Sheffield, Apr 2017
Whilst checking out which rooms to try in Sheffield during a quick visit to the Snooker, we stumbled upon Enigma Rooms. A three-venue franchise outfit based initially in Doncaster, but now including Sheffield and Retford.
Handily located on Sheffield’s tram system (Blue Route), the building itself is pretty unassuming and set on a small row of shops, next to (and over) a chip shop. At least, I think it was a chip shop. The smell of food wafting up and into the escape room venue means it’s a bad idea to attempt this hungry.
The reception area was already ready and open when we arrived, and the friendly owner/designer Chris Chappell was there to meet and greet us. A quick run down of what the rules and regulations were and we were straight into the action.
An interesting start, with a quick hidden numbers puzzle led into the room proper, or at least the bottom of the stairs to the bank itself. Next, a great little (unique to me) challenge which meant we needed to split up our team of two, and tackle things alone. Money bags littered the locked areas and we studiously collected these with the hope they’d come in useful later. They did.
Reunited, it was time to figure out how we were going to break into the bank vault itself. A familiar looking space with box files, a computer, desk and the usual office-theme escape room paraphernalia greeted us. We solved things based on timezones, maps and money and everything flowed well. The decor was on the poorer end of the spectrum, but wasn’t incongruous. One thing was, though – a fully working antique wall-mounted bagatelle, complete with a refreshing prize for getting the ball in. It’s nothing to do with the puzzles (as such) but a fun interlude all the same.
Moving further into the game, we entered the retail part of the banking premises, needing to enter the the high security zone. A couple of helpful hints were given to us via the timing screen in the main room at this stage, and we were back on track after a mental roadblock. A small malfunction with the final reveal didn’t take anything away from what was a fun, basic escape room experience. Some of the feedback and advice we gave to the venue has since been acted on and adjustments made. Always great to see.
We finished in approx 50 minutes, which was the fastest escape at the time of playing, despite being a pair. The escape rate around 35%, and is suited to teams of up to 6 players. Student discount is also offered.
A long chat with the designer/owner ensued and he then persuaded us to play his other (original) room: Voodoo.
Spoiler: played as a pair of rooms, they’re probably the best in Sheffield.