Oxford, Mar 2017
Ex(c)iting Games is a small independent company conveniently located right next to the Headington bus stop on the route to London, and Warehouse was the first of their two rooms that we played.
My heart sunk rather in the pre-game briefing when the operator informed us that the room was fairly dark, that there were two lanterns, and one of those was immobilised. The room was far from pitch black, but dim enough to make it difficult to see most clues and locks properly without the lantern. Low lighting wasn’t particularly needed for the theme (most warehouses have perfectly adequate lighting!) so it was an unnecessarily frustrating setup. With a team of three we found it to be a hindrance but manageable; a larger team would suffer more.
It also turned out to be heavily based around padlocks, most of them interchangeable four digit locks. In many other rooms that leads to endlessly trying different versions of a code on each of a number of locks. To this game’s credit, that didn’t happen. Although we had to try each code on multiple locks, pretty much all the codes were completely clear once found – once we’d solved something, we knew what code it had given us without ambiguity.
The game takes place in a small room with basic decor that doesn’t live up to the official story of finding an antidote that will save humanity. It’s very much a low budget build. However, within those constraints, they’ve assembled a nicely varied array of puzzles, with a couple of novel ideas and unexpected uses for objects.
I’d prefer to see the puzzles tie together into the story much more, instead of being a largely unrelated series of locks, and I’d have liked even more to have an additional couple of lanterns or torches made available to us. Still, it may be low-budget but it’s a solid room, and most importantly the puzzles are inventive and work well.