Vienna Escape Review: MindX

This is part of a series of articles on games in Vienna – click here for the introduction and links to all the other articles.

Located in a courtyard off the main street, MindX seemed, with the possible exception of a wider than usual array of merchandise in the reception area, like a perfectly normal escape room venue. The GM was friendly and all looked good for the game ahead. The only slight nagging doubt in my mind was that I’d been specifically told that their third (Sherlock-themed) room was pretty bad and full of red herrings that the owner had specifically told someone had been placed there to slow teams down. We’d steered clear of that room but, since we were in the venue anyway, I thought we might as well book out Insomnia, which had been recommended, and Hangover, which I had no information about. Exciting times!

Hangover (1 star)

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. When you’re asked whether you have a working mobile phone before entering the room, you know you’re in trouble.  I’ve been in some pretty bad rooms but this, this was right down there with the worst. Perhaps it was better when it first opened but, on the day we played it, it was so bad that it reached that rare level of terribleness at which you actually start to enjoy it… One of the puzzles involved finding the height, age and other attributes of various celebrities. Another had obviously been broken and was partially removed. Another puzzle was a painful logic one.

I’d gone into this room thinking that Hangover was some reference to the film of the same name. I came out wondering if it was just what the “designer” was suffering from on the morning he created the room…

Insomnia (3.5 stars)

After playing Hangover, we were more than a little suspicious of this game ahead. That was unfortunate, because we got stuck on one of the first few puzzles and, having lost all faith from our first experience, assumed that it was just another terrible room and resorted to brute-forcing a later puzzle for which we could determine some of the answer already. It wasn’t till we had the walk-through afterwards that we found out that the two puzzles we had got blocked by were perfectly reasonable and, to be honest, actually good…

There’s an interesting structure to this game – the theming is travelling through a professor’s mind – and the room does an admirable job of trying to represent the theme as you travel through it, echoing scenes from a couple of films. In the same way that the decoration reflects the journey through someone’s thoughts, the puzzles also change as you progress – starting off with predominantly observation-based puzzles, moving on to (surprisingly) mathematical puzzles and finishing with some references to science. I’m not sure how much the choice of theming/decoration really developed the story, but it certainly made the room more interesting.

I think all the puzzles were soluble, although some of the mathematical ones were surprisingly painful; if you like maths in your escape room, then it’s fine but, if not, expect to actually dislike part of the game.

That’s all on MindX – want to read more about Vienna’s games? Click here to head back to the main Vienna page.

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