London, Nov 2016
As you might expect in a Da Vinci room, the objective is to recover the Holy Grail. The action is set in a study and the decor tied in nicely with the theme. It is a fairly linear room so best done with a smaller team. Clues are requested by waving at the screen.
I don’t remember any stand-out puzzles or ‘wow’ moments. Experienced teams are unlikely to find any great challenges or difficulties here. It is, however, a decent room that will offer a fair amount of fun and enjoyment to newbies. Personally, I felt rather uninspired by the experience.
The most stand-out thing about Da Vinci was how very typical it was, without either glaring flaws or many compelling reasons to choose it over another of London’s games.
It uses a smallish room, with decent but simple decorations – lots of padlocked furniture with faux-bookshelf wallpaper. Puzzles are almost entirely linear, and make extensive use of laminated paper clues. The Masonic theme is followed consistently but with a great deal of escape room logic, and while none of the puzzles were terrible they often suffered from small ambiguities that appeared to have been deliberately included. Where the room was difficult, the difficulty mainly came from those small ambiguities or from our having simply not looked in the right place.
I played this room as a convenient option to introduce a friend to escape rooms, and for those purposes it was an excellent choice that went down well. Anyone who’s played a number of games is likely to find it on the bland side. But it looks decent, has a varied selection of broadly acceptable puzzles with a solid ending, and Escape London’s hosting is friendly and competent.