Games played by Armchair Escapist

Rating
Game
Company
Game
Location
Played: 26 Aug 2021 Team size: 3 Time taken: 39:29 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyimmersivegreat hosting

We had a lot of fun at Sabotage. It’s wonderfully themed, solidly built and with a good mix of puzzles, despite some issues with game flow.

The lo-fi approach to theming the on point wartime aesthetic really sold it for us. I’d recommend you pop in and play it if you’re in South Wales.

Played: 13/08/2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 19mins Outcome: Successful escape!

We both thoroughly enjoyed The Vandermist Dossier. From the moment we opened up the box to submitting our final answer (and damn, the reveal of that final answer is so satisfying!), we had a blast. The game is well put-together with innovative components and a gripping narrative.

I’d recommend this to puzzle solvers who like a good balance of story and puzzles, and who like to get involved with physical components. Fans of The Hincks series should get a kick out of the puzzles too (though the tone is more serious).

Played: 22 Aug 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 40:05 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly

If you find yourself towards the top end of Wales, I recommend paying Beyond Breakout a visit. The Mask is a fun room that would be a decent challenge for small teams, and you’ll have a blast with Lorna and Jo as your hosts.

Played: 21 Aug 2021 Team size: 4 Time taken: 46:02 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulvalue for moneyfamily friendly

If you're in the area, I highly recommend you play Escape from the Cursed Galleon. Our team of four was a good number to tackle the room, though I'd say that's should be the max. I'd say a duo of experienced players could take it on in time too.

And when you're there, see if you can find the Armchair Escapist logo!

Played: 20 Jul 2021 Team size: 4 Time taken: 1hr 8 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyfunnyclever

We really enjoyed playing Welcome to Argenia. It was funny, had some very interesting puzzle types that I’d never seen before, and had a sense of being a fully-realised world, even in a fairly small geographical area.

As this is part of an ongoing series set in the same place, I’m very much looking forward to more adventures in Argenia. After how episode 0 ended, I wonder how high the stakes are going to get!

Played: 11 Jul 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 27 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyoriginalstory-driven

Monsters in the Wild is a fun, grounded game with a plethora of interesting puzzles and an exciting narrative with plenty of twists and turns. It’s a bit more accessible than The Submerged Sentinel, and would be perfectly suited to first-time players of Enigma Fellowship games.

Played: 3 Jul 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 4 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulvalue for moneystory-driven

We both really enjoyed playing Blackbrim. It’s a well-made and wonderfully-designed game with a great look and compelling storyline. The puzzles are balanced and will make you feel like a smarty pants when you solve them, and who doesn’t want that?

Played: 13 Jun 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 53 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneycleverfamily friendly

The Trapped Escape Game series would make for a perfect game to take on holiday or if you’re throwing a party. It’s highly portable and has a great party game vibe. Flight 927 is on the more challenging end of the scale, but still family friendly and accessible to most players.

Played: 6 Jun 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 53 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulstory-driven

We really enjoyed playing The Gatekeeper. It’s a beautiful game with a nice storyline and a good selection of puzzles. This is one I’d say is a good fit for families or a couple having an ‘off the grid’ time away.

We found it a little easy, but we enjoyed the ride. If you’re after something with the look and feel of a hidden object game, but with better puzzles, then check out The Gatekeeper.

Played: 22 May 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 51 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulvalue for moneystory-driven

We both really enjoyed The Cinderella Murders. It’s a perfect complement to the existing Society of Curiosities adventures and a nice mild break for your brain in between games. These games don’t skimp on production value, though. And, combined with a slick online interface, makes for a fun, fantastical fairy detective game.

Played: 19 May 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 48 Outcome: Successful escape!
cleverplain

The Heist needs some TLC. The puzzles themselves are pretty good, and are of a similar quality to what I’ve experienced in other Escape Reality rooms. But the room itself looks like it hasn’t had much love for a while, which put a bit of a dampener on our suspension of disbelief.

