OPOLUM –  ChainSAW – Das gefährliche Spiel – Escape Theater Hamburg

This review is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Hamburg / 2 – 10 Players / Price: 35 pro Person / Rating: 9.2

Location: Alter Wandrahm 7, 20457 Hamburg

Date of Play: 06.03.2022

Number of Players: 3

During our last visit to Hamburg, we went to the OPOLUM Escape Room Theater and played the game ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game. How dangerous it got for us and whether the room can join the high quality of Hamburg, you can read here.

Originally, OPOLUM was designed at the beginning of 2019 as a time-limited, immersive theater experience in which the goal was to solve the mystery of the OPOLUM. Accompanied by an actor, you went through various settings in 75 minutes.

Now the marketing concept was changed again and we should expect an Escape Game Theater. Now it is no longer about the Opolum as such, but rather about a killer. In ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game, we are supposed to get on the trail of this killer with Inspector Winters.

ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game can be played in two different modes. Starting with 2 people, there are public slots for the room, which are played in action mode. Public slots means that it can happen that other game groups are added and in the end up to 10 people play the room. Action mode is designed for excitement and is made into an experience through show elements.

Only with a group size of 6 or more players is there a private slot and the group can additionally choose to play the room in scary mode. In scary mode, the show elements come into play even more and the right amount of horror is used to make it a spooky experience. We were lucky enough to be just among ourselves in action mode as well.

The location of OPOLUM can be found in the middle of the beautiful Speicherstadt of Hamburg. We arrived by car and were lucky with a parking space. Parking is available right in front of the door, but it can be difficult to find a parking spot depending on the number of visitors in the Speicherstadt. The entrance is easy to find thanks to good signage, and after climbing four stories up one of the warehouse buildings, you’re faced with a locked door. A note is stuck on the door, saying that Inspector Winters is about to pick us up.

The immersion began as soon as we knocked on the door and Commissioner Winters opened it for us. The reception room already offers something for the eye, especially for fans of the steampunk genre: metal-clad walls and doors with large rivets, various gears and opulent lettering. Already in the reception room, Inspector Winters was and remained in character – and not only him, but also his colleague, who was in charge of another group at the same time. The interaction of the two was then also very entertaining and put us in the right mood for the coming experience. After we left our things in a locker, the inspector went with us to the place where he had last seen the suspicious person. He entered a workshop with us, shared his latest observations and suspicions, and then left us alone to watch our backs in case the suspicious person showed up again. The adventure could begin.

ChainSAW – Das gefährliche Spiel

Ein Serien-Killer treibt sein Unwesen! Ihr müsst ihn stoppen! Die neue Story im OPOLUM. Eine Mischung aus Escape Room, Schauspiel und Show Elementen wartet auf euch.Trommel deine besten Ermittler zusammen und helf uns diesen Wahnsinnigen aus dem Verkehr zu ziehen!

The room

The look and feel of the rooms is exceptionally high, not only because of the size and the number of decorative elements, but also because of the appealing design. In accordance with the steampunk theme, there are some apparatuses in the room and mysterious objects. The visuals are coherent and also know how to convince with variety in the further course of the story. Even though the setting itself is convincing, it didn’t always fit the story and seemed whimsical. Since Opolum’s rooms already existed in advance for their other Experiences, Opolum unfortunately doesn’t seem to have succeeded in developing a 100% plausible story for ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game to these entertaining spatial circumstances. A driving and fitting soundscape including audio and video interludes, as well as the supporting acting help to negate this discrepancy between story and spatial design. Especially towards the finale, the players are driven by the sound and the acting to an effective end.

The puzzles

For an acting- and story-driven room, the puzzles were predominantly of a classic nature as one is used to from other escape rooms. Except for the first section, the tasks are assigned according to the room and provide a corresponding focus. Here, care was taken to create enough variety and that these puzzles can be solved cooperatively above all. The cognitive and mechanical puzzles were adapted to the room in terms of their design, but they didn’t seem immersive, but rather partly forced. However, this is okay in view of the story. The difficulty level is doable and especially suitable for beginners due to the support of the acting person.

The actor

In an Escape Experience that advertises with acting, everything stands and falls with the actors, of course. And this is where OPOLUM knows how to convince, because the performance of our Commissioner Winters was very entertaining and integrating. From the beginning, he gave full throttle with humor and improvisation. Commissioner Winters is a necessary part of the story and enters the premises again and again to guide us or to increase the tension through well-timed acting. Toward the end, he added to our sense of stress with his acted hustle and bustle. Even if the story of ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game was not 100% clear to us, it was above all Commissioner Winters who made us look past this with his successful performance.

There were various options for giving us assistance, such as audio clips from the killer or visual clips on monitors. And last but not least, there was of course the assistance of Commissioner Winters himself, who managed to help us think in a subtle way.

Maria’s conclusion

Regardless of a few points of criticism, such as the balance of story to room or our struggle with a gimmick puzzle, ChainSAW offers one thing above all: a very high entertainment value! We had a lot of fun playing the room and especially the interaction with the gamemaster/actor had immense charm. There was always something to do, to look at and thus there was not a moment of boredom for us. This was also due to the fact that the puzzles were mostly cooperative and required the participation of all the players. The welcome and escort out of the premises also contributed to the good experience, as it was always well thought out and executed with attention to detail.

For me, OPOLUM ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game is a room that makes a visit to Hamburg worthwhile and should be on the to-do lists of all Escape Room fans.

Sebastian’s conclusion

ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game was far from perfect. However, with ChainSAW – The Dangerous Game, Opolum shows how Escape Rooms can also be experienced. Through a really successful and entertaining energetic acting by Commissioner Winters, one lets oneself be drawn into the world of ChainSAW and also quickly forgets the time. Especially the integrative factor of the acting makes a rather simple and perhaps not always completely logical story seem more rounded. Even if the puzzles aren’t too surprising, they are designed in such a way that all players in the room are involved at all times and no boredom arises. Rarely have we come out of an Escape Room in Germany so charged with adrenaline. Here, the focus is clearly on communication and entertainment.

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