Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room Review

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Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Featured

In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future – they say “There Is Only War!” Well, at least in my experience of being believably transported to that far future, I can confirm there are definitely a few of our current creature comforts missing. One of those being air-con. And that was kind of a fun thing. Read on to find out why you can’t miss this nearby experience on your next pilgrimage to Warhammer World in Nottingham. Immaterium is an incredible 40k themed escape room, something you simply won’t find anywhere else!

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Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room – Introduction

This article has been a long time in the making. we reported on the existence of this upcoming experience back in January 2020. Eager to try out the room and bring you our impressions. We reached out to Escapologioc to see if we could test out the room.

I wanted to make sure that before we had this experience we obtained the approval of the organisers (Escopaloic). Especially so we could take and share photos. You know, To actually have some visual substance in this article.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Escapalogic Door
Escapologic Nottingham

When running a site like this, you quickly learn that when you want to get hands-on to review products and services, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Well in this case our list of contacts was substantial.

My own cousin-in-law has worked at Escapologic for the last 5+ years and was on hand for the 5 previous escape-Romm experiences I’ve had there. My old boss from when I worked at Game in the early 2000’s is the manager there. And I even found out in late 2020. That one of the owners actually lives on my street! In of all places, the house next to one we previously intended to buy! So this experience was all lined up pretty easily.

But then, 2020 happened. and things got pushed back.

A couple of months ago, we had planned to try out their VR Escape Room experience. Ben, Rob and I had been ready to log in on a Saturday evening and have a go in this room. Only to have Escapologioc call us a few hours before to advise that they had to cancel the session due to technical difficulties.

We’ve not been back in touch to re-arrange since the cancellation, but it just so happened that the stars aligned. Lockdown ended, I got a babysitter and some willing friends. And so, booked ourselves in, last-minute.

So here it is, after more than a year in planning. My thoughts on this Warhammer 40k Themed Escape Room.

Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room – Set Up

First off, you need to check out the video.

This is the official video from Escapologic and does well to set you up for the flavour and feel of the experience, but very little to set up the actual journey you will embark upon.

In my own (spoiler-free) words;

You’re human passengers on a rogue trader ship. As the engines fire up for you to enter the warp, numerous ship systems fail (primarily the air-conditioning). You and your cohorts need to find a way off the ship before the last escape pod ejects in no more than 60 minutes.

In true Crystal Maze fashion, “your time starts when the door is closed”.

These are my words to explain it. If you check out the Escapologic Website, it will be described in the following way

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Entrance
Speak Friend and Enter

Passengers on pilgrimage aboard a trader ship, Evadere The Tempestas, on course to holy Terra. Pilgrims [you lot] have been escorted to their quarters deep within the bowels of the vessel, upon entering they [you] are told the ship will soon translate into the warp and the journey will begin.

The ship stirs into life, players hear a distant rumble and feel a faint vibration as the engines wake.

As the warp jump is made, the warp core and several ship systems fail, causing massive damage to the craft. Players have no choice but to leave and find out what has happened or risk being trapped in the crew quarters while the ship is slowly torn apart. Here the real journey begins…

Battle through the Warp Storm and escape the ever seeping Chaos.

Escapologic

A couple of subtle differences here but the ones I wanted to call out are the phrases “As the warp jump is made, the warp core and several ship systems fail” and “Players have no choice but to leave and find out what has happened”.

I’ll get onto why in the review.

Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room – Review

Right up, this was a great experience. I love escape rooms, they are some of the most fun you can have with a free evening and some friends.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Poster
Heresy everywhere!

If you are a fan of 40k and find yourself in Nottingham (on your required holy pilgrimage to Warhammer World). You really need to take some time and add this experience to your journey. You will not regret it.

Immaterium – Look and Feel

The production quality was genuinely my biggest concern before going in.

Back in 2008, I was a big fan of the TV show Heroes (only Season 1, obviously). I followed the cast around London, met them at conventions and one month, went to a 2-day event in Manchester where many of the stars were in attendance.

