You’ll either love it, or you’ll hate it
It takes a thief to outwit a thief…
A mysterious employer has hired your crack team of thieves to break into the home of an antiquities professor and steal a legendary artifact.
Break into the house, crack the vault and steal items in the house worth the most value
before the police arrive.
What better way to break up a road trip from London to Devon than by taking a break with an escape room for an hour? Elusion Rooms will soon have two venues, and Pandora’s Heist is very conveniently located just a few minutes from the station, but as we were driving, we made sure we arrived with plenty of time, just in case parking was troublesome. There is a pay and display lot just outside, but apparently it can sometimes be difficult to find a space if the theatre has a show. Luckily for us, there wasn’t a matinee that day, so there were plenty of spaces.
First impressions of the company were good. We were warmly greeted, and the main waiting area is interesting to observe, including the facade of an entire house, and an interesting leaderboard. Once we viewed our briefing video, and were hired for the heist, it was time to find our artifact (I’m sure you can guess what you’re looking for from the name, but I wouldn’t want to give it away!)
The game is beautifully designed, with a few interesting puzzles and some fun bits, but I suspect one element will cause people to either love it, or hate it. Alongside your main mission of stealing the artifact that you’ve been hired to find, you can also leave with up to four other items of value, so alongside actually escaping within the hour, your overall success is determined by the amount of money you’re able to accumulate. This adds an interesting dynamic to the game, but not everyone will like it, particularly if you are focused on times and records, since you may escape with more time than one group, but actually receive a lower score if you fail to steal anything of real value.
The puzzles in the room were logical, and a good mix of finding combinations for padlocks, as well as a few more automated tasks. There were some physical elements to the game, which I really enjoyed. For me, the puzzles were on the easier side, and perhaps the most difficult task was trying to determine what else to steal! Although, we did have one search fail, that did prove problematic at the end…
The briefing video starts the process of immersion right from the beginning, as you’re told what you’re there for by a ski-mask clad character that feels like he is straight out of Snatch, with an accent to match (I couldn’t understand a word). Your video is immediately followed by your break in; afterall, you’re criminals now!
Once inside the house, the first room is a bit cosy, but it quickly opens up, with plenty of space. The set is well designed, and there are a few little moments of cleverness, and some exciting interaction with the set. We did this game with just the two of us, but you could quite easily do this with a much larger team, as there are so many things to explore
Our GM was very friendly upon arrival. We actually didn’t ask for any clues, which would have been delivered by walkie talkie, so I can only guess that they would have been well delivered and helpful, based on the greeting we received.
While we managed to escape in just 46:53, and did make off with items worth around £2.5 million, we actually managed to to completely fail at the main objective, which did leave us feeling rather disappointed with ourselves. I suppose Gord and I just aren’t cut out to be criminals…
Team: 2 players (‘completed’ in 46:53 with £2.5m)
Address: 68 Commercial Rd, Southampton SO15 1GD