“How’d they get that in here!?”
Following a robbery at Professor Enright’s mansion, a body is found on Dartmoor with a ransom note claiming hostages have been taken.
Ascertain who is behind the kidnapping and where the captives are being held.
A hostage will be killed every hour, on the hour and the clock is ticking…
We’d booked a long weekend away on Dartmoor and of course had to book some escape rooms to help pass the time. We had already played our first game at Devon Escape, Professor Enright’s Enigma so it was time to go straight into the second game, Death on Dartmoor’.
One thing I love about Devon Escape is that all of their games, in one way or another, make the fact that they’re located in Devon part of the game, whether it is as a puzzle or the story of the game – it’s a nice touch.
Anyway, we’d just finished the first game, so we took a quick toilet and hydration break and then chatted with Emma (our GM) a little more before it was time to head into this room. Emma briefly went over the health and safety briefing again (we already remembered it from the first time around) and then it was down to the serious business of what our mission was.
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.
As soon as we stepped into this room we could see that thanks to one very obvious feature, it was arguably the most impressive of all the rooms that we played at Devon Escape. Once you get over the initial impressiveness of what they have placed in this room, the rest of the room feels pretty unimpressive. That’s not to say it isn’t well designed, quite the opposite, the spaces of this room fit into the story nicely and it makes sense in the context.
I quite like rooms that are designed so you can see everything (or nearly everything) early on yet you have to solve puzzles to be able to actually progress. It makes you rely on your observation skills more than perhaps you would if you could be right in front of things.
Despite the room being a little dark in places, we never had any issues with lighting and torches were provided (very useful!). The door we entered from was also never locked so if we needed to leave, we could, although our timer would still continue.
Once we had solved everything that this room had to offer there was a clear ending which was nice to see. A video played and this brought closure to our mission and let us know that we had correctly identified the kidnapper.
I think our early panic in Professor Enright’s Enigma had warmed us up nicely for this game as we found that this one clicked a lot more with us than that game did. After an initially slow start to the game we got into a good rhythm and despite an emergency toilet break mid-game (if you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go), we still managed to finish with nearly 20 minutes remaining.
Again there was a good mixture of puzzles in Death on Dartmoor and all of them felt like they in one way or another fitted the story. The puzzles were generally; searching, observation, deduction and one that required a little dexterity.
For the most part, the puzzles felt fair and logical, although there was one puzzle that we weren’t really fans of. We needed to find a certain code, and we had another item in the room that would have given us the right number of digits for the code, yet this wasn’t the way to do it. The way to get the code was much simpler and felt like a bit of a cop out really. It would have been nice if there was a bit more separation between these puzzles so players don’t waste time like we did.
Some of the puzzles in the room were found quite early on but didn’t come into play until much later so make sure you remember what you have used and don’t forget what you’ve already seen – you may need it later on.
This room had a number of padlocks in it but they once again added some tech to keep you guessing and to give something to physically interact with. Although the padlocks were numerous, there was never really much confusion as to what went where when we found a code.
Emma was keeping a close eye on us through-out this game but at our request she didn’t offer help unless we asked, or it looked like we were really lost – perfect games-mastering. I don’t recall actively asking for clues on many occasions but I do recall one or two clues were delivered, mostly because of search fails on our part, or simply discounting something because we thought we didn’t have all the information (we did). Make sure you investigate everything in this room!
When we did need clues, they came over a screen in the room and were accompanied by an audio alert so we didn’t miss them. We were also given a walkie-talkie for calling in when we thought we knew who the kidnapper was and I’m not sure if this was for clues too, but the battery went flat so we never found out. Either way, the screen worked fine.
Possibly the most impressive set (at least early on) at this venue, but thanks to one puzzle we found this game a little unsatisfying. I’d probably rate it as the second best game at Devon Escape but it is still worth playing if you’re in the area.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 41:30
Address: The Workshop, Lemon Pl, Newton Abbot TQ12 2BD