Just before the second lockdown happened last November, one of the last physical games I got to play was the latest at Escapologic, Immaterium (located in the space that held Crypt-IC). Officially licensed by Games Workshop (also based in Nottingham) and set in the popular Warhammer 40,000 universe. It has just been opened as a remote option (alongside Contraption and Heistakes). As with their other rooms, the audio and video were excellent throughout (we had one video cut-out but it was quickly back). Telescape was used as the inventory system and this was probably the lightest use of Telescape I’ve yet encountered. All it was used for was a map (to give us some special awareness) and just to give us a clearer view of a couple of the puzzles, that’s it. From memory, a couple of puzzles have been tweaked for the online version but it’s pretty much the same room as the in-person version.
There aren’t many puzzles, the few you encounter are relatively straightforward and shouldn’t pose too many problems. However, this isn’t a room you do for the puzzles, this room is all about the experience. The theming and scenery are off the chart, this is one of the most immersive rooms I’ve been in (and I’m including rooms like Cosmos 05 in Athens when I make that statement). If you’ve played Warhammer 40K (I haven’t, I’m a D&D fan) then I imagine there are a bunch of Easter eggs waiting to be discovered. There’s a lot to see and look at and a wide variance of spaces to explore. The art and design do show through the video better than I thought it would, I know the avatar wears a light rig that can be used but I couldn’t tell you if or when she did use it, the picture was clear throughout. Special mention also for the soundscape that plays over Zoom, it really helps with setting the scene without being too intrusive and (unlike some I’ve heard recently) does not break the immersion of the room. The Avatar (Jess) was excellent throughout and would happily engage with our randomness (long live the Emperor!)
Is this an escape room? Technically, yes it is, you have to escape from the given scenario and you can only do that by solving the various situations you encounter. But this is something else, this is an experience like something you might find in a theme park. There’s a lot of tech in this room, rooms open, control panels work and there’s a bunch of stuff that I won’t spoil here.
It not without its issues though, when we were there in October there were problems with the sound system that they were still trying to fix and on this occasion playing remotely, the final door failed to open correctly. The ending to this room (in real life) is something else and like nothing I’ve encountered in any other room, speaking to the GM afterwards they had talked about including it but it doesn’t really translate and I can completely see why.
In conclusion, this is something else in the world of Escape Rooms, this is immersion rarely seen coupled with effects that wouldn’t look or feel out of place at Walt Disney World. You don’t need to be a fan of the game to enjoy the room but fans should (I hope) find an awful lot to like here as should non-fans.