Harder than we imagined
Professor Enright, the world – famous explorer, has travelled the world in search of the Enigma Diamond.
After many years, he found it deep within the jungles of South America. Tonight the Professor is hosting a gathering to celebrate his success. With the party in full swing, you and your team break into the study, determined to steal his most prized possession.
It’s been a long year so we decided that we needed a little break away before Christmas just to relax, and of course play some escape rooms. We decided to book a lovely little cottage on Dartmoor as it promised the change to relax and escape everything, fortunately we made sure it was only a 30 minute drive from Newton Abbot where Devon Escape are located.
When we were planning to visit Devon Escape they only had three games available, so of course we made sure to book them all, back-to-back – the perfect way to relax. Their venue was on a back-street in Newton Abbot but thanks to the signage it was still easy to find and there is a good sized car park just a few minutes walk away.
When we arrived we were greeted by our host for the morning, Emma. Despite it sounding like our booking time was a bit earlier than Emma was used to, she had obviously had her coffee as she was full of conversation and we spent a good amount of time chatting before, between, and after our games.
After a pleasant chat, it was down to business. Emma proceeded to give us the health and safety briefing in the comfortable reception area, and then the room specific briefing so we knew what we had to do. Strangely our mission (and timer) started before we entered the room, this certainly caught us by surprise but fortunately didn’t cost us too much time.
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.
Starting the game (and timer) before we entered the room was certainly different and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. I think I wasn’t a fan though as I prefer the story to start when we step through the door, rather than when we’re obviously sitting in the reception of an escape room.
Once we got into the actual room, everything in there felt like it belonged. It had the feel of an explorers office type of room so pretty easy to decorate for – a desk, maps, bookshelves, etc.. but nothing felt particularly out of place. The ambient music that was playing throughout was also a nice touch, I’m personally not a fan of silence so it was nice to have something to help us become immersed in the experience.
We were told that if we found the lighting to be too low when we were in the game then we were allowed to use torches on our phone. Torches were provided in the game and we found these to be perfectly adequate and we didn’t need to use our phones.
There was a good sense of adventure in this room and although one of the ‘surprises’ was easy to spot early on, it was still nice to see it had things up its sleeve so we didn’t know quite what else was to solve in this game. It’s worth noting that at one point you will need to be comfortable with crouching down as you move around the game. Oh, and the door that you enter through is never locked during your game.
I was expecting this game to be on the easier side and perhaps geared more towards first timers, but for some reason we struggled with it. Maybe it was because we were rusty, or because it was our first game of the day, but it took us a while to get into the swing of things and I honestly thought that we may fail this game – fortunately we didn’t.
Professor Enright’s Enigma had the usual escape room tropes that you would expect to find in a room with this theme; searching (some could be quite sneaky), observation, decoding, communication (optional but makes life easier), and one puzzle which required some manual dexterity.
Nothing was particularly challenging, but we managed to shoot ourselves in the foot as we (Liz) misplaced one key item that we needed so we were trying to solve a puzzle without a key piece of information and I would guess we lost at least 10 minutes on this before finally finding the item and being able to solve it almost instantly.
This room did have a number of padlocks but there were also a few items that relied on tech, such as maglocks, to trigger things.
Before going into the room, Emma asked us how we wanted to be clued, so we said what we always say “We prefer to work things out ourselves, but if you see us being particularly dim or going off on a complete tangent, then please chime in. We’re also happy to ask for clues”, and that is how it worked. It probably would have been nice if she had chimed in earlier when we wasted ten minutes on the puzzle without realising we didn’t have the key item we needed, but I gather the cameras in the room have some major blind spots so she wasn’t sure if we had it or not.
When we did need/ask for help, the clues came over a monitor in the room, the clues were accompanied by an audio alert so we knew to look at the screen. This screen also displayed the countdown timer so we knew how long we had left to go.
We entered this room expecting it to be easier, but we were certainly mistaken. An error on our part made this room much harder than it should have been. But the puzzles were decent, the theming was adequate and we had fun – so that works for us.
Technically we had more time on the clock than what our finishing time would suggest, but let’s just say that Liz made a decision that she shouldn’t have…
Team: 2 players – escaped in 51:40
Address: The Workshop, Lemon Pl, Newton Abbot TQ12 2BD