Open Mind – 11S

11S (Game duration 90 minutes)

Fury team: Nush KrastevaIvan Minchev and Nadezhda Danabasheva

Fury time: 80:00 minutes

Date: February 5, 2024

There are rooms that lighten you up. You exit with joy in your heart, a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of completeness, and a smile on your face. “11S” is not one of those rooms. Although we managed to “escape,” solving all the puzzles, the exit is accompanied by a sense of doom. We walked towards the car in silence, each in their own thoughts, trying to process the information and emotion that hit us.

“11S,” as the name suggests, tells the events of September 11 in the USA. I’ll bend the rules a bit and tell you about the end of the game. After completing everything, you enter a museum where there is a story about how the room was created and why. You realize that these people not only speak with many survivors from that day but also take real stories and weave them into the game, in the form of puzzles and decor. It’s good that you learn this only at the end because otherwise, I don’t know if we would have had the strength to play this room. It’s heavy.

In addition to having items from that day, the stories and the fate of people from whom they have taken permission, with a bit of interpretation, to incorporate into the game simply blew my mind. When I made the reservation, they wrote to me that we should move with caution and that wearing a protective helmet is NOT OPTIONAL but mandatory for everyone at all times during the game. Later, I understood why; I hit my head at least 16 times, and if I didn’t have a helmet, the game would have ended differently.

Things are done as close to reality as possible. We climb a real fire ladder. We work with real devices when entering a burning building. The sounds are horribly loud and realistic. Anxiety overwhelms me, not only because the noise pollution is unbearable but also because the fear creeps into my brain that if I’m in this situation, I won’t have a choice whether to demand silence or not. Sirens, people, machines, fire… it’s overwhelming.

We climb and crawl in the debris of rooms, walls, and vehicles. We save a paramedic (the story is about a real Spanish citizen; even his real name is used in the game), and without going into details, we finally carry him out from the scene on a real stretcher from a real ambulance (now I know how).

A very powerful room. I don’t know if you want to play it, but I would say that it is not only educational but also very humbling.

Undoubtedly, it rightfully earned 47th place in Terpeca for 2023.

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Open Mind photo