Berlin, Nov 2017
“The most terrible dictator of his time is about to be overthrown” – don’t jump to conclusions though, this is an entirely fictional dictator in a modern setting not a WW2 game. This dictator has left a city-levelling bomb as a parting gift, and it’s your task to find it and defuse it before it goes off.
Visiting Berlin and playing a succession of highly recommended games, we were spoiled for quality, and coming in the middle of many games with outstanding decorations, the relatively mundane decor of The Dictator looked plain, with lockers and desk drawers and other familiar escape room staples, though all presented well enough.
The game was stronger on its puzzle content. A couple of sequences stood out, with a clever co-operative skill-based task and a gadget that could have been confusingly fiddly but which in fact worked very smoothly once we found the right approach. The design style is fairly typical ‘escape room’ content, but the puzzles were varied and free of flaws.
The finale felt just a little artificial, requiring us to finish defusing the bomb and then race to the room exit; ending with a successful bomb defusal seems like it’d be sufficient and better paced. But maybe teams find it more exciting to need to bundle themselves out the door to end the game, particularly since only one person can complete the last step of the bomb defusal but the whole group needs to run for the exit. That aside, it was a fairly cool bomb and a fun game to play.