This room could work for larger teams of 5-6 given the size of the room, though there’d be a bottle neck at the midpoint of the game for anything larger than four people.


Played: 19 May 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 41:26 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersiveepic

The Cardiff Castle has quickly become one of my favourite escape games in Wales. With a beautiful set, wonderful a-ha moments and solid puzzles, it’s an instant win for me.

I’d hyped up the game quite a bit in my mind during lockdown, and I was delighted that it had exceeded my expectations.

If you enjoyed The Tomb and are looking for something a bit more challenging, The Cardiff Castle should be next on your list. But I think everyone will get a kick out of playing this room.

I’d recommend this game for groups of 2-3 (four maximum) as the rooms aren’t too big and bigger groups might step on one another’s toes.

This game is the closest to a Crystal Maze style experience you’re likely to get without going to the real deal. You’ll have a blast!

Played: 10 May 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 57 mins Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneycleverstory-drivenquite difficult

The Submerged Sentinel is another great puzzle adventure from Enigma Fellowship. Its rich story, innovative puzzles and superb attention to detail mark it out as an excellent choice for experienced puzzlers. I’m no newbie, and this certainly gave my brain a workout!

If you’re a less experienced player, I recommend you start with the other games from Enigma Fellowship – The Lost Knowledge and The Scattered Cards. If you’re up for a challenge, then definitely check out The Submerged Sentinel.

Played: 18/04/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 48mins Outcome: Successful escape!

With each game Society of Curiosities manage to up the ante on their games. The quality of their materials speaks for itself and their puzzles have some wonderful ‘a-ha’ moments. There”s creativity and ingenuity abound in The Memory Stone, and it shows Society of Curiosities is going from strength to strength.

I’d recommend The Memory Stone to anyone who wants their games to feel as real as possible. If you’ve tried The Balthazar Box from The Mystery Agency, and are after something more challenging, then definitely go for the Society of Curiosities.

Played: 20 March 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 59:47 Outcome: Successful escape!

I loved The Balthazar Stone. It had all the right elements of mystery and discovery that I want in a good at-home escape game. The game materials are great quality and feel like real artifacts.

The puzzles are really well designed, making me feel like a real armchair treasure hunter. The seamless attention to detail that I’ve come to love about Mischief Theatre is clearly evident here.

I’d recommend this game for anyone who’s a fan of Society of Curiosities and is hungry for more. It’s less challenging than the Society of Curiosities games, so I’d say it lends itself more towards a casual or family game night.

Played: 06 April 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 19mins Outcome: Successful escape!

I really enjoyed playing Tunnelling Through Time. It’s filled with the charm, humour and clever puzzle design we’ve come to know and love about Deadlocked.

We finished the game in just over an hour and we were a little sad that it had ended. As with their previous charity collaboration, this game is more accessible for less experienced escape room fans.

Die-hard puzzle veterans might get more of a brain workout from their meatier options – The Insiders and The Cyphstress – though there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.

Give it a go, support the museum and learn something while you play!

Played: 29/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 44 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Codebakers is a fun, light game with a unique concept that will be a good gift to send someone as a surprise treat. I’d recommend this for older or more experienced players given the complexity of some of the puzzles.

I think the puzzles need a bit of tinkering to improve the signposting, as well as a rethink to the hint system to make it less cryptic for players who might already be lost or frustrated.

That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing their next bake. I really like the concept and I can never say no to both puzzles and sweet treats!

Played: 15/02/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 45 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Humbug Hijinx is a fun, light puzzler that’s suitable for anyone to play. I think it needs a little bit of polish in one or two areas, but you’re still in for a good time. I’d recommend this to anyone wanting to connect with friends during lockdown – with up to five simultaneous connections, it’s a great party game.


Played: 16/02/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 23 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Mechanics of the Heart was a joy to play. It’s riddled with charm and personality, and we had loads of fun with it.

