We are W.I.S.E.: an independent, international intelligence organization, operating at the highest level of secrecy to protect the world from danger. Our sources report that the secret research company, Spider Technologies, has developed a virus for mind control and has already infected 20% of the world population.
Completion Time: 2hrs 10 minutes
Date Played: 11th August 2020
Party Size: 4
Operation Mindfall is without a doubt in my mind one of the most creative and high-tech outdoor games on the market. I’m just so impressed by the tech! AIM Escape’s version in particular takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of London but through the eyes of the super secret spy organisation W.I.S.E. It’s perfect for tourists and locals alike!
If you’ve read my earlier review of Curse of the Covent Garden, you’ve probably heard this before … But I believe outdoor, walking treasure trails are the best antidote to this post-lockdown era in the UK. Escape rooms are beginning to open up, yes, but if you’re not quite yet comfortable heading into a locked room, I can’t recommend one of these enough. Enjoy fiendishly brilliant puzzles, search for clues, and learn more about your city, at your own pace in a comparatively safe environment.
Operation Mindfall is completely open air. You never once need to enter a building (unless of course you’re like me and want to grab a cheeky coffee along the route – hey! Super spies need caffeine too!) and you can go at your own pace however your personal comfort level allows. In fact, even your briefing takes place in an open environment at a safe distance which is a nice touch. We had our briefing in the shadow of the Monument to the Great Fire of London by a super secret (and friendly!) agent wearing red sunglasses. The briefcase too was clean and sanitised, so all in all a very low contact way of getting your escape room fix!
In terms of gameplay, Operation Mindfall places you (a team of super secret spies from the W.I.S.E. agency) against an evil corporation called Spider Tech intent on a programme of nefarious mind control. You must journey to locations undetected, find hidden data stores, unlock safes and interact with your surroundings.
At most stages, you must input a password. The password can often be found in your surroundings, or by using something in your W.I.S.E. backpack. Towards the end, as you collect enough intel, you must create (and mix) an antidote and put it into the groundwater. An act I should mention that looks more than a little dodgy in Central London, but we styled it out with our spy ways! Definitely got a couple of funny looks as we ran around clutching test tubes – but it was all good fun!
One of my favourite puzzles involved logging into Facebook and interacting with a mysterious local company that from the outset seems like nothing, but actually is an elaborate infiltration into a Spider Tech. This gave us players so much joy – unexpected and exciting! It added so much depth and gravitas to this world AIM Escape has created, and I love it!
The basic game (and tech) behind Operation Mindfall is developed by another company called Cluetivity and is available in … Well, most cities in the UK I believe! AIM Escape really outdid themselves with their version in a very creative and in-touch-with-the-city way. The puzzles were BRILLIANT!
If you choose to play Operation Mindfall in another part of the UK, you’ll find the plot the same but many of the puzzles not – meaning it is (to an extent) also replayable! I absolutely have to congratulate AIM Escape for their version of the game and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. In fact – I’m already looking at dates to come back and play their other two outdoor games The Magic Portal and Einstein.
Operation Mindfall can be booked for £20 pp on AIM Escape’s website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.