Stop reading. Go play this game!
Legend says – in the heart of the Aztec Jungle, there stands a hidden Temple, home of the Golden Monkey statue.
2 years ago, the famous explorer Rex Hunter, mysteriously disappeared whilst on a quest to retrieve the Golden Monkey. Now you and your team have been enlisted by the Royal Institute to investigate the disappearance of Rex and complete his mission, returning with the famous monkey statue.
We were last at ClueCracker just over a year ago when we detoured to play Jail Break. Since then, the team have been busy and created not only four online games but also two new physical games.
The first game of our after-work trip was Temple Quest. Temple Quest is over the road from their original Shufflehouse location in a much more prominent, glass fronted corner unit – you really can’t miss it.
When we arrived we were greeted by Tom, one of the brains behind ClueCracker and he introduced us to our gamesmaster, Adam. It felt very weird getting our briefing in their reception area as it felt like we were some form of window display for all to see – a great way to pique the interest of passersby for sure.
After the briefing was out of the way, and our trusty stachel and hardhats (with lights attached) were issued, we were led down the hallway and to the entrance to the temple to begin our quest.
Covid Precautions: Both Tom and Adam wore face masks and remained two meters away from us at all times. Hand sanitiser was available in reception and we didn’t see any other teams during our time there. We wore masks in the room and they clean everything thoroughly between teams.
There is no denying it, this room is stunning, truly stunning. From the moment we entered the room we could see that we were going to be in for something special. The briefing that took place in the room used theatrics and technology that really ramped up our excitement, but of course it wouldn’t be ClueCracker without a bit of humour thrown in for good measure.
Playing this room really did feel like we were on a quest and each area we explored seemed to improve on the last. I’ve been trying to think about what this room reminded me of, and I think they took inspiration from many different films/movies/tv shows, to bring together something that just fills you with childhood wonder as you investigate further. The most noticeable inspiration for me at one point was surely The Goonies, although I felt a bit like a real life Indiana Jones – watch out for the booby traps!
At one point for this game you will need to ensure that at least one of your team is a little limber, but only one person needs to complete this task as ClueCracker have a work around should anyone not be willing or able to complete this section. Although this particular section was probably one of the highlights for us.
I love a game with a solid ending, and this game had that. Even though our time in the temple was running out fast, they found a way to keep the adrenaline going right up until the end.
As you’d expect from ClueCracker, everything in this room felt like it belonged (except us probably), and the puzzles felt like an integrated part of the game rather than just thrown in to slow teams down.
There was a huge variety of puzzle styles so there is probably at least one that you will love, and likely one or two that you haven’t seen before. Communication, decoding, logic, physical, searching, you name it was probably in this game.
Some people love padlocks, some hate them, this game had very very few padlocks and the ones that were there felt like they belonged. Solving puzzles in Temple Quest usually resulted in
magic tech opening up something in the room.
We found that all of the puzzles had good signposting to direct us where to go next, or what to do with what we had found which took away any frustrations. The puzzles in this game seemed to mostly click with us so we found ourselves not needing too many clues, although there were a couple of failings on our part where we completely forgot about something we had found earlier and just got caught up in the excitement of finding new things.
The game played out, for the most part, in a non-linear fashion. This meant that we most likely resembled kids in a candy shop as we explored and found new things to play with and solve. This game would work really well in larger teams (six max, obviously) and it would definitely be a game that families would enjoy. As it was, we played as a team of two and it kept us going for 57 minutes – too close for comfort for me!
One great thing about this room that I actually overlooked at the time, was that there was no ‘difficulty by darkness’ here. In parts that lighting was perfectly adequate to see and when it got dark, we could just turn on the lights on our helmets.
ClueCracker have integrated a nice little clue system in this game that follows you throughout the game. Our monkey assistant, Boris, was always on hand should we need any help, and if we did all we had to do was ask and he would provide help, in character.
Boris (obviously Adam in disguise) read the room well and could see/hear when we were completely stumped. When this happened he would kindly remind us that he was there to help should it be needed, just how we like it. There was more to it than this though and additional interactions with Boris added more of that ClueCracker humour which we thoroughly enjoyed.
It would be odd to find a digital timer in a temple, right? ClueCracker thought so too, so there was no timer in the room, although there was a way that your time was relayed to you to keep you updated on your progress.
There is no doubt that this room is going into both of our Top 10’s, it was great. Great is the word to describe it, great puzzles, great design, great hosts, great fun! If you are thinking about playing as a team of two, play it. If you want to take the family, take them. This is a game that will likely be drawing people to Tunbridge Wells for a long time
Team: 2 players (escaped in around 57 minutes with two or three clues)
Address: Clue Cracker, 59 St Johns Road, TN4 9TT
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review