I’d highly recommend this game for couples wanting to do something different on date night. Pour yourself a glass of red, lower the lights and get romantic!

Played: 10/02/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 40 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Loot Per Suit is a really fun way to recreate the escape room experience at home. I’d recommend this game for anyone stuck at home and wanting to scratch that itch. The challenge level is good for both families or couples, and I think everyone will get a kick out of running around the house busting locks.

Played: 31/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 50 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

I’m a fan of the Hincks Gazettes, but the January 2021 edition has been their best yet. If you’re tempted to start, I’d recommend getting the January 2021 issue first.

The Gazette is for anyone who likes wordplay and enjoys their puzzles with a side of silliness. It’s an hour of pure fun and it’s sure to put a smile on your face.

Played: 27/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 1 min Outcome: Successful escape!

The Scattered Cards is a great game that’ll be fun for puzzle fans as well as would-be detectives. The puzzles are challenging and there’s an enjoyable mystery to solve. If you’re a fan of true crime, this should be a good game for you.

Teams of 2-4 I think would work well for this – the separate case files makes it perfect for a small group to sink their teeth into.

Played: 20/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 14 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

BoxONE‘s evolving gameplay is an incredibly satisfying to experience, regardless of your experience as a puzzler. But for newer players especially, this is a perfect introduction to the genre.

Although we tackled it as a duo, I’d recommend going with the game’s instruction to play it solo. But if you’re in a team, no more than two people.

If you like the ‘big reveal’ aspect of playing escape rooms, then this is definitely a game you should play.

Played: 19/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 29mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Network hits all the right marks but ultimately wasn’t my cup of tea for theme or mechanics, but that’s purely down to personal preference. The game is premium quality and there’s solid sleuthing to be had. But that all-seeing eye on the box hinted at an entirely different experience to what we had.

I’d recommend this for fans of detective mystery boxes who want a hint of escape room puzzles with their experience. If you lean slightly more towards traditional puzzle solving, do a bit more research before commiting.

Played: 03/01/21 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 47 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Posey Ring and the Chapbook is another feather in the cap for Society of Curiosities. They’ve expanded their world and built on the narrative that made the first adventure so gripping. Their puzzles are innovative, fully embedded in the theme and so satisfying to solve.

I’d recommend this one to anyone with an adventerous spirit and wants to experience some true treasure hunter moments. I can’t wait for the next part of the subscription to arrive!

Played: 15/12/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 56 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Beneath this seemingly simplistic exterior, Carnival has some solid puzzles and good puzzle flow. Appropriate to the carnival theme, anyone playing this game is in for some good clean fun with a light, bright storyline. I’d recommend this one be played with two or three players (four if there’s more than one device).

Played: 4/12/2020 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 47mins Outcome: Successful escape!

I see this being a great game for fellow history geeks like me. While the historical references were lost on my teammate, I revelled in them. I even called dibs on anything Egyptian-related as soon as it came out of the dossier.

There aresome clever puzzles and a nicely-woven story to this game that’ll entertain and educate you a little too. I’d recommend this game for fans of history and ancient cultures, or those who want a refreshing twist on the treasure hunter puzzle adventure.

Cryptic Enigmas: CSI: Bristol, (unknown location)
Played: 29/10/2020 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 49mins Outcome: Successful escape!

From the moment you crack open that large silver case, you know you’re in for something special. An immersive detective story with challenging puzzles, excellent attention to detail and great elements of deduction.

I’d recommend a larger team tackle this one – four to six would be ideal. With the wealth of evidence and materials to pore over, you’ll need every brain you can get. This makes CSI Bristol perfect for team building or a family gaming night.

Played: 23/11/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 44 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

I fully plan on sending a Post-a-Puzzle to family members on their birthday next year. It’s a fun puzzle experience that looks great and has a satisfying, personalised ending.

We played as a duo but solo players would have zero problems playing this (and given that it’s designed as a gift, playing solo is recommended).

