London, Jan 2017
The theme here is straightforward. Your recently deceased grandfather has left you a fortune – but the old man clearly had a sadistic streak, since he’s hidden it behind a series of puzzles and given you an hour to find it before you’re arrested for trespassing.
As you might guess from the premise, this game’s decor is fairly simple, consisting mainly of furniture and props with a slightly period feel – not a specific period so much as a general preference for the old-fashioned shared by many escape rooms. It’s a style used by quite a lot of escape rooms, especially the older ones, and many of the puzzles in this room were also familiar from other rooms.
For what it is, it’s well-executed. For most of the room sequence there are multiple different puzzles to be worked on in parallel, which combine to unlock the final target at the end. There’s a reasonable mix of different types of puzzle, with some search elements, and a couple of pleasing touches that make it clearer when you’re on the right track.
It’s also heavily padlock based, with a good scattering of red herring items. It’s mostly clear which items should be ignored and which not, although there was one critical clue that I’d have written off as an incidental part of the decoration had I been the one who’d looked at it (fortunately I wasn’t!). There was also one locked container that made a promising rattling sound that turned out to be un-openable.
I also couldn’t help but notice that on our visit they had at most two staff operating three rooms (and usually I think just one). That caused zero problems for us, and I saw no sign of it being a problem for the other teams who started at the same time we did, but based on experience elsewhere, fewer operators than teams playing tends to mean lower quality hinting and overall experience.
Overall, it’s a somewhat basic, traditional room, though perfectly enjoyable. It’s an entirely reasonable one for beginners, but enthusiasts will likely find it low on originality and a bit too easy to be satisfying.