Smart Room popped up on our radar when they launched their newest room called Other Worlds. When we visited Berlin in February of 2018, we took the chance to check out the company and their new addition to the Berlin Escape Room landscape.
Lets get the Escape Room Review of Smart Room started:
Location: Nöldnerstraße 1, 10317 Berlin, Germany
Games (reviewed): Other Worlds
Games (not reviewed): Mortuary, Secret Room, Casino, Spaceship, Alice in Smartland, Smartbusters
After hearing good things about SMART ROOM in Berlin, we checked out their website in preparation for our Berlin trip. Our first impression was a bit confusing: the website itself reminded us of the franchise Exit the Room and the company also offers a massive number of seven games. With two locations in Germany – one in Berlin, the second one in Nürnberg – we assumed there is a bigger franchise in the background. When we asked our gamemaster on location though, she told us that all the games of SMART ROOM are original designs and there is no other franchise connection. So we can put that question to rest.
Like on all our trips, our time is a bit restricted and we could only play the newest game in their rooster: Other Worlds. They do offer a big number of games though, with different themes. From the classic Casino and Mortuary to Alice and a “kind of” Ghostbuster room, which are all classic 60 minutes games. But like stated before, we set our goal for their newest and hardest room: their 90 minutes game Other Worlds.
We took the subway and walked a bit to arrive on location and faced the first little task: find the right staircase and the correct door. Once that was accomplished, we were greeted by our gamemaster. After we stored our stuff in the lockers and visited the toilets for the last time before the game, we got a short briefing and were also told to select one person of our 4 people group who would be ok to be alone in a dark room later in the game. Once that was done, we started to game.
The world as we know it has changed. We are not talking to each other anymore. We are only online and in the internet. From this moment on, you will be offline.
We are not aware of the people next to us anymore. We don’t see anymore, what happens around us. There are a lot of people who would need our help, but we don’t do anything. Do you know how hard it is to live with a disability? Today you will have the chance to experience it for yourself to understand and to think about it. You will have 90 minutes.
The idea of the room Other Worlds is quite interesting, but do not expect a big story. You will get a short video intro, but in the end, this is a big puzzle / challenge room with a focus on senses and communication under certain limitations. Once the video was finished, we took a little time to observe the room and were surprised by the colourful decoration of the first room. You find yourself in a room that looks inspired by a carnival, which does not really go well with the little intro video you are getting, that has more the feeling that you are fighting against a Hacker organisation like Anonymous. But anyway, the story is not really a big part of the room, so that was not an issue for us.
The rooms are filled with challenges and puzzles, some highly technical, others have classic escape room locks to open. It is a good room for groups, because you will be asked to split up and it is nearly impossible to finish this room if you don’t. The room forces you on certain times to break up in smaller groups and work on tasks simultaneously, which works great and makes every member of the group feel included. There is also a section where one or more people will be asked to enter a pitch-black room. During this section the game works best and really delivers on its premise to show you how it is to work without sight, without hearing or without speech.
On the negative side, there are some tasks in the room that can take up LOT of time, because you have to complete a certain amount of stages. We managed it, but we do see why a lot of groups struggle to finish in time. In the end, we escaped with a time of 86 minutes.
Other Worlds of Smart Room is a really cool puzzle and challenge room. Is it a good escape room? Well – that’s part of a bigger discussion about what you personally like in Escape Rooms. If you are looking for story, immersion and logically connected narrative and puzzle elements, this room will not make you happy. But if you are looking for challenges and puzzle in high volume with innovative and surprising game elements, which also makes you work with you teammates in very interesting ways, this room delivers great.
The room is stacked with mini games, puzzles and tasks, so we would have to lie if we didn’t encounter some problematic ones. There are three tasks in total in the game that are too long, too faulty or simply look like they are broken – one of them is at the beginning, one in the middle and one in the last section of the game: the first one is just too long, the second one is very hard and faulty, while the last one – yeah, is placed in such a weird way that we nearly couldn’t finish it. All of it would be fixable though.
On the positive side, we were really surprised by the amount and the variety of stuff you have to do in the game. Especially the section with the “dark room” forces all the team members to find unconventional ways to communicate and that’s really fun. Our gamemaster Anja was also very nice and attentive, she always knew what we were up to and gave good input when we needed it.
To sum it up: this is a hard 90 minutes challenge room, so come with a bigger group of min. 4 and make sure this is not the first escape room you are doing. It is not a scary room – even the dark room has no scares, but you will need at least one person who is ok with being in total darkness for a longer period of time.
And a little sidenote: part the fee you pay for Other World is being donated to Gehörlosenverband Berlin (GVB), which is a great thing.
Where can I find them?
Have you ever played this escape game or one of their other rooms? Or can you recommend any other location for us to try? Please let us know in the comment section.