The room is packed full of puzzles and hidden codes, all inspired by well-known and much-loved board games; although no previous knowledge/experience of any of those games is needed. Your main goal is to escape within 60 minutes, however, if you solve our bonus puzzle along the way, you will win a prize!
We were down in Cornwall for a holiday so of course we had to find some escape rooms to play (it was a big gap in our escape room map). One of the most convenient escape room companies to where we were staying was DreadLock who were located near Bodmin, so simply on location, they were our choice.
I must admit to not knowing much about any escape room company in Cornwall as it seems the enthusiasts don’t often venture down there, so we were going into this pretty blind. Thanks to decent directions, finding them was easy enough. They are located around the back of a holiday park and have very clear signage so they were easy to spot. Couple that with plenty of parking, onsite toilets, and a small waiting area selling drinks/snacks, and we had everything we needed.
When we arrived we were greeted by our host, Gemma. Gemma was one of the owners and also our GM. Unusually we were only playing one game on this day (that’s all we could convince our friends to play), but Liz and I made sure we went back to play their other game a few days later.
We received our health and safety briefing in the reception area, and were also told that this game has an additional mission where you have to solve a Cluedo-style puzzle – we could solve it during our game, but if we finished early, the timer would be stopped and we could go back to solve it. If we solved it, we got a free gift! Eyes on the prize!
Covid-19 Precautions: We were the only team on site and were told that they did a good clean between teams. We wore masks in the common areas but were able to remove them in the game. Hand sanitiser was also provided.
Unusually for an escape room this game had no story at all, and our only mission was to escape. Often we’ll play games that are heavy on story and the reason we’re there, and I swiftly forget it because I’m terrible with story. So in a way it was quite refreshing to just have a game where all we had to do was solve puzzles and escape – my kinda game!
This game won’t win any awards for its set design, but everything in the room matched the theme and there was one particular bit that managed to bring a surprise and a bit of humour to our team. It’s quite hard to talk about ‘immersion’ on a game with no story, but I was certainly immersed in the puzzles, so I’ll consider that a win.
If there was one bit that felt lacking to me, it would be that there was no soundtrack or noises playing. Personally, I would have loved to have had some old school video game music playing (think 8bit music) just to give it a little lift, but this is very much a personal preference as I’m not really a fan of silence. But some upbeat music would have given a nice little lift to the space.
DreadLock want everyone to finish this game and escape, so they automatically give a ten minute buffer* to teams to get as many to complete the game as possible (*correct at time of writing). As it turned out, we didn’t need the buffer as we managed to get a record breaking time, but it was nice to know it was there. Another bonus was that we won another free gift for getting the record!
There’s no getting away from it, this is a very low tech room, but that’s actually not a negative and our team really enjoyed our short time in this game. Pretty much everything resulted in a code for a padlock, but I personally like padlocks so I’m not complaining.
The puzzles themselves were fun to solve and felt like they were at a good level, not overly challenging but enough to get us thinking and there were a couple that we hadn’t seen before. The puzzles were mostly; observation, searching (very minor), spatial awareness, deduction, maths, and wordplay.
Another nice touch was that we were given a digital notepad for taking notes. I’m really starting to think that this is one of those things that is becoming an essential for rooms now, or my memory is just getting worse…
Gemma had a pretty easy ride for our game as we didn’t actually need any help. The puzzles seemed to click with at least one member of our team so we pretty much flew through this game. If we did need a clue, they would have been delivered only when requested by pressing a doorbell in the room. They would then have appeared on a TV screen in the room that was also used for displaying our countdown timer.
This game is unlikely to challenge enthusiasts, and if you’re a fan of story you may want to look elsewhere. But, if you just want a fun, unpretentious game that is all about the puzzles and nothing else, then this is a good shout.
In the end we got two prizes from this game, one for getting the record, and another for completing the extra bonus puzzle. It’s nice to get praise for doing something, but I’ll always take Haribo over that!
Team: 4 players – escaped in 28:00
Address: Waterside, Old Coach Rd, Lanivet, Bodmin PL30 5JJ