This review of Project Pandora is based on a visit from November 2015.
As mentioned in my earlier review, I first visited Tick Tock Unlock
Salford Manchester back in November but the review slipped into my (now steadily decreasing) ‘catch up’ pile. The obvious risk when trying to do a review four months later is remembering what to say, and that’s particularly true when you had so little to say in the first place. But we’re here now, so let’s see what I can muster.
You can read that other review for thoughts on the venue, and Tick Tock Unlock’s strange practice of not telling you anything about the game in advance (TL;DR it’s a bad idea). All we knew was we were playing a room called Project Pandora:
I hope you weren’t expecting anything here.
In the pre-escape briefing we were told that Project Pandora (SPOILERS: in the weakest possible sense) was something to do with zombies that had gone wrong. I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of people sighed in terror. Now we had to be split into two rooms for some reason so that we could find out what had happened, or stop something from happening, or more than likely just open a door and escape.
After being split (where I was on my own again; maybe people are trying to tell me something) we were led into two separate rooms and given a walkie-talkie to communicate, however this was soon abandoned when we realised the wall was paper thin making shouting much easier. The decor was similarly thin with a couple of vaguely sciencey posters and images on the walls in an otherwise generic room. This ‘theme’ was carried over into the second room where we were reunited.
I remember spending a lot of time on one of the puzzles (that admittedly was right on theme) because it seemed like you could answer it, only to find out later that you needed additional information. That happened a few times as the room had a very open design without any real flow to it. There were a couple of nice puzzles with a tangible aspect but not enough to save the day.
From three visits now (one in Liverpool as well) it seems Tick Tock Unlock are focussed very much on first time players. They have a few nice puzzles dressed up by a little bit of mystery, but not much else. It wouldn’t be a complete waste to spend your first time here but experienced escapers will want to look elsewhere.