Patient Zero 2150 Review | Armageddon beckons. The world’s superpowers are no more. Renegade factions vie for domination. Rogue scientists have breached all moral boundaries creating pathogens that create non-humans. Nerve agents so nightmarish that they corrupt physically and mentally, turning those exposed into the living dead – zombies. In the subterranean depths of their secret facility, the pathogen has escaped. It must be contained or all humankind, as we know it, will cease to exist. Your mission – contain the bio-threat, secure the facility and escape uninfected. Can you hold your breath for 60 minutes? This high tech terror will test the smartest players.
Date Played: 21st January 2022
Time Taken: 60 minutes (plus 15 seconds)
Number of Players: 2
In a picture-perfect exit, we escaped with the countdown timer ringing in our ears. Well- okay, not quite. We technically overran by 15 seconds. But we tried our best, and saved the world in the process. What more can you ask for, eh?!
AIM Escape is one of those venues I’ve been dying to try out since I took on Operation Mindfall, hosted by them around London two summers ago. But of course, thanks to the global pandemic, the world had other plans and we kept putting off the visit. That was until an icy cold January Friday evening when we booked the game for two. Patient Zero 2150 – save the world from a deadly virus? Well, that’s close to home, but hey after dealing with you-know-what for two years, we’re experts.
About Patient Zero 2150
The story of Patient Zero 2150 is a creepy one – but not a million miles from *gestures vaguely at the past few years*. In the not too distant future we, a pair of intrepid scientists are a part of Team Beta and sent in to investigate a mysterious laboratory disaster. We arrive to discover dead bodies, cages ripped open from inside, rooms on fire, and even a whisper of zombies.
You see, this laboratory was investigating deadly pathogens and nerve agents. But clearly, something escaped and went on to kill everyone else in sight. So our job was simple: isolate areas of the lab, and develop and escape with the antidote. Simple.
Oh- but one catch, to avoid catching the virus ourselves we should probably hold our breaths for the full 60 minutes. Or, ya know, we might become zombies ourselves.
Escape… The Living Dead!
One thing we both absolutely loved about Patient Zero 2150 was the ambience. I mean, this room is so ultra-immersive that for 60 brilliant minutes we forgot where we were. At the start of the escape room there’s a map on the wall showing the vast sprawling laboratory. Sure, you never actually get to visit these places but you do truly believe you’re there. Cut to an age later, we were several rooms ahead and I remember saying “hey behind this wall is the infirmary“. Nope, it wasn’t relevant at all – but AIM Escape really managed to make the world seem bigger than the escape room we were playing in.
We even encountered along the way small windows and doors into other ‘rooms’ and ‘areas’ – not real, of course, but you’d have fooled me!
One of the best ways AIM Escape achieves this effect is by the use of sound. Throughout the whole game we heard noises and walkie talkie chatter that set the scene of the chaos around us. Elsewhere in the laboratory, a war between the living and the dead was raging. Subtle crashes, muted gunfire, creaks and noises lurking behind every door. It was… Perfect! Kudos to the sound engineers – which is another thing I’ve never ever said about an escape room before.
One thing we would mention is that some sections of the game are fairly dimly lit. It makes total sense given the setting. Of course there would be dim lighting in places – it is after all quite a creepy game – but we wanted to mention it as a heads up for prospective bookers. You’re provided with torches throughout the game and there’s also a torch added to the walkie-talkie you have to communicate with your Games Master which comes in handy.
“I’ve pushed every button in the room, now what?”
In terms of puzzles – I won’t beat around the bush – we found this game HARD. Not impossibly hard, and over a pint afterwards we remarked that none of the puzzles made you feel stupid. But for some reason a lot of it didn’t click and we used many clues. Sometimes those clues were the little nudge we needed before an “ohhh! That’s brilliant!” moment. Other times we still didn’t quite click with what the puzzle was asking us to do and why. But hey, that’s okay! It was a welcome challenge.
At the start of our briefing our fantastic host Mads joked that we could ask for unlimited clues, and that they wouldn’t judge us (ok well maybe a little). At about our 6th clue (some requested, some volunteered), we began to wonder if we might be breaking a record for most clues required in this game.
The website does warn that it’s a hard game. Not only that but it’s the hardest available at AIM Escape. In hindsight booking with just two players – one of whom it was her third escape room ever – maybe wasn’t the best choice. But we were there to have fun, and we did have a lot of fun, twenty thousand clues or not.
With no locks, every puzzle we encountered was technological. Push buttons, do things on screens, to trigger the next step. This meant that when we were particularly stuck on a digital dexterity puzzle, our Games Master could helpfully in-character ‘remotely hack’ it to move us along to the next step. As a player, I felt bad doing this. We should have stuck with it and kept trying – but time was against us!
A Challenge for the Brave
So difficulty aside, who would we recommend this room for? For starters – not kids! It’s not overtly scary, but there’s a definite sense of looming threat and a couple of minor jump scares, and plenty of fake blood that little players might get upset with. I say that knowing fine well that my own brother, aged 12, probably would have found the whole thing absolutely brilliant. But better safe than sorry.
We also would recommend a team of 3 at the minimum. The mix of rooms jumbles up linear and non-linear moments – meaning there’s plenty of opportunity for players to work on different things at the same time. Our recommendation of 3 comes more in terms of ‘brain power’ however. We escaped – but only just! And our host did give us a lot of much needed help, so I’m calling her our honorary third player.
We had an absolute blast at Patient Zero 2150 and it’s been cemented in my imagination as one of London’s must-play rooms – especially for enthusiasts! It’s a challenge, but a fully rewarding one that transplants you, the players, into the middle of a high-adrenaline thriller zombie film where the fate of the world is literally in your hands. The ambience and atmosphere is second to none (no, seriously, I mean it!), and the staff (despite it being very busy when we booked) went above and beyond to make sure we were well looked after.
Sure, it’s a hard room, but also saving the world from a deadly pathogen was never going to be a walk in the park!
Patient Zero 2150 can be booked by heading to AIM Escape’s website here.