Lord Of The Rings – Mines of Moria
I didn’t play this room. When I started booking rooms for our trip to Romania, I fond that there is a small disclaimer on the 60 Minutes site that says, “In this room, a squat walking is mandatory”. Knowing my effective sportsmanship, I gave up and sent the team without me. Later on, I found out that you can play the room simply by crawling, and it wouldn’t be the first time I crawl in the rooms on my four, but unfortunately, the disclaimer just gave me a reason not to go.
After we left Sofia while it was still dark outside, we drove for more than 6 hours (in horrific bad weather conditions, the car looks like an alien from all the snow, salt and ice it went trough), we arrived in Bucharest and have exactly 4 minutes to park the car and to get in.
The entrance to the room is slightly imprecise. The group is going through a kid’s birthday at the peak of the festivities, unfortunately on the way to the reception. After a little bit of jumping over people and pushing around some stuff, we come up with reception where a couple of young guys without much enthusiasm or introduction to the story have a standard conversation with us, how many rooms have we played before and so on. They leave us at the end of a long corridor, where we should find a way to get into the room, so the puzzles start from here.
Most of the puzzles in the room are mechanical, which is great, we love mechanical puzzles. Everything even remotely connected with mazes and balls, beams, guiding lights and so on fire us up and usually it is almost impossible to fail in such a place. The mechanical puzzles are also easy to have feedback on when you have solved them the things that suppose to happen – happen. This contradicts the information given at the beginning of this post, escape from this room proved to be impossible for Fury. But we will get to that later.
The atmosphere and interior of the room support the theme, we are in a mine. All rooms are of the same type, feels like you going trough one underground gallery to the other, everything is covered with moss. This seems to limit the possibility of a WOW effect. There is no psychological effect from getting into the next room, a sense of progress. All puzzles are engaging, except the one where one of the team needs to stand with his hands up for more than 5 minutes in order to the team to move forward, there is a way to edit the puzzle and to make a stand for the object without someone to play candlestick.
The biggest downside in this room is that there is no way for the whole team to play all the time. Even worse, there are two game lines, one of which contains more than 50% of the puzzles and the other one having some puzzles and a lot of standing at the same place for a long time. This is not cool, someone has to be fucked, and there are a lot of conversations afterwards in order to figure out the gameplay by memory and to understand the solution to the room.
Unfortunately, escape from the mines is tied to a single item that has proven to be a weak point for the team. During the game, the object (namely the one and only ring) was lost. After the time was up, and the game master interfered, we learn the hard truth, the ring must be found (for God’s sake!) because they really have only one ring at their disposal, and the next group is on the way. After searching the premises, the ring was found in a gap between the doors between two rooms. We saved the next group game, but the feeling from this room remained a bit … bitter.
In conclusion, dividing the group is interesting mechanics + one of the largest, massive mechanical puzzles are located in this room. It is not the most interesting room that you can visit in Bucharest, but it’s certainly not the worst either.