Of all of Lock and Code’s rooms, this was by far my favourite
The alchemist’s chamber can be a mystical place and you are trapped inside. have you got what it takes to find the philosophers stone to make your escape?
The description of The Alchemy Enigma on Lock and Code’s website leaves much to the imagination. Just exactly what are you going to find inside the room? Well, quite a lot, really.
After spending the day in Weston-Super-Mare (no small feat, Weston doesn’t have as much going on as it used to, other than Lock and Code’s other rooms: Breakout and League of Superheroes) we headed out to the company’s second location, technically in West Wick. It was a bit of an odd location, and we did drive by it twice in the dark, but finally we were there. As per usual for us, we were early. I wouldn’t recommend arriving too early, as there really isn’t much space to wait. Luckily, no one was in Alchemy ahead of us, so after a quick chat, we were able to go straight in.
First impressions of The Alchemy Enigma were overwhelming; it felt like far, far too much for just two people to tackle. The walls and every surface were covered with writing and tools of the alchemist. But you quickly get down to business and take in your surroundings. Despite the volume of things to take in, we quickly found a starting point and we were off.
The game itself was fast paced, and we never felt like we were floundering, despite the overwhelming amount of things to take in. The climax of the game was a delightful surprise, and completely unexpected. Of all of Lock and Code’s rooms, this was by far my favourite.
I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles in this room. Yes, there were a number of padlocks, so of course we were solving again for a number of four digit combinations, but what I really enjoyed were the more physical tasks. There were some really original pieces here, and things that I haven’t come across before. As always, difficulty is subjective, so I don’t like to rate a room based on how difficult puzzles are, but we were definitely clicking with this room, and found everything to be logical if one applied enough thought.
Game play was non linear, so we could work on things simultaneously, though sometimes we would discover we didn’t have all of the information, and then move on until we did. Only one puzzle really stumped us, but this was because a padlock was missed in a reset, so we couldn’t figure out if the clues we were seeing were actually a puzzle, and if so, what it would open. Had we been forced to do this one, I have no doubt it would have been solved.
The hardest part of this room was quite possibly the searching. Just when I thought we had looked at everything, we would discover a prop that hadn’t been used before and discover yet another piece of a puzzle or a key.
The room was dimly lit, and looked like an office straight out of a SteamPunk dystopian novel. My only complaint would be that there seemed to be so much set dressing that it wasn’t always clear what was actually useful, what was a red herring, and what was just something pretty to look at. Rather than torches, there were candles around the room, which surprisingly, provided sufficient light to see what you were doing. These were arguably better than some of the torches I’ve been given in previous escape rooms.
I wasn’t sure how we were to receive clues at first. However, after investigating our surroundings, we managed to activate the clue system. I don’t want to give too much away, but suffice it to say, it was clever, and I really enjoyed this.
Our GM was also great, and very attentive. While we never had to ask for a clue, as a fellow enthusiast, he knew what sort nudges would be helpful to keep us on the right track, usually this was a prompt telling us to look harder…
Despite our success as a twosome in 2 Tickets 2 Ride, after our slightly contentious escape from The Lost Artworks we were apprehensive about how we would fare with just the two of us. It turns out we had no need to worry, and this room has convinced us that we are fully capable of escaping from a room full of puzzles as just the two of us.
Team: 2 players
Address: Unit 11, Ivy House Business Centre, Wolvershill Road, West wick, Weston-super-Mare, BS29 6LB