I distinctly remember my excitement up to this event when the organisers promised that the conference would have a recreation of Issac’s loft -A room from the show with painted artwork, strings connecting the links between the characters and a large mural on the floor of a Nuclear Explosion in New York.

When we got there, however, it was little more than a store cupboard that appeared to have been decorated by someone’s young nieces as a summer project. – We left that convention after only 1 of the 2 (paid for) days.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Expectation
Expectation

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Reality
Reality

So now, when any third party suggests “we’re going to make a faithful recreation of X”. That horrible memory always surfaces and I hold fast any excitement of how good the “faithful recreation” will actually be”. I’m glad I did because here, I was blown away.

It’s incredible. It’s so well done.

I’m very limited on what I can show you in the pictures because I don’t want to give any of the game away. The point of an escape room is to go in blind. not knowing the layout of the varying sections, the items in the room, anything. So forgive me for showing little more than flat walls and close up’s of specific items. But trust me, it’s for your own good. And to get the most out of the mystery of the experience.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Style 1
Bring back Space Hulk

As such, my photos do not show any of the puzzles you’ll face, or do they? No, honestly they don’t. But they might. Maybe I edited heavily a few in photoshop? who knows… They are here just to the style of the room you are in. And it nails the Grimdark gothic future.

As many of us are modellers by nature and spend our hours making various household sundries look like futuristic machines, you can spend some time in this room seeing through the fourth wall and knowing clearly how certain effects and mechanical parts are made,

That’s MDF, That’s foam board, that’s cheap convoluted tubing. But you can equally spend as much time wondering if a pipe is painted in Leadbelcher, if the grime is Agrax Earthsahde or whether the patina is Nilakh Oxide. Because I swear they have colour matched this room to GW’s paint lineup.

The only thing ruing the style of this room was us, running round in hoodies and sweats rather than the appropriate level of tattered robes. Though I’d avoid wearing your favourite space marine cosplay garb to this event, the experience and its corridors are a bit too physically restricting for a 7-foot tank man. (person)

Immaterium – The Room

How do I do this, how do I explain this room, without actually explaining anything?

Like I said above. I can’t really tell you much about the room exactly without ruining it for you. you need to go in blind.

For our experience, there were 4 of us. My wife and I, who have done several Escape Rooms before (as yet we have never failed to escape) and 2 friends whose first experience was today. One of those friends had, unfortunately, pulled his back earlier this week, confining him to a crutch. He was still able to complete the room with us, despite the agonising pain he was in. The room is a bit more physical than I am used to, but it really added to the atmosphere.

Like most escape rooms you face a myriad of sequential puzzles, Find the thing, find where it goes, put it in, see what happens. read the thing, work out the riddle. look at stuff, move stuff. Rinse and repeat until you get to the escape pod.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Crane
When Life gives you lemons skulls

Whilst I (the only lore-aware member of our party) wanted to constantly stop and take in the scenery. My wife had her game face on and consistently pushed me forward. We had a deadline after all. She’s also hard-wired to nag me to complete X task on her schedule rather than one I’d prefer.

At one point, however, I was lost. We managed to break the game. Whilst looking around for clues, our physically disadvantaged friend managed to brute-force (don’t do this) the magnetic lock on a box which leads to the opening of a rather obviously openable hatch. This moved us out of a particular area into the next. However, because we all knew there was something still undone in the place we had just exited, we constantly returned here thinking it was still part of the current sequence of puzzles. As we found out at the end, due to the brute force, we’d actually skipped a whole part in a sequence, thus creating our own red herring. The room was full of enough of these already.

Further into the experience the style of the decoration changed slightly but was still in the theme of getting through the bowels and chambers of an imperial style starship looking for a back door way of getting to an escape pod.

