London, Jul 2017
Inside Out’s original game is Sherlock themed, and your job is to discover at which of Professor Moriarty’s hideouts the famous detective is being held prisoner.
This room looks distinctly better than their other CSI game. The atmosphere is achieved with simple effects such as bookshelf-pattern wallpaper, but the result works well enough and is complemented by some lovely props, and I was willing to overlook the items that fit less well, such as modern padlocks and laminated sheets.
Sometimes games flow smoothly, sometimes its a struggle to progress. This one was the latter. Perhaps we were simply not playing well, but it felt tough. We’d speed through a couple of puzzles and then spend ages sorting through the miscellaneous bits and pieces we’d collected trying to work out what on earth to do next. Thinking it through, some of that was us failing to make connections that we should have thought of, but some it was also because the game is somewhat harder than most. The difficulty was for a mixture of reasons: some ‘bad’ (puzzles that resolved less than completely clearly), some ‘good’ (unusual ideas and puzzles requiring additional steps to reach the solution) and some neither (clues provided in hard to spot ways).
Even so, we were in no danger of failing the room, despite having spent a great deal of time banging heads against metaphorical walls. I suspect therefore that a team who does well on the puzzles could finish the game very quickly, under the half hour mark – which also implies that for the vast majority of teams who take longer, the additional time will be spent getting stuck and struggling.
Go into this game expecting it won’t necessarily be easy to get going, and that you may have to fight to make progress. If that doesn’t put you off, then there’s plenty to enjoy here.