Post-a-Puzzle is a bright, fun game that makes a perfect birthday or Christmas gift. Check it out!

Played: 12/11/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 48 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Bewitched Circus continues the great style of storytelling and puzzlecraft that Society of Curiosities is known for. You immediately feel part of the story as you direct your contact through the mysterious circus. If you enjoyed Mysterious Map Heist, I'd highly recommend playing The Bewitched Circus.

Played: 31/10/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 38mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Witchery Spell is one of the most immersive puzzle games I’ve played. The narrative is solid and grips you from the moment you open up the box.

The puzzles are solid, but it’s the storyline and the sense that you’re an active participant in the narrative that will stay with you.

Played: 23/10/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 35 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

There were some nice puzzles in this, but overall I felt wanting more at the end of it. As it’s a game designed largely for kids, I can see them enjoying it for the most part. Portioning off parts of your house to serve as different parts of the space ship would help add to the atmosphere.

But there are more polished games available for a lower price, and with more content. At almost €20, you can get more bang for your buck elsewhere.

Played: 06/10/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 12mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Deadlocked’s Moscape room is great fun. Being a charity collaboration, it’s more accessible than their first two games and so is an easier entry point into Deadlocked’s puzzle-verse. So if you fancy yourself a more serious puzzler, I recommend playing the extended edition (just add EX at the end of your game code when you first play).

The game lets you become hacker and detective all in one, and its heart and humour carry you through to a satisfying conclusion.

The thing I love most about Deadlocked’s rooms is that you’re never just a player trying to get to the end goal. They craft characters that you can’t help but bond with, and the journey becomes almost as important as the destination. Like I said when playing The Cyphstess, you’re left with a warmth that goes beyond the satisfaction of winning.

Played: 6/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 34mins Outcome: Successful escape!

This opening adventure from Society of Curiosities is one of the most immersive and satisfying escape games I’ve played. A great deal of care has been taken to make sure that you feel like an adventurer every step of the way.

Playing through Madok’s Lost Treasure, you don’t feel like you’re just solving puzzles. You feel like you’re taking part in a huge discovery, and the interactions with your ‘team’ at the Society only strengthen this.

I finished the mission invigorated and hungry for more adventure!

Played: 23/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 45 min Outcome: Successful escape!

Alice in Puzzle Land Live is a fun romp through a familiar setting that’s been well adapted to work remotely, the experience made all the better with Lorna and Jo as your eyes and hands. We played as a duo, but I think a group of three would work well so you’ve an extra pair of eyes to pick up on anything important.

This would work well for a family that wants a fun activity together but can’t make it to the physical room.


Played: 24/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 34 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

An Enola Holmes Adventure was a load of fun. The game perfectly encapsulated that spirit of light-hearted adventure that made the film so enjoyable.

I’d recommend this game to anyone who likes the film and wants to have a crack at solving their own mystery. I’d say its challenge level is better suited to families, but it makes for an excellent way to round out movie night for anyone.

Played: 02/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 49 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

I had a good time at Hotel Crime Scene – the two-games-in-one aspect was a solid success and I’d love to see other games replicate this format for that extra achievement.

The game was a little rough around the edges in one or two places but the puzzles were good and flowed well.

I’d recommend this room to those that want a more traditional escape room experience but with the added flavour of a murder mystery. Groups of 2-3 would work well – any more and you might step on each other’s toes.

Played: 02/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 49:00 Outcome: Successful escape!
Jumunga was a fun room to play - it had good puzzle flow and it marked a nice 'welcome back' after so long away from the scene. I'd recommended this one for families or newer players - if you're more experienced, a group of 2 is ample as the room is quite small.
Played: 23/8/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 40mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Curious Stairs of Mr. Hincks from Bluefish Games was a joy to play. It’s filled to the brim with good humour and a wonderfully light tone that’s refreshing to see.

There’s creativity abound and it was able to breathe new life into some tired puzzle formats.

