Dr. Disaster

by The Enigma Room

Doctor Disaster, the dastardly dictator of the small but rich island nation of Genoda has built a missile facility away from prying eyes on the dark side of the moon, and is now holding the world to ransom! While world governments scramble in response, you and your team have stumbled across a message smuggled out by an insider giving you access to the launch facility, right here in Sydney! But time’s running out - you only have an hour left to find your way to the control panel and save the world!

 

Oh, and after that you may want to think about getting out alive.

From the Enigma Room website
Dr. Disaster

Review

A note from lexi: pyko and I did this room at different times, so we had two different experiences. We'll note where things differed for us in the review!

Dr. Disaster has a time limit of 60 minutes. pyko kind-of-successfully completed the room with four people with some hints. We say kind-of-successfully because her group took longer than the allotted 60 minutes but had enough trouble with one particular puzzle that one of the game masters had to come into the room.

lexi successfully completed the room with two people, a few oblique hints, and about 10 minutes to spare. (lexi: Meaning, I win! Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah to you, pyko!)

Dr. Disaster, much like In Memoriam, starts off with a video from the eponymous Dr. Disaster himself. It's soon interrupted by a scientist on the run from the dictator, before we were dressed up in suitably island-holiday-style garb and sent into the room itself. As with all that the Enigma Room does, the video was polished, with high production values - and pretty hilarious to boot. It's a fantastic send-up of old-school spy movies!

The room itself looks just like you'd imagine an evil dictator's lab (or bunker?) to be. Equations and other notes scribbled on the walls, a desk with eeeeeeevil plans, a periodic table poster, a locked door to a staff room, and, of course, clues to be found! It took us a while to find our feet, there was so much going on. There was one particular puzzle that lexi's group completely overthought, and was a very smart use of the room's decor. (lexi: It seemed so obvious until it didn't work and we got a hint, after which the actual answer seemed so much more obvious...)

The range of puzzles through the rooms was fantastic and fit the theming perfectly. We had a few "ah-hah!" moments, too. There was one particular puzzle that was brilliantly layered - we had to bring together three different pieces of information scattered through the room (and not all the information was words on paper!) and piece them together to finally get the combination we needed. Let's just say the room engaged all our senses! (lexi: Also, it makes perfect sense that minions pay video games in their down-time! This should totally be a thing.)

pyko's group had problem with one puzzle, in that the mechanical aspect simply didn't work as expected. It came to the point that a game master had to come in and attempt it as well, but in the end it was very much touch-and-go. lexi's group struggled with it too - they started doing it the right way, and when that didn't quite work, attempted a few other wrong ways before finally getting a hint that they'd been doing it the right way at the start! Unlike pyko, they managed to get it working in the end, with a little bit of luck.

We do want to point out that we did think the puzzle was quite smart. It was simply the execution that failed. pyko's group was also given more time to finish the room, which we thought was a very nice gesture. Though, when pyko talked to the game master afterward, they mentioned that they'd used the strongest and best materials they could get their hands on. You can only do what you can do, we suppose! And the rest of the puzzles were so fun and well-executed they made up for the problematic one.

The finale to the room was a heart-pounding scramble that sent us scrambling back through items in the previous rooms. It was one of those scenarios where you think you've solved the final puzzle... then all hell breaks loose. As per every good spy movie!

We enjoyed Dr. Disaster a lot, and aside from that one frustrating puzzle, would recommend it to anyone in Sydney.

Hint system

Excellent. They have a normal and a hard mode. In normal mode, they’ll send hints when they think you need them, and in hard mode you only get hints when you ask for them. We were given a small tablet running their custom-developed app.

Asking for a hint was as simple as pressing a button, and they would then send through a tailored hint that didn’t give too much away. As they were monitoring the room, we did specifically ask out loud for oblique hints. As they told us, the only limit to the number of hints you can ask for is your pride! (lexi: We have none.)

Difficulty

Medium to hard. There's a lot going on throughout this room, and a couple of layered puzzles that aren't as straightforward as you might expect. Also a couple that will fool you if you jump in with existing assumptions because you're familiar with the

Skills

Dial up your senses!

What we liked

The layered puzzle that made use of one particular sense. Or maybe the puzzle that made use of the room's decor. Basically, puzzles.
-lexi

The extra pressure at the end, and the part where you think you solved it, but wait, there's more! And, the sense puzzle lexi mentioned. That was the first time I'd experienced a puzzle like that!
-pyko

Visited on 27 Jun 2015 by pyko, lexi and friends (pyko and lexi went separately)

At a glance

A fun theme that never takes itself too seriously and creative puzzles that make use of all your senses!

Recommended?

Yes

Pros

  • Fun, funny theming that was the cause of more than a few giggles
  • One particularly sense-ual, layered puzzle
  • The room decor and nerdy easter eggs hidden throughout
  • The exciting scramble to solve the final puzzle

Cons

  • One particular puzzle that is very touch-and-go in its mechanics

You will like this if...

  • You don't take yourself or your games too seriously
  • You love the spy/supervillain genre
  • You enjoy rooms that are less linear in the order puzzles must be solved

You might not like this if...

  • You have a particular hatred for 'puzzles' that are actually tasks you need to complete (there is, however, only one such task)
  • You get overwhelmed and frustrated when faced with a large amount of information (ie. clues)

Recommended number

Two to four people. It's certainly do-able with two, and any more than four would probably get too messy.

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