Wigan, Jun 2019
The second game I played at Adrenaline Escape, Labyrinth is based on the legend of the Minotaur and the labyrinth of King Minos of Crete. No escape room is going to be able to create a vast network of underground corridors where you can wander for days, but Labyrinth is a relatively large game and uses its space to create a genuine sense of exploration.
Labyrinth’s premise involves a mysteriously disappearing archaeologist, but, unlike the other room we played at the venue, the story isn’t an important part of this game – it just provides an excuse for the theme that avoids asking players to pretend they’re ancient Greeks. The Grecian background is heavily used throughout though, sometimes in earnest and sometimes in a more tongue-in-cheek way. I liked that some of the symbology was used consistently across multiple puzzles, not in a way that’s likely to cause confusion, but successfully providing a sense of continuity running through.
Your stated task is simply to navigate the Labyrinth. You have a secondary aim though, which is to find as many coins as you can. Each coin may be redeemed in exchange for a hint, though that of course reduces the number of coins you finish up with. As a scoring system it’s on the easy side. The streamlined set didn’t leave all that many hiding places for the coins; we missed a couple but teams who search diligently shouldn’t have much difficulty collecting a full set. Even so, I thought the coin collecting was an excellent idea. Optional tasks like this help keep larger teams busy, and make a game better suited for a wider range of player skills levels. And the way this is set up acts as a gentle disincentive for teams to resort to hints too quickly – which is unlikely to be a problem for most enthusiast groups, but I’ve heard stories of beginner teams who ask for clues at every step before even looking at a puzzle.
It’s not particularly unusual to be given an item in the briefing for use in the game. This happened in Labyrinth, with the odd twist that it was a closed box that we were warned not to open until a specific point in the game. The setup left me expecting something more dramatic when we eventually opened it, and I wasn’t sure why they’d decided to provide the box up front instead of within the game, but it worked well enough.
Labyrinth is both prettier and simpler than its sister game. It offers a set of entirely decent puzzles that experienced players may find a little on the easy side, leading through to a good ending; it’s an impressive-looking escape room that should be a safe bet for an enjoyable game.