Virus is the second game that is in the original Escape Room the Game trio pack. We played it pretty much straight after Prison Break (just leaving enough time to make another cuppa.) Virus is a self rated 2-star difficulty game, on the same level as Prison Break. You can broadly guess what the pretence of the game is from its name…
“What a time to faint! You swear you could kill your lab partner, but you know that won’t be necessary. The liquid that’s oozing out of the broken bottle on the floor will kill everybody in the room soon enough. There’s no time to play the blame game, you and your lab partners have to work together if you want to survive.
You’ve been working for Professor Felsman for some time now. He was not a nice man. He showed no kindness whatsoever, but he was the best in this line of work. The professor never left the lab if anybody else was in it and all the dangerous stuff was locked away. And not locked away in a normal kind of way. Professor Felsman was somewhat of a “conspiracy theory” kind of guy. Always looking over his shoulder afraid that someone was after his inventions. The only people he really trusted were his son and daughter.
His trust issues and conspiracy theories made it even stranger that he left that green bottle unattended that afternoon. He had left in a hurry, leaving his hat and jacket on the coat rack. The professor never went anywhere without his hat. He just yelled, “Put that bottle in the closet and whatever you do don’t drop it!” Nobody knew what the professor was working on, but it was serious business. The only thing he told us was that it could do a lot of good in the right hands, but in the wrong hands it would change the world in a really bad way. The hands of our lab partner definitely qualify as the wrong pair of hands. Three steps short of the closet nerves got the better of her. You knew you were in serious trouble as her eyes rolled back and she collapsed. It seemed to take place in slow motion as the bottle fell on the floor and the glass shattered all over the room. The fumes that came from the bottle filled everyone’s lungs immediately.
You quickly called the professor, but he seemed to have his own problems. He was running and breathing heavily. The only words you could make out from the bad connection were “idiots, dead in an hour, antidote, vault.” Then the line went dead. You called him back but it went straight to voicemail. You know there’s no time to lose and nobody in the world that can help you. You shove the cart aside and see the vault, it’s locked. You try opening the drawers in his desk, only one isn’t locked. The stuff you find in the desk could prove to be vital. It’s your only hope!”
The game comes in 3 parts, and you open part 1 to begin with, and don’t move onto parts 2 and 3 until you have completed the preceding parts of the game. The puzzles are relatively self-explanatory though there are a few red herrings in there which is something I like. If you’ve played a lot of at home escape games most of the puzzle mechanisms will be familiar (there is after all only so many mechanisms that work for at home games).
It was myself and my partner playing and we enjoyed it, though for us in particular we found it relatively simple, especially having just played the first game where we got our heads around how to use the decoder system. We escaped without any clues (or mistakes!) with 29:08 left on the clock. It’s not the worlds best escape at home game ever, but it’s solid enough as a game, but one I would target more towards beginners than experts.