It’s a blast
You and your team have been selected to take part in a legendary Cypherdyne interview. A challenging and disarming hour-long interview that is rumoured to not just separate the wheat from the chaff but discard the chaff entirely.
Unsure what to expect, the promise of a great job in this dire economy is enough for you to face whatever escape challenge the CEO has set for you. Your career may be unlocked and explode with opportunity!
There is no escape from this office interview, the bright lights are clinical, the challenges are daunting…
Can you become part of Cypherdyne’s elite security team? Or will you bomb and be swept aside just before the next candidates arrive?
Our day at Cryptology started with Dreamscape, followed swiftly by Rameseize. We did take a break for lunch, but next on the agenda was Cryptology’s first game, Cypherdyne. Once again, we returned to the comfort of Cryptology’s cinema-styled reception to chat about all things escape rooms with Mark, the owner, and await the arrival of our GM, Brandon (We would be meeting every member of the Cryptology staff on duty that day throughout the course of our escape adventures.)
Brandon arrived, looking very much the part of someone’s Executive Assistant at a tech firm, ready to lead the way to our next escape endeavour. The description of Cypherdyne is intriguing and chock full of innuendo. In fact, for all its crypticness, it actually explains exactly what you’re there to do, aside from interview in a different sort of manner. After climbing even more stairs, Brandon stopped us just outside the door to Cypherdyne to ensure we were aware of what to do in the event of an emergency, before leading us through the door to the office, and revealing just how explosive our interview would be.
Covid-19 Precautions: Cryptology are taking customer’s safety seriously and are still participating in NHS Track and Trace. They also request that everyone, staff and customers, continue to wear masks in common areas, and hand sanitiser stations are plentiful throughout the venue. The games also undergo a thorough clean between teams, and game times are staggered to avoid cross over of teams in common areas.
With one last parting word of advice, Brandon closed the door behind him, and our “interview” was underway. Being the first Cryptology game, Cypherdene is unsurprisingly the most “traditional” in terms of design. It’s also the most traditional in terms of set – it’s just an office after all. The Cypherdyne office looked very much like any office – a desk, stark lighting, and a few bits of corporate decor here and there. But as we progressed further with the game we found ourselves in a few different areas of the office, shifting the mood of the game and increasing the pace.
Cypherdyne v1.5 isn’t overly narrative driven, but the puzzles fit in well with the theming. The game had a relatively linear flow, leading us from task to task, as we found new things to investigate and uncovered information for the next challenge with every hurdle we over came. Aside from the obvious adrenaline boost of the time pressures, (and the potential treat of going out with a “bang”) the background music helped to keep the atmosphere fun and fast paced, particularly as we reached the climax of the game and barrelled on through to the finale.
I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles in Cypherdyne v1.5; they were logical, and perfectly signposted to keep the pace of the game flowing smoothly, making this game a fantastic choice for those looking for a great game as an introduction to what this whole escape room thing is all about. But, the puzzles are also clever with a unique spin on some of the more traditional puzzle types one sees in an escape room, making Cypherdyne just as much fun for the enthusiast crowd, particularly when something clicks and you get the satisfaction of a great “Ah-ha!” moment.
Be prepared for puzzles that represent some of the escape room classics – minor search elements, a bit of communication, observation, logical deduction, and lateral thinking. There’s plenty in Cypherdyne to keep teams busy, but with a mix of curious padlocks, tech, and a few other things to bar the way to success in your job interview, there’s enough variety to always keep players guessing and puzzling things out.
Clues in Cypherdyne were delivered using the large TV screen in the room. But they were also a bit of a nostalgia trip, with little touches on the screen that reminded me of an adolescence spent using AOL to access my email and writing essays in the late 90’s/early 00’s. Either way, whenever we received a timely nudge from our GM, Brandon, I had a little smile on my face.
Brandon was charming in his intro, and was clearly paying attention throughout our game. Although the puzzles were so wonderfully logical that we only needed a nudge from Brandon once or twice, and in one instance it was only because a few items were stuck together after their thorough cleaning, he was quick to jump in as soon as he realised the problem. (We also needed a bit of help when our fat fingers almost inadvertently triggered our destruction, but Brandon swiftly saved the day on that one too.)
Cypherdyne v1.5 may be Cryptology’s first game, but it’s also is an excellent example of everything an escape room should be: clever, exciting, and most importantly – fun. It’s perfect for new players and enjoyable for enthusiasts. With this as their first game, it’s no surprise that Cryptology has become a venue everyone seems to be talking about.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 42minutes
Address:107 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham