Good clean family fun
After hours of trekking through the eerie forest, you have finally found old Miss Locket’s cabin in the woods, just as night is about to fall. Residents of the nearby village have had enough of the havoc that this “retired” witch is causing with her trusty spell-book and they’ve selected you to put an end to her sorcery, once and for all!
Your task: Get inside the cabin, find her spell-book and escape with it…
Can you succeed where others have failed?
On the final day of our Cornish Holiday, Gord and I decided that it was about time that we started filling in the gaping hole in our Escape Room map by taking on some of the games local(ish) to our holiday cottage. We started the day with Housetrap, playing Tumbleweed, Aquarium, and Seance, but for our final game of the day, we were headed back to Dreadlock Escape Rooms. We had played Let the Games Begin earlier in the week, but since our friends ditched us after Tumbleweed to visit the Minack Theatre, we made our way to the outskirts of Bodmin on our own.
Dreadlock has a great location, within the grounds of a holiday park, but the directions and signage mean that the venue is very easy to find, and there’s no shortage of parking right next to the location. We arrived in plenty of time for our game, which meant we had enough time for a bit of a chat with our hosts, Gemma and Deb. But finally, it was time for the main event, so we settled into the benches in reception to make sure we were up to date on the health and safety rules, and then learn the reason why we were breaking into Mrs. Locket’s cabin.
Covid-19 Precautions: We were the only team on site and games are spaced to allow plenty of time to do a thorough clean between teams. We wore masks in the common areas but were able to remove them in the game. Hand sanitiser was provided around the building.
Unlike Let the Games Begin, Witch Way Out!? has a story, and therefore some immersion. With our briefing out of the way, we entered the darkened “woods” outside the witch’s home and began our adventure. Although the lighting was dim, we never struggled to see; plus, there were torches available to find throughout the game if you looked, ensuring that the lack of light was never a problem. The lighting and story all played a part in making the game immersive, and this was only furthered by the eerie soundtrack in the background.
The game progressed in a fairly linear manner, although that may have come from the fact that we played as a two, as we often found ourselves working on tasks together, with one thing leading on to the next. But this linear flow worked well with the bits of story we uncovered, and gave the game a wonderful flow, and feeling of discovery as we made our way into the cabin and finally out, in a rather unexpected way bringing the game to a very satisfying conclusion.
When we visited Dreadlock earlier in the week, we skipped Witch Way Out?! as our friends thought it might be a horror game. This is not the case, although to add to the immersion, there are optional additional jump scares. Your GM will ask you if you would like these added before you begin, so don’t worry if you have a nervous disposition and aren’t keen on a fright or two. We opted to go for it, and they were relatively tame, although we did jump, and then had a good laugh about it after. With or without the additional jump scares, there is a slightly creepy atmosphere, but nothing to severe.
If you don’t have at least one member of the team that doesn’t mind a math problem or two, you may find yourself a bit disappointed, as the game felt as though it was pretty heavy on the maths. Fortunately, there was a little electronic notepad for working it out, as well as plenty of other tasks to break up the arithmetic, and nothing was so complex that it required a calculator. But maths aside, there were plenty of other challenges to be had, many of which were clever, sometimes sneaky, and didn’t always resolve in the way one expected. These included many classic escape room style puzzles that ran from searching and observation, to logic and lateral thinking.
Enthusiasts are definitely not the target market for escape rooms in general, and especially for those located in Cornwall, so the puzzles are on the simpler side for more experienced players, which is really as it should be. But this means that Witch Way Out?! is full of fair and pleasing puzzles that are great fun for experienced escapers while still being perfectly attainable for new players.
Clues are available at the touch of a button, should you need them, and will be delivered using the screen in the game that also displays the timer. We found the puzzles intuitive enough that we didn’t need any assistance, not even for a search fail (most unlike us!), although it was very close…
Gemma and Deb, were great hosts, although we did make their job a little easier. But it’s clear that they were paying close attention to our game, as the jump scares were perfectly timed, and there’s no way that would have happened if they didn’t know exactly what part of the game we were in. Not only that, but they were friendly and welcoming, making our second trip to Dreadlock just as much fun as the first.
I’m a sucker for a story, so Witch Way Out?! was my preferred game at Dreadlock, with decent puzzles and just a fun atmosphere, intertwined with the story. Whichever game you choose, Dreadlock are well worth a visit if you’re in the area… or you could always play two.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 35:00
Address: Waterside, Old Coach Rd, Lanivet, Bodmin PL30 5JJ