A thoroughly enjoyable ‘whodunnit’
It is 1937. Late this afternoon Bugsy Marlowe came to the Dunwich Tower Hotel for reasons that are still unclear. He was standing in the lobby chatting with some associates when the elevator door opened. No one got out. A few seconds later as the elevator door began to close, someone fired a gun from inside the elevator car. The bullet hit Bugsy in the head, killing him instantly.
Everyone in the lobby ducked and ran for cover. the elevator, now closed, had begun moving once again. Several witnesses reported seeing the elevator lights stopping on the fifth floor. Hotel staff immediately disabled the elevator, sealed off the staircases and called the police. The killer was now trapped on the fifth floor.
The police arrived at the hotel and immediately began their investigation of the crime scene. Several detectives were then directed to the fifth floor where five guests were staying, each in separate rooms. All five guests were taken to the police station for questioning.
One of them is the killer. Can you figure out who done it?
We’d heard about Who Killed Bugsy Marlowe by Great Scott Escapes but life took over and we never got around to playing it. Fortunately our friends, and now regular teammates, over at Brit of an Escape Habit invited us to play this game with them as part of the Escape Game Olympics (EGolympics) – which we subsequently finished second in (go team!).
Who Killed Busy Marlowe is a real life room that has been digitised and added to the Telescape platform. This means that you get to play a ‘real’ room from the comfort of your own home, totally COVID safe. That is one of the very few positives to come from this pandemic, we are now able to play games that we would otherwise have not been able to. I’m sure Great Scott Escapes are good in real life, but our chances of visiting Scottdale, Pennsylvania anytime soon is pretty remote (ohhh, now their company name makes sense).
The great thing about Who Killed Bugsy Marlowe is that once booked, it can be played at any time. So at our pre-agreed time, we booted up Zoom, met Amy and Ian, and entered the Dulwich Tower Hotel, ready to solve whodunnit and find the keycode to get out!
Who Killed Bugsy Marlowe is a Telescape version of a real life game. What that means is that Great Scott Escapes have gone through the entire room and taken photos of it, including 360 views, digitised puzzles and padlocks, and then uploaded it to the Telescape environment. This means the game is browser based and can be played at any time that works for you (within 48 hours from booking).
We’ve played some pretty poor Telescape games, but this turned out to be one of the best that we have played. I feel like I use the word ‘slick’ a lot lately, but that is exactly how this game felt. When we began we were greeted by a good quality video that explained the story, everything in the game worked well, and then there was another little video at the end just to wrap everything up nicely.
Unusually, Who Killed Bugsy Marlowe has three different options for playing online; Live Game (60 minutes), Virtual with Games Master (90 minutes), or Virtual with No Games Master (48 hours from start time). Obviously each of these has a different price point and what you choose may depend on your experience level – we opted for virtual with no games master and that worked well for us.
A nice feature with this game was that when you found items that could be collected, only one person in your team needed to click on it and then it would be added to the inventory that everyone had access to. The inventory had a nice element of interactivity about it too, so you could piece together all your evidence without the need to write everything down.
In real life, I’m sure that this would be a great game to play, fortunately even online it is still great fun. Great Scott have done a good job of digitising their room and this will be one that we are recommending for a long time.
One thing that people either love or hate about real life escape rooms is when there is a heavy search element, personally I love it, Liz isn’t so keen. The online realm has found it trickier to add a decent search element into games, but Who Killed Bugsy Marlowe certainly found a way to make it work. Some items were ‘hidden’ pretty well so you really had to keep your eyes peeled for what you could actually interact with in this game.
As you may expect from a ‘whodunnit’ type game, there was a very heavy logic element to it. You have to piece together lots of different pieces of information and work out who was the guilty party, but thanks to the Telescape interactivity it was a joy to work on this case.
Outside of logic and searching, you will find deductive reasoning, minor maths, and observation puzzles. Some puzzles also use colour (only slightly) and audio is also vital in this game.
The first puzzle you’ll find when you start this game is dealing with the information overload while you take in your surroundings and work out where you should start. This is quite an open game but there were a few linear elements to it that you need to complete in a specific order.
The clue system is something I can’t really comment on as we didn’t use it. I was aware that it was ever present should we need it, but we found all the puzzles made sense, and if we just took a step back we would then see what we had been missing (yes, look everywhere).
We have spoken to some other people who have played this game and they have assured us that there is a clue system, and it is sufficient to get you back on track.
This is surely one of our favourite Telescape escape games. Solid puzzles, well put together, good story, and a great game to push forward our team work.
As an added bonus, if your internet dies mid-game (like ours did), the game will resume where you left off when it comes back on – assuming it’s within 48 hours of starting the game, I would guess.
- Laptop/Desktop computer + Internet
- Notepad for note taking
- A way to communicate with teammates (Zoom?)
|Value for Money|
Team: 4 players
Time Taken: 43 mins