In the final sequence of puzzles, I myself came across a door with handles, pulling on these allowed the door to open about 30 degrees. However, on further inspection, I realised that the “handle” was actually a pneumatic piston, which I had just pulled off the door! It was about his time the AI of the ship remarked “brute-force is not necessary”.

We completed the puzzle required to open this door which gave us one final task. Once done we returned here to find the door was to an escape pod! We’d done it! We rallied inside and stood waiting like packed sardines – as the team running the games scrambled to close the damaged door.

That was it, we were ejected from the ship and made it to the relative safety of a war-scorched planet.

There were, as always, a few moments that stumped us, though carefully listening to repeating instructions from the onboard AI’s suggestive hints, we were able to make it through. In just 35 minutes!

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Winners
Chicken Dinner

Woo Hoo, still undefeated!

Now for me to go and apologise for damaging the door. But in all honesty, this wasn’t really on me, it’s not like I yanked it, I just pulled it and the screws must have come out. It’s the hard thing with any escape room, knowing what force to apply, what to pull and what to Twist. How hard to push and pull. But these things normally become more secure with time.

The other thing worth mentioning is just how hot it was down there. It got crazy hot. We were in the basement of a victorian building in the centre of Nottingham on a hot day. We were told about the heat on the way in and offered a bottle of water each. It was so hot that I’d necked my bottle in just 10 minutes. It was never so uncomfortable i felt unsafe, but we were all sweating quite profusely in t-shirts & jeans. But, to be fair, I’d also just polished off two Five-Guys burgers on the way in, so meat sweats will take part of the blame. If they want to increase the number of puzzles in this room. having one to turn on the Ships air-conditioning system would be a start. (call it life support).

Interestingly though, the heat kind-of added to the experience. Though, the heat just got more and more and more the deeper we went. liked we were getting closer to the core of rickety old starship. By the time we were squashed into the tiny room of the escape pod, (and stuck in there for a little bit as the door was sorted) my glasses started steaming up.

Never the less it was a great room with some interesting puzzles, a great 40k style atmosphere.

If I could add one thing, it would probably be some kind of count down timer for the escape pod. We quickly lost all track of time but having a clear decreasing warning of how little time you have left would add a better sense of panic & urgency to completing your objective. Pushing your way to the escape pods.

As my (non-Wargamer) friend put it “if that was the procedure for leaving a ship, the Health and Safety reps need shooting” – So, quite appropriately 40k then!

The experience left me wanting more.

Immaterium – Story & Atmosphere

Remember above when I said I’ll write it n my own words compared to how Escapologic describe it? It’s because the story here is rather loose.

You’re here for the experience of a 40k escape room first. The setting isn’t exactly written by Dan Abnett. This isn’t a directly canonical part of the whole 40k Narrative. It’s a very simple set-up and paints the experience for Warhammer fans. Though not being so lore-heavy that “normal people” can’t enjoy it too.

Nothing in this room requires prior Knowledge of Warhammer 40,000 for you to get through or have fun. but there are a ton of fun nods that will have your inner-geek chanting “I know this”!

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Skull
“Hans, have you seen our uniforms…?
They have skulls on them!”

The 2 nit-picky bits I’ll mention are the ones suggested in the introduction.

  1. “As the warp jump is made, the warp core and several ship systems fail”

So, if you are trying to get to an escape pod after a warp jump is made, wouldn’t you just be launching blindly into the warp?

Do you want Nurglings? because that’s how you get Nurglings!

2 “Players have no choice but to leave and find out what has happened”

We obviously had no choice but to leave, that was the objective. But as for the bit about “finding out what had actually happened” – there was nothing further on this throughout…

On the way in, we were told that as we were in a warp-storm, the presence of something else could be felt on the ship with us. I started off thinking “Ooooh, is it Chaos? is it a Tyranid Swarm? This is gonna get creepier as we go. I had no idea what I was getting myself in for during the intro. Having done Escapologicsother rooms I would not be too surprised to encounter a Genestealer on my journey. A-la Space Hulk (#BringBackSpaceHulk)

But throughout the room, no presence was ever felt or even suggested really. We partially heard the occasional audio message. But by the time we acknowledged something as playing, stopped our current scurrying around and making noise, we could still just barely hear the back end of these audio messages. And they always sounded like they were either coming from the next room or were overshadowed by the ambient ship//space noises played throughout.

