Location: The Rocks, Sydney
Date played: 29 December 2015
Players: 2 (Paniq Room recommends 3-6)
Hints: Unlimited via dumb waiter
You will need your wits about you to escape this prison.
Back behind bars…
“You find yourselves in a cell hand-cuffed and blindfolded, with stifling smoke. You have no idea how you got there. You are locked away from each other, and the situation is not looking good at all. One thing you know for sure: you have to get out! Would you save your own life only, or would you care for your friends as well? The choice is yours, but time is running out, and the guards are arriving soon.”
Paniq Room has a fun, but challenging room with Supercell 117, and challenge us it did! We are lead separately, blindfolded into two separate cells. While we could still talk to each other and pass objects between our cells, being separated interrupted our normal flow. We had to rely on clear communication and great puzzle-solving skills – which would be dandy if we were together. Supercell 117 reminded us of the old saying “two heads are better than one”, which sums us up pretty well. One person’s rubbish searching skills are augmented by the other’s attention to detail, and so on. Except in this room, with only two players, that couldn’t happen. Lousy at looking for stuff? Learn fast!
Challenges aside, it was a really fun and full-on room. There is a lot to do, a lot to look at and a lot of information to process, requiring you to keep a rather fast pace. When we played, the room record was sitting around the 45 minute mark (Paniq Room don’t have a leaderboard but naturally keep track of their rooms), so that might give some idea of how intense Supercell 117 is.
Our advice is to play with 4 people so that each group can work through puzzles together in their cell and have double the searching ability. In fact, this is probably the only room we’ve played that we think would be ideal for groups larger than four.
We are told that as we are locked in a prison, there is no way for us to to ask the game masters for hints (wow, this prison is tough!). However, as we have previously mentioned in our other reviews, each room has a dedicated game master who is watching you via a video feed, and it is up to them to decide when to give you a hint. Knowing the games so well, they have a keen sense of when teams are getting stuck and need a nudge in the right direction, with hints this time cleverly delivered via a dumb waiter and pulley system.
Our first experience of Paniq Room was their Military Bunker room, which we loved and left us wanting to come back to Sydney and visit again. Supercell 117 (and Sen3es) are proof that Akos, Martina and the Paniq Room crew are masters of their craft.
Once again, Paniq Room did not disappoint with their puzzles. There was a good mix of puzzles and while the difficulty was hard, good team work and communication are the keys to escaping the prison (pun unintended). If you were in a larger group, the number of non-linear puzzles found in the room would mean that all of the team members could be working on different puzzles at the same time.
One thing that did confuse us a bit and hindered our clue finding ability was the use of ‘don’t touch’ stickers placed on objects that still needed to be moved and examined. Not wanting to damage anything in the rooms, we always try to be respectful of objects within a room and we feel that having warnings on objects that still need to be handled is a bit misleading to the game play. However, this is a minor concern that could easily be fixed.
Our prison cells were well built and had great theming, and while there were a few red herrings in the mix, these too added to the room’s set dressing. While the room had background music, we wonder whether having background sounds more related to a prison such as shouting or clanging of prison keys would add more to the atmosphere. Overall another solid room from Paniq Room.
The delivery of clues was brilliant: the sound of the dumb waiter rattling up the shaft was a not-so-subtle suggestion that we were heading off the garden path.
Having a dedicated game master meant that we were always looked after and had the best possible experience playing the game. We had a great game master who knew exactly when we were going off track, or completely stumped. A ‘playbook’ of ready made hints from previous games meant that we didn’t need to wait too long after we heard the rattle of the dumb waiter and meant that we weren’t left trapped in the prison.
About Paniq Room
Paniq Room opened their Hungarian doors in 2012, and have since spread to the US and Australia. Paniq Room in Sydney has been part of the family since January 2015, and has a strong local flavour. Located in The Rocks tourist precinct of Sydney, Paniq Room offers three experiences, Abandoned Military Bunker on the Rocks, Supercell 117 and Sen3es.