Immersia: The Forgotten Station

James Presswood is the CEO of the Simplon Orient Express company. He created a modern version of this mythical railroad track. Mr Presswood has generated a fortune with this new project. The Orient Express quickly became the most popular mode of transportation in Europe. In an unexpected turn of events, his operations team decided to kidnap his family and is asking for a 500 million euros ransom.

Rating: Exciting!
Completion Time: 48:40
Date Played: 18th April 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: People who want to play the IRL escape room but missed it! (It’s now retired)

So I LOVE the idea – The Forgotten Station was a real life escape room that was available to play at Immersia Laval from 2017 to 2020. Pre-2020, the idea of making an escape room live on in the digital world was unknown. Heck, I’m not even sure the system it’s built in (Telescape) existed back then. But thanks to lockdown forcing a lot of companies to embrace the digital, The Forgotten Station lives on! I feel privileged and thankful to be able to play it today.

The Escaping the Closet team and myself took on The Forgotten Station as part of the 36th International Online Escape Game Tournament and placed 12th (aww not quite top ten but we tried!). It’s a classic escape room converted to online format and an excellent use of the digital point-and-click system Telescape!

The Story

The story of this escape room is… Actually really exciting!! So I can completely imagine how brilliant it was to play the real life version too.

The story goes, the CEO of the Simplon Orient Express has called in the detectives after a huge ransom for his kidnapped family has been announced. If he doesn’t pay up, he’ll lose his family forever. It so happens that the family is… *gasp* On the train!! You’ve got an opportunity to stop the train, disconnect the carriage they’re in and capture the bad guys, but only if you hurry!

From here the whole experience takes place inside the control room of the train. The problem is, you don’t have the driver with you to help – he’s guiding you from afar with a series of video cut scenes. No pressure!

The Experience

The Forgotten Station is a completely self guided online game that takes place in a software called Telescape. If you’re new to the online escape room world, this means you have a 360 view of the escape room ‘environment’, can see where all your fellow teammates are, and can click into anything for a closer look.

In The Forgotten Station, the whole room takes place in one area, so we quickly familiarised ourselves with the space and got to work on the puzzles. There are three distinct ’rounds’ to this game. Each is characterised by a colour (red, blue and green), and during that round you need only focus on items in the room that are highlighted in this colour. At the end of each round you’re greeted with a cut scene. These cut scenes mark the plot – first, stop the train, separate the carriages, and finally capture the bad guys.

The cut scenes work really well and here we’re introduced to the actual train master, and the ‘bad guys’ as they tie up a genuinely frightened looking family in one of the carriages. There’s some fun acting and I enjoyed getting to know the characters. One point of note however is that the original game is in French, so the acting is dubbed into English. I think subtitles might have been a better choice, but I’m not complaining!

The Puzzles

The puzzles are where The Forgotten Station really shines, and they’re on the medium to difficult level of the scale! The main thing is, I thought it really interesting that they were separated by colour and (especially on the clock for the Escape Game Olympics) this tripped me up. I spent too much time early on looking at the wrong colour thinking a puzzle was relevant. Oops!

In terms of the types of puzzles, it’s got everything you’d expect in a traditional escape room and then some – there are a few number locks, a few padlocks, a letter lock, a directional lock… We also came across a nifty black light puzzle, and some fun use of maps too. There were also some unexpectedly creative stuff that required several members of the team looking at different things and calling numbers, letters and directions out loud. So this is definitely one to play in a group!

Overall

As I say, I’m especially stoked that I get the chance to play this room I may never have otherwise played! Long live the escape room, even when it’s been decommissioned!

Whenever I play a game as part of the Escape Game Olympics there’s a big degree of ‘need to smash this to get a good score’, so I probably didn’t personally see and experience everything the room had to offer. Teamwork makes the dream work after all! But I still came out with a smile on my face and a feeling of accomplishment. We saved the day, rescued the victims, and caught the bad guys! Not bad for a Sunday evening.

The Forgotten Station can be booked for $19.99 CAD on Immersia’s website here.

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