Aug 9, 019: Balls

Our last day in Edinburgh.

We’ve seen a lot of shows, walked a lot of steps, eaten a lot of – well – everything, laughed a lot and done a good few escape rooms.

Today is our last day. Free Fringe Friday. A day designed, in a way, like a sacrificial lamb. It can be killed of entirely, or in pieces. Or it can be prolonged. The only things set in stone are the need to come home, and an escape room.

The escape room was the end of our Fringe week. It was the end of a lot of things. The end of fun. Happiness. Enjoyment. And our streak of escaping. After thirty or so rooms, we failed one. And we were pissed off. Probably a but too pissed off, in hindsight, because we could have been a lot quicker than we were.

But then, also rightly pissed off because..

Well, okay. You play the room. You solve every puzzle. Every puzzle. You prepare for escape. But escape doesn’t come, because things are twisty. So you have one final task to fulfil.

But it’s not a puzzle.

It’s throwing balls into a tube in a specific order.

I mean, for fuck’s sake.

We looked online afterwards at reviews and everyone loved and adored this twist.

I described it to the Game Master as “a shitty end to a really good room.” Because it is. It’s just bollocks. Coloured balls into five tubes. In order. Ho ho. What fun. Wacky fun. You weren’t expecting that were you. Oh and there are only the exact number of some of the balls so you’ll have to search for them in the ball pool. Such fun.

Yes, there are sour grapes because it was our first lock in. But to be locked in because you can’t throw for shit versus solving puzzles is just crap. I wouldn’t have minded if we’d been locked in because we didn’t solve everything. But we did. We just needed to do this balls bollocks, pull a switch which wasn’t connected – physically – at least to the balls thing, press a button and boom, we’d be done. Everything else was a careful marriage of tech and wiring that was linked together.

It was bollocks. And I’m sorry. But it was.

Also, a puzzle in the room didn’t work properly. We solved it. It didn’t work. The GM came in and fiddled with it, agreed it didn’t work. Added five minutes to our time.

But during his fiddling was blocking access to the last puzzle we needed to do, and talked over the video which gave a code for accessing the tools to get the puzzle we had left. Luckily I managed to catch what was being said, but all in all it was a bit of a shit show and shambles. And it was hard not to be really, really pissed off.

Especially because he basically said, “Well, our rooms are designed to be scaled up to six people…” that was his reasoning behind the “fun” of the balls and tubes.

Nah. Bollocks.

We lost. Fine. We lost.

But we lost in the most wanky way possible.

We could have been quicker with the puzzles. And we should have been. So we would have had more time to throw balls. But equally, we lost a lot more than the five minutes on that one puzzle. Sure five minutes while we looked at it unable to understand why it didn’t work, but five more minutes while he dicked about with it too. And blocked off the other puzzle. And talked over the video that had the codes in.

Balls to it all.