💪 Difficulty: Escape rate is around 35% (family-friendly experience).
⏲️ Time duration: 60 minutes limit.
🔢 Capacity: Accommodates 3-7 players. Private booking.
📝 Careful--note potential time difference between your location and the host's when booking.
🛒 If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
🛒 Psst! Use promo discount code "escapemattster" for one-time 10% off! (No commission involved.)
➲ Premise: As the last faction of human race not infected by the global zombie virus, find the cure and save the world.
➲ A respectable remote rendition of an escape room classic, "the zombie room", with useful inventory included.
➲ Beautiful production with gross body parts, quality comparable to theme park attractions or haunted mazes.
➲ Puzzles are mostly non-linear, team can divide and conquer, not very challenging for advanced players.
➲ Features some padlocks, but mostly gadget and tech based, several "follow instructions" type of puzzles.
➲ Entertainment value mainly comes from overall package of story, presentation, reveal, and smooth operation.
➲ Great choice for demographics with little experience, and those who enjoy zombies or a less Disney-esque theme.
➲ 𝙀𝙎𝘾𝘼𝙋𝙀 𝙈𝘼𝙏𝙏𝙎𝙏𝙀𝙍 😃 subjective rating: 💪 3 to 4/10 difficulty (team of 4), 🔢 ideal team size of 2 to 4.
The zombie apocalypse moved surprisingly fast. It’s been months since a nuclear accident created a mutated strain of the common cold, unleashing an undead epidemic that spread like wildfire. Billions are undead, society as we know it is gone, and the last survivors huddle in colonies where every day, the living learn to envy the dead. One by one, the last bastions of humanity are being overrun. But there are rumours of a cure. Wandering madmen, insane with desperation spread word of a research facility that might be mankind’s last hope, hidden in the most frozen reaches of the deadliest place on earth. Canada. You and your team are the human race’s last chance. Infiltrate the polar outpost, find the cure, and release it to save humanity. But be quick. Zombies eat your brain in 60 minutes. …They’re reliable like that.
"The Cure For Common Zombie" is an avatar-led remote escape room taking place in a world where a zombie virus runs so rampant, its prevalence is comparable to that of the common cold. (Hence the name!) Honestly, reality these days isn't that far off--I wouldn't be all that surprised if this becomes the plot for late 2021 if we aren't careful. Seriously, people, wear a mask, and keep a safe social distance of 6 feet or more.
Luckily for us in this particular story universe from Improbable Escapes, a zombie cure is already available. We just have to go grab it, and we even know where it is: hidden away in a secret laboratory (not a surprise) in the most frozen reaches of the deadliest place on earth... CANADA! (Huh, kinda a surprise there.)
Mattster, Alex, and the Review The Room folks virtually hovering over an E.M.P. ▪ Improbable Escapes HQ
For those who are not familiar with Improbable Escapes, "Cure" is an existent physical escape room located at the company's headquarter in Kingston, ON, Canada, and along with "Mining Mission" and "Neverland", these three make up the present core roster of Zoom-based livestreaming options that have received the online translation treatment. In addition to being broadcast through an avatar's camera lens, these games also offer players access to close-up, good-quality photos of sets and props through an inventory webpage. The overall combined experience is pretty darn smooth.
Whereas "Mining" and "Neverland" are undeniably Disney-esque and fairytale inspired, "Cure" is like a third child who's not quite into the same things. For one, he loves his science. He is also into radioactive green slime, and maybe a rat carcass or two thrown in for good measure. Though the stench of the (un)dead is in the air, this experience is no scarier than Party City during Halloween season, (particularly true for remote play), and is still 100% family appropriate. If you want some action with a side of potentially-end-of-the-human-race peril, "Cure" is a fun one to pick.
Now, to be honest, yes, zombie is a well-known trope in the escape games industry, and yeah yeah, if you strip away the playful Canadian humor and clever pun, the premise does reveal the same old zombie-themed room skeleton: Find the cure and save us all. But the pervasive motif is only popular because it works! People love the living dead, and people love being heroes. And if you crave that adrenaline rush, too, you might as well do it with a game that does it well, and "Cure" is a fine example of a common formula reaching all its greatest potential.
The Cure For The Common Zombie (Remote) ▪ Improbable Escapes HQ
First, production. The set looks... Well, it's theme park attraction level kind of awesomeness of a set. Think Halloween Horror Night mazes. The frozen entrance to the hideout is shrouded in white and blue tints, emulating an icy climate. Inside the lab, overall color scheme switches to one of grimy, sewage-like green-yellow. It's gross, it's unwelcoming, and it's appropriate, especially when garnished with random body remains. I saw abundant attention to details, incredible construction and artistry, and a reflection of the talents, efforts, and dedication from the arts and effects team.
Equally enjoyable are the puzzles hidden within the gorgeous set. While there is an overall linear progression of storyline, most puzzles found in the same area will be non-linear. With the inventory's help, teammates can efficiently work on different puzzles concurrently. This structure will be familiar for experts, where several parallel paths would converge to a final showdown, one of my personal favorite formats. (The organization just hits all the right spots for me!)
The beginning parts of the game features padlocks more heavily (so look for those combo code clues), but game play gets progressively more tech-heavy as you advance towards the finale. In either case, challenges are more than aptly themed, with recurring motifs of chemistry experiments (my ever trusty table of elements, we meet again!), apocalyptic survival (gotta be your own handyman at the end of days), and random body parts (this one's pretty self-explanatory)--as they should be in a desolate dystopia overrun by Walkers.
This metal cabinet and I have some things in common: cold to the touch and dead inside ▪ Improbable Escapes HQ
The puzzles are entertaining, but it's also fair to say they lean on the easy end of the spectrum. While a handful of conundrums are smart, some are as simple as following the directions--though they do make good sense within the context of the narrative. The main appeal of "Cure" does not derive from extra difficult brainteasers to make you feel super brainy, though "ah-ha!" moments certainly still exist. Rather, it's the presentation, the reveal, and the overall excitement of seeing everything happen, and running around semi-frantically that makes the experience satisfying.
And though I wasn't the one doing the actual running, and some hands-on puzzles will undoubtedly have more impact in-person, our avatar made sure to emote her sentiments of urgency clearly across the web, so we could live vicariously and technologically through her. It may not be as good as physically being there, but it'll do for now, considering me being 2000+ miles away, and the world still suffering from a raging pandemic and all. Hey, at least we cured one virus today.
"The Cure For Common Zombie" is a respectable rendition of a classic, "the zombie room", and due to its beginners-friendly puzzles, it makes for a great recommendation for patrons with little to some experience. Seasoned players who are fans of the genre will still find it delightful, despite its being an easier mission. No matter the case, be sure to protect your delicious brains from the undead, because you may need them for more escape room puzzles in the future, yes?
And to live. Yes, actually, that'd be the main reason.
The Cure For The Common Zombie (Remote) ▪ Improbable Escapes HQ
★ Severed body parts, human or otherwise, should always be examined carefully... no matter how gross.
★ Science nerds and BINGO/lottery lovers will get a HUGE kick out a particular machinery. (I just so happen to be both!)
READY FOR FUN?
"The Cure For The Common Zombie" is available for booking HERE.
If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
Psst! Use promo discount code "escapemattster" for one-time 10% off! (No commission involved.)
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. IEZombie.