Reading, Jan 2020
Cabins in escape rooms have a tendency to turn grizzly – the ominous cabin in the woods trope. This one is an exception. It turns out to be a fairly normal miner’s cabin (normal other than being filled with puzzles, I guess); unfortunately, just at the moment you sneak inside, a landslide leaves you trapped with no way out.
Far from creepy, there’s a homely and quite welcoming feel to the space. It was even pretty well lit, though the torches provided were a welcome help for the dimmer corners. It’s the sort of layout where there are plenty of clue items and locks immediately visible, some of which can be tackled early on and others for which their use only becomes clear much further on.
I thought Cabin had an old school feel to the design, and was none the worse for it – in the sense that it’s a game focused front and centre on puzzles. The theme and setting are used well, and other puzzle ideas are mixed in eclectically based on quality of puzzle more than how well it fits. Perhaps my favourite step was one that was entertainingly silly, but more than any individual puzzle it was just satisfying to plough through a whole sequence of well-designed puzzles one after another, with a couple of pleasing a-ha moments.
We took one hint for an early step that I suspect will catch plenty of other observationally-challenged enthusiasts too; arguably it’s a bit on the sneaky side. But Curious Cabin was a well designed game with puzzles that consistently made sense. I enjoyed the venue’s previous games but their latest is a step up from them. It builds to a good finish – I do think they could go a lot further in making that climax more dramatic, but the no-tech approach used was entertaining.
Curious Cabin would make a great introduction to escape rooms for new players, and although some of the puzzle ideas may not be new to more experienced players there’s still lots to enjoy. If you’re visiting the venue and only have time for one game, this is the one to pick.