By Snow & Saol
Super Game Colors is the first adventure that we are going to live at the L'atelier des énigmes. This venue, which won the prize for best escape room provider at the Escape Game Awards 2017-19-20 (knowing that the Awards didn't take place in 2018) made our mouths water as soon as they received this award and I must admit that, when we planned to take a little trip to Geneva, we couldn't help but add a few rooms in Annecy (not to say at l'Atelier des énigmes). Moreover we were very lucky, because during our visit they were opening their 4th adventure: Celestia.
But hey, let's come back to Super Game Colors.
For those of you who know us: you're probably already asking yourself questions, aren't you? You are aware that Saol is color blind and that we would normally have made a big detour to avoid a room that was called "Color Nightmare" just a few months ago.
And indeed, we called the place to see if not seeing the colors could be a problem. We were told that no, so we booked for 6.
L'Atelier des énigmes is a matter of family and/or friends. We do not find here any GMs who are not interested in escapes or who would have the status of selfentrepreneurs, working for several escapes at the same time. No, here everything is homemade and everyone is involved in the creation. We have the impression to be received in the homes of passionate people and we love that in the industry. The name "atelier des énigmes" (puzzle workshop) is perfect.
For our first adventure, we are welcomed by Emilie, one of the managers of the Atelier and as such, one of its heart and brains . She invites us to settle down on sofas. The reception area is separated in 2 by a heavy curtain. The idea is nice. Sitting with us, she explains that this room is different from what we have probably played so far. (Something often claimed and rarely true; but here it definitly is)
And indeed, let's forget the principle that in an escape you have to escape in 60 minutes. Here you have to solve puzzles in 60 minutes. I'll try to explain the concept inspired by the video games that the creators are used to play and enjoy a lot.
There are 8 "kinds" of puzzles, all represented by a color: so I will simply call them colors from now on. Let's take the red puzzles for example. They are composed of 8 different levels. 8 to 10 puzzles in 8 colors, so more than 64 puzzles and one hour to solve them. Well, it's not that simple. To validate a color, you have to solve at least the first 4 levels. You say to yourself 6 players, each one sticks on a kind of puzzles and then the fastest ones do the 2 others, but no! You can't access the colors whenever you want.
For example: You have access to the blue puzzles once you have validated the first 4 levels you can either finish the level (noting that the puzzles continue on the same principle, but become more and more complex) or you have access to the red and green puzzles... etc. The goal is to gain a maximum of points, beware, clues on demand cost points.
It should be noted that if you manage to validate at least the first 4 puzzles of all colors you will have access to the key that will get you out of the room.
Well, once the concept is understood we enter the space in which we will evolve the next 60 minutes.
The game itself:
We will evolve in an abstract space composed of lights, buttons, elements to solve the puzzles and a screen to follow our progress, etc.
This room is really different, because here there is no real history or immersion through the decor or musical atmosphere. It is a cerebral room, beautiful and neat in its realization, but above all cerebral.
The escapists all have their strong and weak points. Some like logical puzzles, others like immersion, others like the decor, others like searching, etc.
So this room will not satisfy everyone. I think you have to know what you're getting into and keep an open mind.
Clearly, pure logic puzzles are not my forte, but don't worry, there are also puzzles for those who prefer action or observation, for example, and you know what? Even scavengers will benefit from them, but the reward is not what you expect. However, I enjoyed the moments of success and I was delighted with each validated puzzle: adrenaline and dopamine guaranteed.
The puzzles are quite different, most of them even very original, but there's no downtime here, you have to think all the time. We lost the notion of time, because indeed there was a lot to do.
What's also interesting is that it's one of the few rooms that, like a video game, can be replayed in order to improve its score more and more.
One can start a long and complex discussion about whether or not this is an escape. In any case we don't really find the typical codes of an escape. We would be more inclined to call it a "riddle game", but it's an interesting challenge for those who like riddles, manipulations and especially reflection.
Ah yes and as far as Saol is concerned, his color blindness is quite pronounced and when we were solving 2 colors at the same time he was lost. So, know that there are no color puzzles in itself, but the colors still play a certain role. Depending on your color blindness it can be more or less complicated, or not complicated at all.
This room is the first room that we decide not to rate, because it simply doesn't match our rating criteria. Trying to force us to put it in our scale would clearly put it at a disadvantage and it deserves better than that and then you surely know that the marks don't represent everything / a lot for us.