#52: Arctic Escape (Tromsø) – John Winter's Office

A well-designed room with smart puzzles and a good atmosphere created from off-the-shelf items.

Rating:★★★ (Recommended)
Location:Tromsø
Team:Rhubarb Rhubarb
Date:22 December 2019
Hints taken:3
Time:51m17s
URL:Arctic Escape

Front & Briefing

Arctic Escape claims to be the world’s northernmost escape room and deep into polar night with snow on the ground and streetlights on at 13:30 this was easy enough to believe! We were greeted by an enthusiastic GM and after a quick chat discussing how we wanted our hints, the briefing took the form of a video shown in the lobby before we were led to the room. In short, the aim was to find incriminating evidence of suspected criminal John Winter in his office before he returns in 60 minutes’ time.

Theme

The room was a pretty standard office theme with a couple of surprises, but executed to a high standard and with plenty of novel uses of off-the-shelf props.

Puzzles

A good mix, including some we hadn’t come across before, which is all the more impressive given the fairly standard theme and tech level of the room. I think everyone in the team came away with a favourite puzzle afterwards too.

Hint system

Hints were displayed in text on a screen that also showed the countdown timer. We had agreed with the GM beforehand that we’d like to be asked before getting any hints, and found the “hint available” text appearing on the screen with an audio cue every so often a nice way of going about it. We took 3 clues; one was a search fail, the other two were logic steps we hadn’t figured out but probably should have!

Finale

No finale to speak of, but it was clear when you’d finished because of finding the evidence mentioned in the briefing.

Debriefing

Seemingly commonly for rooms outside the UK we weren’t greeted by the GM until we got back to the front desk. They ran through any questions we had, then sent us on our way; we had our next room with them (Carla’s Secret (#53)) booked in 40 minutes’ time!

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