Escape From The Surprise Party

by InsideOut Escape Games

You are invited to a surprise party to celebrate the Bear's birthday! A fabulous party is planned and you're invited, but don't tell the Birthday Boy, because he doesn't know!

Join us to celebrate! In order to meet the other guests and make it to the party, you will need to solve the mysteries and puzzles around the bear’s flat, which is filled with weird objects. The clock is ticking and only you can reveal the twists, find all the clues, solve the puzzles and get out of the flat in time to join the party!

From the InsideOut Escape Games website
Escape From The Surprise Party

Review

We weren't able to complete this room with two people in the given time of 60 minutes, though there was one puzzle that we wasted far too much time on because we were, in a sense, lost in translation. We were close, but no surprise!

First of all, we want to do a call-out to our lovely host Sacha. After we played through The Blocks at InsideOut, we loved it so much that we wanted to do a second room - but our flights were the next night! She was kind enough to offer to come in early the next day and run the room for us, as all the existing time slots were already booked. Sacha, we think you're awesome!

Our first impression of the room was that it was utterly, utterly charming. If you play this room and don't fall in love with it at first glance, you are utterly soulless. The story is that you and a friend are planning a surprise party for Mr. Bear, but you've managed to lock yourself into the apartment. You have to hurry up and find the code to open the door, so your friend can come in and help decorate the apartment before Mr. Bear returns in an hour.

The place was decorated like a quaint, cozy apartment from the 80s, and the opening video of your friend at the door set the mood perfectly. There were also bits of birthday decorations through the place, as though you were partway through the set-up. It was really refreshing to be in an escape room that had no base in horror whatsoever.

Much like InsideOut's other room we played, this room was deliberately low-tech, and it fit perfectly. There was a wide variety of locks, and quite a few that varied from the standard key/combination/slider locks. What we loved was how part of the puzzle was working out which clue was for which lock, and the additional layer of puzzling how how the clues should be put together to get the final clue to open the lock. Much like The Block, the layered puzzles in this room were head-scratchingly excellent, and should make the day of any puzzle fan out there.

The only issue we had was with one particular puzzle. As InsideOut's rooms cater for quite a few different languages, it wasn't surprising that one of the puzzles ended up stumping us because of that. We couldn't find the letter we needed on the letter combination lock and assumed we had to do something else instead, but if we'd realised the language difference we would have solved that puzzle far earlier.

The ending, too, was just as charming as the room itself. Although we didn't finish, there was still a surprise waiting for us (not just for Mr. Bear, it seems!).

We would highly, highly recommend this room for anyone in Helsinki. Between its brilliant puzzles and its charm, it would be a huge pity to miss it.

Hint system

Excellent. We had verbal hints from our host Sacha through speakers in the room. She knew exactly when we needed hints, and the kind of hints we needed—the clues were never too obvious unless we hit too many dead ends and were on the verge of frustration, or our time was running out. She also played to the theme, with references to how Mr. Bear did things or that she was helping us because he would be back soon!

Difficulty

Medium to hard. The layered puzzles add a level of trickiness to solving puzzles, though never to the point where you're too frustrated. That said, there was also one particular puzzle where we were hindered by language differences.

Skills

None required

What we liked

Maybe it's shallow of me to say this, but I fell head-over-heels in love with the room decor and atmosphere. 10/10 would live in Mr. Bear's apartment any day.
-lexi

The variety of puzzles and a particular puzzle that opened to something totally unexpected!
-pyko

Our recommendation

You will regret it if you're in Helsinki but don't try this room out.

Visited on 03 Apr 2015 by lexi and pyko

At a glance

This is a room where you know you're in for a treat the moment you step inside. The opening video and decorations are charming, and the puzzles do not disappoint.

Recommended?

Yes

Pros

  • Multi-step puzzles that are challenging yet logical
  • Absolutely charming and immersive room theme that's played out in the puzzles (who doesn't love a good surprise party?)
  • Hosts who clearly love puzzles and watching their guests fumble through
  • Multiple "Ah-hah!" moments when solving puzzles

Cons

  • One particular puzzle that might stump native English speakers for a bit longer

You will like this if...

  • You want to play an escape room that is charming instead of scary
  • You love layered, nuanced puzzles
  • You have a soul

You might not like this if...

  • You want straightforward puzzles where solving the clue in front of you equals solving the puzzle
  • You are soulless

Recommended number

Three to four. There are quite a few puzzles, and it's rather rushed with any less.

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