TLDR, the story, (if there was one) wes inaudible amongst the natural Chaos (pun intended)

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Grafitti
Hans… Are we the Baddies?

So that’s the one-and-only thing I’d mark this whole experience down on, the audio production. It could do with a re-balance. or some pre-announcement message. Just something so that everyone has time to stop banging around and making noise before the messages play.

But this never took away from the great evening. I still had a fantastic time, smiling giddily at the overall style and atmosphere to care too much about the specific details, but if there is more of a narrative here. I do wish I’d experienced it.

Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room – Price & Availability

The session is for 1 hour unless of course, you make it out quicker. The prices are per person. A minimum of 2 people costs £45. (or 2 modern character models in a currency you can understand) Then it’s £15 (or classic command unit) per extra person up to a maximum of 5.

This room is certainly doable with 2 people. But not fewer, as there are puzzles that require teamwork.

Availability wise, Escapologic are available Monday-Sunday with sessions running approximately every 90 minutes or so from 11:30am to 8:30pm. Check the Website for specific availability times.

The best part is, even if you can’t make it to Nottingham or even if you live in a different country, you can still experience the room via their live online experience. Where you each control a person inside the room. You know, like Knightmare.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Store
BUY THINGS!

If you want to spend more money whilst you are there, they also have the obligatory “Shelf of Warhammer stuff” for anyone desperate to pick up some tactical Marines or other stuff GW are now struggling to shift. Though the Nottingham Warhammer store is a stone’s throw from the escape room too.

It’s cool that this is here, it really cements the official partnership between these companies. But I’d have loved to have seen some exclusive merch instead/as well. I’d just been to Warhammer World on my way here many people will do the same. So I had no need to buy any extra stuff. Though I’d have bought the hell out of an Immaterium mug or a T-shirt. Maybe with a discount if we completed the room in time (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)?

Immaterium – Warhammer 40,000 Escape Room – Final Thoughts

You’ll love it, you really will.

If you like Warhammer 40k already, you will get sucked into the atmosphere instantly. the production quality is absolutely top-notch. If you don’t like Warhammer, then you still have the fun collaborative experience of an Escape Room. It’s just a setting and you can and will ignore most of the details. To the masses just think of this as any old starship. It could easily be the Sulaco, the Pillar of Autumn, Galactica or Even Red Dwarf for all you care.

I expect you know equally as much about the theme of Escapologic’s other rooms as you do about this. Those rooms being; Butcher, Robin of Lockskey & Epicentre to name just a few. It’s a Spaceship. so just get on board – so you can then try to get off again.

Immaterium - Warhmmer 40k Escape Room - Wall
Ladbelcher, Retuibutor Armour, Wash & Drybrush

The Warhammer setting in the most, it’s just that, a setting, a theme. And this experience carries the perfect balance of warming the hearts of the initiated whilst still greatly impressing everyone else.

It’s certainly a beginner escape room, not too challenging, everything is straightforward. I honestly feel like I could have done with more of a challenge. if for nothing more than to keep me in that room a bit longer. Though I say that as someone who has done a few of these now, and they do get easier with time.

I would have certainly preferred to have experienced more lore or had a feel of what this “presence on the ship” was referring to, assuming there is more to that than I experienced (or could hear over my loud friends).

If you go down to Warhammer World today, make sure you are popping in here too.

Don’t miss it.

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  • Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

About FauxHammer 279 Articles
Self-appointed Editor in chief of FauxHammer.com - But I need to thank the team for existing and therefore enabling me to give myself role - without them, I'm just a nerd with a computer and a plastic addiction.

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