From Company: ⏲️ 60 Minutes | 💪 6/10 | 🔢 2-6 Players (Private Booking) | BOOK NOW!
A Note: As of 02-06-2021, this room is closed for set design and puzzle revamp.
An improved version will be released. Please check company site for details.
Eddie O'Brien bought a plot of land in the hills of West Clare. Against the advice of then locals, Eddie chopped down an old Hawthorn tree to make room for his cottage. His neighbors warned him that the Hawthorn tree was a Faerie tree and a curse would befall anyone who cut it. Since then, every generation of O'Briens to live in that cottage has suffered a sudden and unexpected death. It happens always on a night with a strange and sudden storm, and the locals report hearing the wailing of a woman in the wind. You have 60 minutes to find a way to appease the Banshee before she takes your life!
"Banshee's Curse Live" is one of the three avatar-led remote escape rooms available from Escape Rooms Ennis located in Ireland, with all three being online conversions from their already existent in-person counterparts.
"Banshee" explores the Irish household folklore of the banshee, a female spirit who warns about the death of a family member by wailing, shrieking, or keening at your front door. In any case, it sounds like a positively aggravating experience for the eardrums, so all the more incentive to break this curse.
While I feel the idea of escape in time--or die--has been done to (wait for it) death, haha, look, a word play! (Because you know die and death? Anyway.) While this idea has been done to death, the inclusion of banshee is a first I heard of, and therefore reasonably fresh for this overseas patron. Prior to play, I was quite intrigued to how this would play out.
Sarah, the business owner and our avatar, is very transparent about the quality of her creations. Since Ireland has a considerably smaller escape room market, she acknowledges that the typical production value of Irish escape games may not match those from a more robust and competitive landscape, such as USA's. But she assures me they're still fun to play!
And well, Sarah tells no lie.
"Banshee", at first glance, did lack that special oomph to make it a visual allure. The space was furnished like a normal residence, with cabinets, lamps, and a few armchairs. While a Jesus painting and a clover leaf drum added a unique cultural flavor to the space, it still largely resembled an ordinary building, and fell short in truly becoming the cottage in the story.
Though, it's worth noting, the room's overall quality wasn't bad. While Sarah's advice to not over-anticipate is wise, "Banshee" reminded me a good bulk of American rooms that choose not to prioritize looks over puzzle contents; and this class of rooms can certainly still offer charms of its own in other ways.
Despite a more humble appearance, "Banshee" did offer hidden secrets and spaces for players to explore and discover, which I always appreciate, and honestly fully expect in modern escape room standard. As the plot advanced, more of the cottage property was unlocked, and there's no denying that there's always joy in venturing into darker (and darker still) pathways, eager to find out what would come next. The later contents also displayed significant production value improvements, particularly making clever use of lighting level to immerse, inspire, and impress.
Puzzles-wise, there were lots to do; but for a team with 2 experienced players, little challenge stood in our way to victory. There's a good mix of variety. First, there's the OG stable of escape room puzzles--padlocks. Number and letter collecting to be expected! Even if standard, one particular combo-solving involved a tad of culinary procedure, and somehow I thought it was deliciously fun! Food always does wonder, in and out of a kitchen.
A bit of scavenger hunt was also thrown in, though our avatar did most of our work, as remote searching just does not quite translate through the web. While we would most definitely ransack this room at record speed in person, it was strangely difficult to execute the same via only verbal commands. There were also other tech-enabled steps, which unquestionably kept the experience far from being monotonous.
There was, however, a handful of puzzles and clues that didn't necessarily fit naturally into the narrative of the banshee tale: random lists of numbers and letters, for example. Mostly gen-1 format in puzzle design, these were generic puzzles devoid of a committed theme, and could arguably be put into any room and still work--which isn't ideal.
The occasional, sudden scream effects from our messenger of death sent shivers down our spines with great success, though they gradually died off. I would've enjoyed her on-cue wails to be featured more frequently and prominently, which can double as a time remaining reminder--imagine, atmospheric and useful. Something to think about, owner(s)!
The finale was both appropriate and poetic. For a premise aiming to escape death, the ultimate solution came full circle, sending a hopeful message about the proper balance between opposing forces. It's a satisfying note to end the game.
Last but not least, Sarah who emits an overwhelmingly and infectiously positive energy, was a joy to work with. Her upbeat attitude would complement well with groups small or big, and especially helpful for teams with less experience.
No death heralding needed for this guy. At least not today, Miss Banshee! 🙂
Is this right for me? Consider this game if...
➲ You appreciate Irish folklores, a very mildly creepy theme, and the active defiance to the herald of death.
➲ You haven't played escape rooms for long, and have not yet seen many "standard", commonplace puzzles.
➲ You enjoy games that focus on the puzzle aspect more than production, for instance, Shagadelic Super Spy.
➲ You have a group of 4 or more to split the cost, and want an affordable option backed by respectable puzzles.
Ok, how many teammates should I round up? 💪 On company's site, difficulty is officially listed as 6/10.
🧐 ...However, based on my team of 2, it subjectively felt like 4/10.
🔢 Based on the above, I would recommend a team of 2 to 4, experience dependent.
All right, let's do it! What should I do next?
🛒 Book your game right here. (PLEASE GIVE EscapeMattster.com A SHOUTOUT 🗣️ FOR BEING HELPFUL!)
➲ For remote experience, please note potential time/date difference between your location and the host's.
➲ Be sure to have all specifications installed prior to game. For details, check right here.
⤻ Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes.
⤻ All media are sourced from and credited to rightful contents owners. No copyright infringement intended.
⤻ In certain cases, media materials are made available and used under fair use doctrine of copyright law.
⤻ Special speed code for on-site search: EREBanshee.