I don’t think we touched the tablet once we went inside the room, but this method of communication works well;
  • the room also includes a “choose your own adventure” element, which was really cool and pretty unique in the escape room world; and
  • the owners, Leanne and Aaron, are escape rooms enthusiasts themselves.  They are passionate about the experiences provided in their rooms and it shows in the quality of the experiences.  As always, Leanne and Aaron took the time after we finished the room to debrief, to show us each of the elements of the room and to ask us for our feedback.
We always have a great time when we go to Enigma Room (and Next Level Escape) and this was no different.  Temporal Tangle is a fun, time travel themed room.  I think it is suited to players of all ages and experience levels.   

My team have been to a lot of escape rooms and we really enjoyed ourselves.  We managed to escape Temporal Tangle in a pretty good time (I have forgotten our exact time but I think it was around the 30 minutes mark).  So perhaps for more experienced players, the room could have had an extra puzzle or two to extend the awesome fun but we very much loved the experience.  

I’m not sure how to mention one aspect of this room without giving away spoilers, but back when I was at PAX, I was chatting with Leanne and Aaron about escape room ideas that I had and things I really hoped to see one day in an escape room.  Well, wouldn’t you know it, one of my ideas made its way into Temporal Tangle and it’s frikkin' AWESOME.  They also left this note for me in the room:

This was a highlight for me in particular, but I hope other players will get a kick out of it too - it is something that has not been done in any room in Sydney (that I know of) ;-)
Temporal Tangle is definitely a room that I will be highly recommending – it is a particularly great room I think for newer players, and it is family-friendly. 

As always, the best test of a great room is whether all of my team members enjoyed the experience – not surprisingly, we all loved Temporal Tangle.

Where:                    Suite 602, Level 6, 262 Pitt Street 

Duration:                60 minutes

3 themes 

Cost:                       $40 each (4 players) (we played at the kind invitation of the owners)

Overall Rating:       Time travel awesomeness

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