Not your average fairytale room
We all know the fairytales where the princess gets rescued by her knight in shining armour and they live happily ever after. How sweet.
But not quite how the brothers Grimm intended the stories to be told. Step inside a world where the stories are as beautifully twisted as when they were written.
We had a little time to kill while we were in Cornwall and despite having had a mixed experience at Cornwall’s Great Escape Rooms Newlyn branch where we played Jolly Roger and Family Business (we just didn’t click with one of the games), we decided we enjoyed them enough to give their newest location in Helston a try.
With free parking next to a lovely little lake just 10 minutes walk away from the venue, first impressions were good. What made our trip even more special was that we found a cracking burger joint just around the corner, called Boo Koos – if you’re visiting Helston then definitely stop by for food, great portion sizes, tasty food, and reasonably priced too.
I digress. Having eaten far more food than we probably should have, it was finally time to head to the venue. You really can’t miss it as it’s located in an old bank so the building is rather imposing from the outside. Again no toilets onsite at this venue so make sure you go before you arrive.
When we arrived we were greeted by our GM for the game (and also the owner), Milly. The best thing about having the owner run your game is that you get to have a good chat and find out their plans for the venue. Milly certainly has a lot of plans for this venue so we’ll be keeping an eye on them and seeing if we can swing by when we’re next in town.
After a lovely chat, Milly proceeded to give us the health and safety briefing and then the room specific briefing. With that out of the way, it was time to head to the door to the game – but this was no ordinary door, no, it was like stepping into a book.
It’s probably worth pointing out that although this game is about fairytales, it’s about the Brothers Grimm version of fairytales, so at times it is a bit macabre – I think that’s why they have an age rating of 7+ for this game. That being said, it is still a lovely room and is very much not a horror or scare experience.
I must admit, first impressions in this room didn’t feel particularly ’fairytale’, with the exception of one design choice. But once we got further into the game it started to have the type of design that you’d probably be expecting, and got brighter.
Personally I think I would have liked to have had some kind of ambient noise being played in the room, if for no other reason than to take away from the silence (and sirens occasionally going past outside). It probably would have helped add to the immersion too.
Despite this being a ‘darker’ fairytale game, it is still very much aimed at the family market, and what better way to ensure that people have a good time? Give free sweets*! We’ve played games where there have been sweets as part of the experience, but in here it was just a nice little reward for playing. I do love a double lolly.
*there were sweets when we played, we can’t guarantee there will be when you play – but let’s hope so).
We flew through this game, but the puzzles clicked so perhaps that’s why. We didn’t come out feeling like it was lacking content, it was likely that our brains were wired for these puzzle types, and they were on the easier side.
It was mostly a linear room which will suit more inexperienced teams, but there were a couple of times where we were able to split up and work on puzzles independently.
Being the type of game that seems to be designed to get people hooked on escape rooms, as you’d expect there are a number of puzzle types: searching, observation, spatial awareness, riddles, colours, and fairytales (is that a puzzle type? Oh well, I’m keeping it – but don’t worry, everything you need is in the room).
The majority of puzzles resulted in combinations for padlocks but there was also some tech involved. One bit of ‘hardware’ was also surprisingly a puzzle in its own right, I quite liked that and it delayed us for a little while we tried to work it out.
The game did have one of our pet peeves though relating to padlocks. We can’t really talk about it without giving too much away, but it could easily be tweaked to make it less frustrating. Also, the puzzle that stumped us, was a fair puzzle and once we knew what to do we could see it was actually was well signposted.
For the most part we flew through this room but there was one moment where we needed a little assistance. All we had to do was ask, and in an instant Milly had radioed in our help using the walkie-talkie – she got us back on track with just four very simple words.
If we were being picky, a more immersive clue system would have been nice. But really, walkie-talkies work so ‘if it ain’t broke’..
This game is arguably on the easier side and experienced teams will likely fly through it. But as a stop-over game, or a family game, it’s probably set just right. The set design was lovely, the puzzles made sense, and it made for a fun (albeit short) experience.
Team: 2 players – escaped in ??:?? (Not sure, but it was quick and in the 20’s)
Address: 2 Coinagehall St, Helston TR13 8DZ