Holmes, Enola Holmes
The game is afoot! Players have the opportunity to join Enola Holmes’ new detective agency – if they can prove their skill as detectives of course. Individuals displaying intelligence, bravery, and a degree of cunning are highly desired for the post.
Armed with only a map of London, a newspaper, and your wits, chase Enola investigating iconic locations including Covent Garden, Bond Street and 221b Baker Street.
I feel like we are getting to the stage where we can consider escape rooms as being mainstream. Enola Holmes by Escape Hunt is yet another collaboration between the escape room world and big business, this time a collaboration with Netflix to help promote their new blockbuster film, Enola Holmes.
We haven’t actually watched the movie yet so can’t comment on how good it is (it’s in our ‘to watch’ list), but I can safely say that you don’t need to have watched the movie before playing this game, although doing so may give you a little more appreciation of the story and characters.
The nice thing about this game is that it is free, so if you’re looking at dipping your toe into online escape rooms then this would be a good place to start. All you need is a printer, paper, and a bit of time.
I think it’s safe to say that this game isn’t directed at the enthusiast market and is more likely there just to grab the attention of more inexperienced teams to try and get them interested in both Netflix and Escape Hunt. We played as a team of two and it kept us occupied for around 52 minutes, although some of that was cutting and one particularly frustrating puzzle.
I don’t have a problem with print and play games, it would seem wrong to penalise a print and play game because you have to print. However, I think my issues with the Escape Hunt print and play games are that they heavily use colour for no real reason than to make it look pretty. I’m sure I read somewhere that printer ink is more expensive than gold, and it feels like it cost me a small fortune to print this game. In hindsight, I don’t think printing in colour made any difference and if you were looking to save some money then printing in black and white should be fine.
I enjoyed the fact that there was one central document that you needed to refer to constantly and this provided guidance on where you needed to start your journey, and then continue it. It was actually rather simple but worked well and the theming was spot on.
In fact, theming is probably the biggest strength of this game. The imagery was beautiful and the story was woven into it well – I think we’ll have to watch the movie now!
As I alluded to earlier, the puzzles in this game are not really for enthusiasts and as such I think enthusiasts may find it a little too simple to be enjoyable. The puzzles were a mixture of logic, observation, rearranging items, decoding and traditional childhood puzzles like dot-to-dots.
There was one puzzle that I really didn’t enjoy, it wasn’t bad, it was just fiddly and time consuming and felt a bit out of place in an escape room game (in my opinion). It’s not a spoiler to say that it was the origami ‘puzzle’. Some people are great at origami, but for me, my skills extend to making paper aeroplanes and no further, so having to make this was a chore. The resulting direction that came from the origami was fine, but not so much the origami itself. Probably a bit like Marmite in that you’ll either love or hate it.
The worst thing is when you accidentally look at a clue when you didn’t mean to, so Escape Hunt created a simple but elegant solution – write it backwards. Contained in the pack is a page with backwards writing on it, this page will give you a gentle nudge to point you in the right direction. I’m pleased to say though that if this isn’t enough to get you back on track, they provide a web address that you can go to which gives you more clues and also the solution. One way or another you will get through this game!
My biggest gripe with this game is the amount of wasted paper and colour ink when it really wasn’t needed. It’s still a decent enough game to play but that left a sour taste in our mouths. If you play this game I think it could be a good one to play with the family and even younger kids should be able to take part in some of the fun.
- Colour printer (to print 16 pages)
- A pair of scissors
- A mirror
- Internet connection
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 52 mins