Our finest hour
The year is 1942.
Following occupation of the Channel Islands, a resistance fighter has sent information of an imminent German invasion within the local vicinity.
Help the Home Guard ascertain the exact location in time to protect Devon from German occupation.
A spur of the moment (kind of) getaway for a long weekend found us in Devon for a long weekend and being the escape room lovers we are we, of course, found games to play – despite planning for this break to be a chance to “relax.” Newton Abbot and Devon Escape were just 20 minutes away from our holiday cottage, so it was a no brainer to pay them a visit, especially since it would be a relatively light day with only three games at the venue.
Our day began with a warm greeting and a lovely conversation with our GM and host for the day, Emma, swiftly followed by our first two games of the day, Professor Enright’s Enigma and Death on Dartmoor. But all good things must come to an end, and it wasn’t long before we found ourselves stopping briefly to hydrate prior to our final challenge of the day: D-Day for Devon. Emma gave us the run down, and went over the health and safety again, in reception, and without further delay, sent us off to save Devon.
Covid Precautions: We wore masks in the waiting room but were allowed to take them off while in the game if we chose to. All rooms were sanitised between teams, but we were the only team onsite and we didn’t see anyone else other than our GM. Track and trace was in use and there was plenty of hand sanitiser.
All of the games at Devon Escape incorporate either the history or the local area, and sometimes both, into the game in some capacity, and D-Day for Devon is no exception. But not only is the game full of little touches to tie the game back to the local area, but Devon Escape have also strived for a sense of immersion into the world they’ve created. Stepping through the door of D-Day for Devon was a little bit like stepping back in time. Devon Escape have done their best to dress the set to reflect the World War II-era time period of the game, with chunky furniture, large maps, and of course, a giant portrait of Sir Winston Churchill.
The game provided a lovely feeling of discovery as we investigated our surroundings to prevent the Nazi invasion of Devon. The game felt as though it had a relatively linear structure, but even so, Gord and I often found ourselves working on different things at points. The game had a great flow, and a steady build towards the climax, only to take an unexpected turn, resulting in a surprising and ultimately satisfying finale to the game.
The puzzles throughout D-Day for Devon offered a nice variety of challenges, with simple maths, logic, observation, and codes, plus a few more tactile and physical tasks to round out the game. The puzzles were fair, and we didn’t find ourselves making any giant leaps to conclusions, making them satisfying to solve. Where we fell down in the other games at Devon Escape was on our searching, and thankfully, this game was lighter on the searching side than the others at the venue (which is perhaps why I preferred it.)
The puzzles also fit well within the theme, and generally helped in pushing the narrative along a bit. There were one or two exceptions to this, but those tasks that didn’t fully fit the theming were few and far between, and served to add variety to the challenges.
The timer and clues for D-Day for Devon were displayed on a vintage television set, and were accompanied by an audio alert when sent through. While this may not be entirely accurate for the time (television sets were incredibly rare until the 1950’s, after all), the antique feel of the screen helped it to blend into the background, and it didn’t stand out like a modern screen would have, giving us the best of both worlds.
As with our two previous games at Devon Escape, Emma was our GM, and was just as intuitive as she had been in previous games, sending a nudge or two when needed. Although we made her job a bit easier this time around, as the puzzles clicked a bit more and the game flowed well for us, leaving Emma little to do but watch.
D-Day for Devon was definitely the highlight of the day during our time at Devon Escapes, with puzzles that clicked and a game that flowed, not to mention a nice set and an unexpected twist as we approached the finale.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 41:30
Address: The Workshop, Lemon Pl, Newton Abbot TQ12 2BD