Dr. Brown Boyd’s Nervenheilanstalt
Locked up in an old insane asylum with an hour to get out. The lights are flickering and we hear strange noises. Were the strange experiments here medically sound, or part of an occult ritual?
It’s a classic theme, and Nervenheilanstalt does it well. This room takes full advantage of being in an old basement, creating a delapidated environment, true to our expectations of an abandoned mental hospital.
Before the game started, we were told “nobody will touch you” in response to our question about actors. I think this insinuation added an extra edge to the game. There weren’t actually any actors, but I suggest telling your friends there are.
The puzzles start off physical in nature, as we were all locked up. From there we found a mix of classic puzzles, mostly well integrated into the theme. With only a few exceptions, they also made sense. It’s a series of thing we’d legitimately want to do to unravel the mystery and escape.
We encountered one searching puzzle that threw us off for a while. We couldn’t find one item, which turned out to be hidden behind another puzzle. It’s a case of mismatched expectations: as we found all other items by searching, we assumed that’s how we’d find the last one would as well. I think it’d be worthwhile changing the progression here, as it’s the only significant blip in the experience.
I like that the game creates a genuine horror feeling without being too scary. It’s safe for timid escapers without risking any heart attacks. The atmosphere is superb, with decorations, lighting, and sound being used harmoniously. I’m happy to recommend Dr. Brown Boyd‘s Nervenheilanstalt.