Played: 18/08/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 46 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Missed Flight makes for a perfect puzzle gift. The story has believable stakes, the puzzles are solid and the quality of the components is excellent. I’d recommend this for anyone wanting to send their favourite puzzler something a little different for that special occasion

Played: 1/8/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 15:48 Outcome: Successful escape!

We blitzed through the game in no time at all, but we still had fun. This isn’t a game for escape room enthusiasts by a long stretch.


If you’re after a challenge, I’d recommend going for the other games in the Trapped series – The Art Heist and The Bank Job.


But if you’re looking for some fun themed puzzle activities for a kid’s birthday party, then The Carnival would be a great fit.

Played: 11/08/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 13mins Outcome: Successful escape!

A Death in the Red Light is a wonderfully polished game that blends the play-at-home escape experience with an interactive noir detective novel. I’d recommend this for someone wanting to take their time and absorb themselves in the story so they get the most out of stepping into the street-worn shoes of the detective.

Played: 03/08/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 1hr 24mins Outcome: Successful escape!

A delightful and challenging puzzle game with a solid story and great humour througout. I’d highly recommend this room to anyone who wants a touch of silliness with their game – we had an absolute blast!

Played: Oct 2019 - July 2020 Team size: 2 Time taken: 9 months? Outcome: Successful escape!

Legend: A Game of Maps is a wonderfully-crafted and in-depth puzzle experience that is as close as you’re likely to get to feeling like a real treasure hunter.

This isn’t an ‘escape game’ like you might be used to – this is something to take your time over and enjoy the details.

I’d recommend this game to anyone who watched The Goonies and wanted to recreate that feeling of discovery. I can’t wait for part three!

Played: 06/10/2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: An evening Outcome: Successful escape!

Legend: A Game of Maps is a wonderfully-crafted and in-depth puzzle experience that is as close as you’re likely to get to feeling like a real treasure hunter.

This isn’t an ‘escape game’ like you might be used to – this is something to take your time over and enjoy the details.

I’d recommend this game to anyone who watched The Goonies and wanted to recreate that feeling of discovery. I can’t wait for part three!

Played: 12/7/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 40 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Trapped: The Art Heist is a fun and innovative take on the play-at-home escape game set up. It’s a great and inexpensive way to bring the escape experience home.

I’d recommend this for families or those fairly new to escape rooms. For experienced players you’d probably do better with their more difficult game – The Bank Job.

Played: 26/6/20 Team size: 4 Time taken: 48 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Sector X: The B.R.U.C.E. Project is a fun and quirky game that has a good range of challenging puzzles tucked under its belt. Its setup encourages communication and teamwork, and it gets that right in spades. The simplistic design betrays some solid puzzlework that plays well to its medium.

I’d recommend this for work team building events (as we did it), and teams of 3-4 who aren’t too bothered about immersion and just want a good time.

Played: 23/6/20 Team size: 4 Time taken: 36 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Sapphire Project is a cool concept with a slick interface and some good puzzles. There are some kinks to work out in the design and one or two puzzles that take away from the immersion, but we still had fun being anti-alien hackers for half an hour.

This game would be suited to families or players with a little less experience, as seasoned escapers may find it doesn’t quite sate their appetite.

Played: 19-20 June 2020 Team size: 2 Time taken: 2hrs 20 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

The Cyphstress is a wonderful, well-polished game that’s filled with charm and has excellent puzzles to boot. As we finished the game and the end credits rolled, I felt good. Not just because I’d ‘escaped’. Not just because we’d solved all the puzzles. But because I felt like I was a part of the story.

It’s a rare and joyous feeling in a puzzle game. I heartily recommend you give it a go. And at £10, it’s incredible value for money.

Played: 12/06/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 30 mins Outcome: Successful escape!

Mysterious Map Heist was a fun and well-crafted interactive puzzle hunt that served as an excellent taster for Society of Curiosities’ subscription box. Highly recommended!

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