LockDown Escape Rooms 2 – The School of Burning Souls – Escape Room Athen
This review is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Athen / 3 – 5 Spieler / Price: 28 – 22 Euro per Player / Rating: 9.5
Location: Paleon Patron Germanou 12, Nea Ionia 142 31
Date of Play: 18.10.21
We’ re going back to school! Even though this sentence brings sweat to the forehead of many people, my anticipation was great. The combination of school and horror is something I’ve wanted for a while, and now I’ve finally found it.
The special feature of the game is that the briefing is completely omitted. By opening the door, we were indirectly prompted to stow our items. However, there was no actor waiting to guide us into the game, instead we had to work our way around on our own. Even the sanitary facilities are only found in the course of the game in the form of the old school toilets. This all contributes enormously to the tense atmosphere in the school.
In advance, we received cryptic information via e-mail and had to show up in front of the vendor’s building for the start of the game. We were told exactly when we could enter the game, so we waited impatiently outside the door. We played the game in the afternoon, would advise you to book the game on an evening to enhance the atmosphere. After the door opened, a smell of burnt objects rose to our nostrils, at the same time dense fog came towards us – so our investigation could begin.
The School of Burning Souls
10:00 p.m.: The boarding school children have fallen asleep on schedule after dinner. The only light left on is the director’s office, who is hard at work preparing for the next day.
11:00 p.m.: The tragic screams of the young students broke the absolute silence as the flames engulfed and burned everything around them, leaving sad remains ….
35 years later: you are the only survivors of that tragic night and you return to the remains of what you called “your school” to find out what really happened and stigmatized you forever … But nothing is the same anymore…
The atmosphere inside the burnt school is convincing. The provider has succeeded here with the clever idea of staging the remains of a fire. This ranges from the smell inside the school to scorched blackboards. Overall, during the course of the game we found all the premises including coherent props that you can imagine in a boarding school/school. Those expecting a colorful elementary school will unfortunately not find what they are looking for here. The provider deliberately plays with light and shadow throughout the game, creating an eerie atmosphere. The labyrinthine layout of the school meant that we quickly lost our bearings at the beginning. Of course, we weren’t alone in the school and so we were chased through the school at a fast pace by the actors. At the same time, the performances are not predictable and provided us with a lot of thrills. The interaction with the actors ranges from jump scares, hide-and-seek games to complete dialogues. We really liked the variety here. Please note that there are numerous isolations (for each player) in the game.
The finale was my personal highlight in the room. There are some minor effects used throughout the game that already kept me entertained. In the finale, however, I was speechless and would not have thought to experience something like that in an Escape Room.
As always, the puzzles are rather secondary in a horror game. Nevertheless, the tasks here kept us well entertained. They are both searching for objects, smaller cognitive tasks and interactive tasks with the actors. The mixture of analog and technical tasks is well chosen here. At the same time, many moments of isolation also forced us to cooperate as a team. The integration into the context of the school is given throughout and also contributes to the storytelling of the story. Even though the pure puzzles are not the highlight of the room, the interactions with the actors stand out here.
The more we delved into the boarding school’s premises, the deeper we also delved into the school’s dark past. Both the large playing area and the puzzles helped to open up the story inductively. The story comes across as a bit obvious, yet it’s fun to uncover the mysteries. In the finale, events come to a head and forced us to interact with the actors, which was a worthy conclusion to the space.
The actors did a terrific job. Although it was intensely creepy in phases, I super enjoyed the room just playing it. This was mainly due to the action-packed interaction with the actors, who performed their acts professionally. It wasn’t until after the fact that we realized that their performances were also partly meant to help us and cleverly steer us in various directions within the room. This form of indirect guidance was harmoniously solved and thus led to a great immersion. In addition to this indirect form, there was also a direct hint system, which was also varied since we had to interact with a real person.
School of Burning Souls was my personal surprise on the trip to Athens. An innovative setting with fast-paced acting and nice storytelling led to a quality gaming experience here. I especially enjoyed the interactive moments with the actors. The hide-and-seek game, where it was clear that you could only lose, was just as entertaining as the insane finale, which left me wide-eyed.