Twinwoods Adventure, 36 Twinwoods Business Park, Thurleigh Road, MK44 1FD
Team of 2: £64.99
Team of 4: £86.99
Twinwoods is an adventure activity centre offering high-adrenaline pursuits such as skydiving, archery, and indoor surfing, and the defining feature of their real-life "Morse Code" escape room is (normally) its set-piece ending as players leap from a 125ft tower attached to a cord. Given the very physical nature of the game design, how then does Morse Code adapt to a remote play over Zoom? Well, it's obviously not the same experience, but its actually still remarkably fun when enjoyed through the eyes of a remote avatar.
The storyline is that of a British operative behind enemy lines during WWII - a very familiar setup, but one that at least lends itself to lots of instantly recognisable objects and thematic game interactions - intercepted mission plans, radio frequencies, wartime planes, gas masks, and suchlike. The puzzles themselves are also somewhat predictable - if you find a bomber jacket, you can be pretty certain of finding something in the pocket, and finding out a birthdate is likely to be the combination for a combo padlock. So, don't expect this to be a game that will shatter your preconceptions about escape room design.
However, while these common tropes may not challenge the boundaries of what is possible from a real-life escape room, when used in a remote avatar room this familiarity actually adds a benefit to the experience. The (literal) remoteness of players in video-mediated avatar-led rooms, and their inevitable sensory deprivation and disorientation means it's arguably not the correct place for designers to experiment with unusual and unexpected input or feedback systems - rather, everything in Morse Code behaved exactly as we expected it to - whenever we found a code or item we knew immediately how and where to ask our avatar to use it, and the game flowed seamlessly from start to end. Our team of 4 experienced players completed both objectives and the bonus 3rd objective in 42 minutes, and we had the opportunity to chat with our GM and avatar afterwards, who were both lovely.
The game took place over Zoom, and the video and audio quality were excellent. An inventory of any objects found in the game were added to a live webpage to enable them to be examined in more detail (there was a 360° view of the room, although we didn't end up using that), and all the tech worked flawlessly.
It wasn't particularly challenging, but it was fun, and we enjoyed making our avatar giggle by using our dodgy wartime accents. So, for an hour or so of casual puzzling escapism, I'd definitely still recommend it.