More than an escape room
The plan is simple: one hour, your elite team of criminals, and an impenetrable vault. Get in, steal what you can, and get out. Oh, and don’t forget the diamond else you’re dead, alright?
There will be lasers to dodge. There will be security systems to hack. There are locked vault doors to hack, decode, open, and bypass.
Almost everything you grab will be yours to keep and will help get you far away from the heat, but whatever you do, you must get the Daylight Diamond. Without the Diamond, The Boss won’t be happy! That means you won’t be living. There’s no point being dead millionaires.
This is the final score, a flawless heist, a curtain call. Are you ready to steal from right under their noses? This is unabashed Daylight Robbery.
Everyone knows that Nottingham is a dream destination for escape room enthusiasts, but for some reason Cryptology is a company that had slipped through for us many times. We planned to come up to Nottingham for M.E.R.K.I.N (Midlands Escape Room Knee’s-up In Nottingham), so what better time to finally book ourselves in to play all four games at Cryptology!
Daylight Robbery was actually the last of the four games for us, having already played Dreamscape, Cypherdyne and Rameseize. This was also the game we had heard so much about, especially how much work there was for a team of two to complete it.
Cryptology is in a pretty cool location as they have kitted out their reception area to feel like a bijou cinema, which is bloody comfortable. If they offered free popcorn I’m not sure I would have ever left the lobby! But eventually we had to leave the lobby, and pull ourselves away from a great conversation with the owner, Mark.
Our GM for Daylight Robbery, James, emerged from the basement, said ‘Hello’ and then we proceeded to follow him back down into the lower levels of Cryptology Manor. There are quite a few steps to get down to (and back out of) the basement, but once in the game it’s all on one level. Once outside the room, James gave us the health and safety talk then swiftly donned a cunning disguise to give us our mission briefing which continued in the room. With lots of instructions running through our heads, and worried about what we may have signed up for – it was time to begin our heist!
Covid-19 Procedures: Very good Covid precautions. Teams were juggled so that their paths didn’t cross. There was track and trace in use and all staff wore masks. We were told we could take off masks in the game (we kept them on), but masks were to be worn in common areas. Copious amounts of hand sanitiser around the venue made it easy to keep our hands clean.
Probably the first thing that should be said about Daylight Robbery is that this is not at all like any other escape room out there, or at least like any we have seen. This is actually the perfect game for both enthusiasts and newbies. With 50 minutes to just play around and have fun, new players can get a feel for the puzzles, before going into the final room to get the diamond – they may not get much loot, but they should still get the diamond, and get out and be satisfied with themselves. Enthusiasts get to tackle a challenge on a similar level to UI-55 in Bury, where there are just puzzles, puzzles, and more puzzles, so even those that tend to get out of games in the 30-45 minute range actually get a full hour of puzzling. (A bit like Dreamscape).
The overall goal of the game is to collect one specific item, then anything else you get is added to your total score – so the more you get, the better you do. With so much going on, there are many many options for where to go next, yes, this room is very much non-linear once it opens up.
The sheer amount of content in this game is enough to keep your heartbeat going, but couple that with the music playing throughout and you’ll find this is a non-stop room where you feel like you can’t stop for any length of time.
The set itself is spot on. Starting in a pretty standard room, you have to infiltrate the vault through some ingenious security systems, and then get as much loot as possible. What’s nice is that, thanks to a clever inventory system, you know your total as you go along so there is no-doubt if you have enough to retire on. In places the room was dark, but only when it needed to be, and lighting was never an issue.
Cryptology have designed this to be a game that is very hard to 100% complete, it’s doable, but there is a lot to get through. We played as a team of two, but I feel like even if we had six people there would have been plenty for everyone to do.
If you’re not a fan of padlocks then this may not be the game for you. Actually, scrub that, even if you don’t like padlocks, this is an amazing experience so play it anyway. There is some pretty cool tech utilised too, so it was a lot of fun to work out how to interact with everything in here, but don’t worry, the signposting was spot on.
I can’t remember exactly how many puzzles are in this room, but it is somewhere between ‘a lot’ and ‘sh*t loads’. In the end we, as a team of two, managed to solve all but four puzzles, which is something we were quite proud of. In terms of final score, this put us second on the ‘team of two’ scoreboard.
As you’d expect from there being so many puzzles, there was a little bit of everything; communication, physical, searching (some could be sneaky), observation, maths, lateral thinking – pretty much everything. There was a little system in the room which could assist you in your mission, so make sure you investigate everything!
Other than the previously mentioned UI-55, I think you’ll struggle to find a game with as many puzzles as this!
All the games masters at Cryptology are dressed up in attire that suits the room they are hosting, and in this case, James was dressed in a rather fitting orange jump-suit. We got to experience four different games masters when we visited and each one was great.
For the most part, James just left us to it and we were able to run ahead like headless chickens from one puzzle to the next. If/when we did need help, clues were delivered via a screen in the room, but always in a way that felt in keeping with the theme. The clues were also read out loud by a text-to-speech programme and were delivered exactly at the right moment.
The screen that displayed the screens was also used for showing the countdown timer so we knew exactly how long we had left (it wasn’t long enough).
This is an amazing game that is sure to get your adrenaline going, and possibly keep it going for nearly the full hour. There are sure to be puzzles in here that you love (and some you’ll probably hate), but all the puzzles are fair, the set design is great, and this is guaranteed to be an enthusiast favourite – and could be the game to get newbies addicted.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 59:26 minutes (with £1,442,793.16, 2nd richest duo)
Address:107 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham