London – AIEScape (Archimedes Inspiration) – Leo’s Path

I don’t even know what to say about this game. After reading reviews, I was promised not just an escape room but an experience too. Indeed, that was exactly what we had here.

But I am going to try and express my feelings as best I can without spoilers.

Leo’s Path is an adventure where you try to find out what has happened to a lost brother of a young woman who has died. ¬†You explore a beautiful seaside themed adventure which surpassed anything I had heard. It comes from a Chinese story about family, and this really hits home in places.

It’s one of the first games where I never felt truly rushed, even though the timer was easily visible. Usually in this team, there are a lot of references to the clock or shouts for “time checks, please!”. I think we mentioned it only once here, too engrossed in what was unfolding ahead of us. There was one tense moment, and a couple of jumpy ones too as things happened around the room, but nothing distracted us from the path for too long.

The puzzles fit well into the theme and the story, and although linear, I don’t think this loses anything here. It is kind of necessary for you to be led from puzzle to puzzle, and I don’t remember encountering a single traditional padlock. It is a well automated game, and although it has to have technology powering it, is is not visible or detracting from the experience. There are some lovely carvings and atmosphere, but I am not sure I would class seagull cries as music, thankyou very much!

It is hard to say much more about the contents without spoiling the story, and no one really wants me to do that. It is much better to experience for yourself. The ending part is truly beautiful, and the hosts make sure you get to see the whole story. I’ll admit I was crying at the end, truly moving. I am not sure that has happened before in the venue history, and it certainly hasn’t happened in any games. I’ve played several themed and story driven rooms, but nothing quite like this.

Our host was friendly, willing to chat and share his very amusing stories too, as well as talk with us about other rooms we had played and were planning on visiting. He was also prepared to talk about the game we had just gone through, explain any parts that we wanted clarification of, and give us the history behind the story far beyond what was actually given to us at the end.

I am very interested in playing the other games, both active and planned. It’s great to have such a venue in London, where the story is what matters, and escaping isn’t really the plan. It may put competitive teams off, but then I don’t think this is the best place to go for that. If you are prepared to put that aside and just be carried along for the ride…you won’t be disappointed in my opinion.

 

 

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