Brussels, Jan 2018
Alice in Wonderland is not a particularly common theme, but the games I’ve seen based on it have tended to take full advantage of the excuse for gloriously madcap decorations. Let Me Out’s version is particularly pretty, full of creative craziness and some clever distortions of perspective. The premise is that the Mad Hatter and Red Queen were unhappy with their depictions in Lewis Carroll’s book, and are attempting to replace it with a version more flattering to them; your aim is to rescue the last remaining copy of the original text.
To my surprise it was a split team start, with one person late to the Tea Party and needing to find their way from the rabbit hole. Not that there’s much Tea Party – there was little sign of the Hatter, Queen or other characters. But while it ignores story in favour of a sequence of puzzles, those puzzles use the theme well.
I enjoyed the use of Alice in Wonderland quotes, even though I was occasionally unsure whether they were intended as meaningful clues or just decoration. If you’re a stickler for consistency, you might dislike the use of a couple of pieces of technology, and a couple of unnecessary escape room staples such as an electronic safe. For the most part though any anachronisms are there in the service of fun and/or clever puzzle ideas, with one in particular providing a padlock code in a way that I found entirely original.
We played this game while tired, and found it felt a little stop-start in places as a result. My biggest gripe was a key endgame puzzle where we spent a long time searching for something missing information that turned out not to exist, with that information instead being derived in a way I felt was a bit inconsistent and not entirely satisfactory. That meant that for us it ended on a flatter note than it should have, but for any teams not caught by that it’ll be a thoroughly pleasing finish, a triumphant ascent from Wonderland.