Cornwall, Jul 2017
I’m not sure you could arrive at an escape room in a more apt manner than we did – travelling down overnight from London Paddington, on the sleeper train, fast asleep until waking to the view of St Michael’s Mount close to the venue, then walking straight over to the venue.
Apt, because the theme of the room is set around a crime that takes place on the sleeper train from London – someone has been killed, and your job is to solve the crime, and presumably escape the room. There’s no fake jeopardy in place here, just a pointer that once you’ve solved the crime you’ll be able to exit and tell the venue staff who did it, why, and what with to get bonus minutes removed from your overall exit time. There’s also a fairly convoluted clue system with punishments for more than two clues, with minutes added to your escape time.
Still with me? It was a bit much, in all honesty, so we chose to mostly ignore it all and just ask for a clue if we really needed one. That worked out just fine. Clues are delivered (mostly) on a screen.
The host was very friendly, and an impromptu visit in the briefing from her school uniformed son (off to the dentist, no less) reinforced the family nature of their business. That was a big positive.
The staging and setting for the hour was fairly nicely done. Some apt partitioning gave a reasonable idea of a train carriage with narrow corridor and cabin doors for the room itself. It probably lacked a little in the early stages, and required a fairly vivid imagination to start with, but improved as we progressed.
This was the case throughout the hour – it improved as we went.
All of the puzzle content was themed well, but the initial task was more of a hidden item/search/combination, which left us pretty cold initially. Would someone really hide the train door safety override codes in various places around a train corridor? I expect not, and that suspension of belief never feels quite right in a room. Especially when it can easily be avoided. Room for improvement there, definitely.
Once we’d gotten into the sleeper cabin itself things improved somewhat, with some fairly well-worn but fun puzzle tropes, nicely adjusted for the theme of the game, and our progress was now a little quicker. A well-timed clue request kept the momentum going, and we rattled through the second half of the puzzles much quicker than the first. A puzzle featuring perspective was new to me, and something of a highlight towards the end.
A word of warning for anyone that doesn’t like crawling through small spaces – don’t let it put you off the room, but bring someone happy to do it on your behalf!
We eventually figured out the story of the murder, found the murder weapon and came to some (more or less right) conclusions about the motive.
This was a pretty solid room, if unremarkable. There’s little to suggest anyone should make an epic journey to play it, but if you’re in the area, it would be well worth an hour of your time.
We escaped as a pair just under 50mins , net of all the calculations for clues and correct motives/murderer etc.
It says 2-4 people, but would strongly recommend a 2 or a 3 given the size of the room and puzzle content.