It was time to save a life. The woman was in a coma after a car accident, and it was up to us to save her. To do so we would travel into her memories to find the most precious of them all, her subconscious protecting it. Would we bring her back to reality, or would she remain In Memoriam?
The Enigma Room, 602/262 Pitt Street, Sydney
2-6 players allowed
How We Played
15 July 2017
33 minutes 15 seconds
A couple of years ago, The Enigma Room was at the forefront of escape room technology and experience. The industry has changed, with technology now commonplace and sets becoming more and more elaborate. In Memoriam cannot escape its office block trappings, and the architecture limits the opportunities for direct immersion.
Nevertheless, In Memoriam was one of our favourite rooms of the entire Sydney trip, a perfect example of how strong ideas and a thoughtful approach to narrative and puzzle design can coalesce in an exemplary experience. The greatest strength came from the innovative approach to narrative, with one of the most meaningful and emotionally resonant stories I have seen attempted in an escape room. In Memoriam tells its narrative with affection and heart as you delve into the patient’s memories.
Though the office venue limits immersion, In Memoriam sucks you in in other ways. A well-produced introductory video begins the experience, and flawlessly integrated tech draws you into the narrative world. Extraneous systems such as hints remain unobtrusive, with a tablet providing these if required. In Memoriam is a room of ideas, avoiding distraction and demonstrating its strength with clever, appropriate puzzles with actual significance to the narrative.
It feels a little cheap to break In Memoriam’s puzzles down to the basic tasks they require of you. The dry list is very much what you might expect: observation, association, math. Where In Memoriam shines is in the integration of the narrative and puzzles. In a way, the skill In Memoriam test most of all is your empathy, asking you to think carefully about the patient’s experiences.
Many of the puzzles are satisfyingly physical and draw on careful use of technology. The tasks required relate to the memories uncovered. The final few puzzles feel particularly appropriate.
Though I did feel like the room was a little easy and could perhaps have included a few more tasks, apparently my team of two escaped in the top 1% of times ever, so chalk that up to our experience on the day. According to our gamemaster, some teams find In Memoriam extremely difficult. Perhaps the empathetic component to some of the puzzles challenges some more than others.
The Bottom Line
In Memoriam is not as flashy as some of Sydney’s more recent constructions, but it still holds its own with excellent attention to narrative experience. The puzzles and tasks it asks of you interweave with that narrative. Furthermore, it includes some magical moments and real heart.