Cave Escape: Carfax

By | December 28, 2022

Nottingham, Jul 2021

Rated 4 out of 5
Toby says:

There are lots of ways to build atmosphere in an escape room, with lighting, audio, props and effects; but some venues just start off with an unfair advantage – such as Cave Escape, whose games are indeed inside an actual set of caves beneath Nottingham. From their attractively gothic lobby, players descend stairs to the game area underground; they currently have two, of which the first is Carfax, inspired by Bram Stoker’s original Dracula novel.
With such a gloriously atmospheric location ready-made, it’s interesting that large parts of Carfax are not set in a cave; instead, the cave interior is transformed into other settings. In practice, this works very well – the decor is thoroughly convincing, and the craggy walls give everything an extra gravitas that converted office space would lack. And I very much liked the progression through different scenes, as a sort of selected highlights that evoked the whole story.
Each stage has its own style, in both decor and puzzles. The section we struggled most with was, naturally, the one that relied most on search and observation, as well as written clues; but it was all fair and well designed, and was a good bridge between the sections before and after.
Other than some sticking points there, we found it a relatively easy game, partly thanks to logical puzzle design. It’s a game to enjoy, not one to rush through.
A minor annoyance was that the combination of glasses and face mask kept leaving me with fogged vision in the humid air of the cave – as and when the venue opens further games I’ll be sure to wear contact lenses for them instead.
My lingering impression of Carfax is of a very pretty game – not too difficult, solid in its design, a cool room built in a cool location. 4 / 5
Pris rated this:4 / 5

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