Review the Room: Saving Christmas since 2018
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through Santa’s house
A creature is stirring, and it’s no mouse
Mrs. Clause was tidying all through the place
She was cleaning here
And cleaning there
Putting everything back with due care
As Santa was searching for the tools that he needed
There was one tool he could not find
That was the tool to stop time
His watch was gone
But where did it go?
Santa needs help to help him go
Find the watch and save the day
Before Christmas is ruined for everybody
Normally we don’t allow our brains to start thinking about Christmas until after Thanksgiving has passed (Liz is American, so we celebrate that), but in Covid-times, things aren’t normal so we decided to book in for our first Christmas game of the season in mid/late-November. Fortunately our local escape room, Logic Box, had just opened their new Christmas room, Santa and the Missing Pocket Watch.
We’re now very familiar with Logic Box, having already visited them to play The Portland Heist and Loke Lake. They’re really easy to find just outside of Highbridge (close to the M5), and the unit they’re in is massive, which is great as they have big plans for expansion in the near future. Parking is not a problem and their comfortable reception area has some free beverages that you can help yourself to pre/post escaping.
When we arrived, we were greeted by our host/GM/the owner, Tom. Tom obviously takes his Christmases very seriously as he was already wearing a Christmas themed ‘Logic Box’ jumper – that’s dedication. Tom was an enthusiast before he was an owner so we had a nice chat before the game (and a much longer chat after). We could have stayed chatting for hours, but of course we were there to save Christmas, so there was no time to lose. With the health and safety briefing out of the way, it was time to enter through the lovely gift wrapped door (do not unwrap the doors!), and give Santa a hand.
Covid-19 Precautions: There was plenty of hand sanitiser present in reception, a thorough clean and decontamination between teams and we wore masks at all times (I believe we could remove them in the game). Track and Trace was available.
Our mission briefing took place in the room itself via a video in the room. It instantly felt festive when we walked in as not only was it decorated in a festive way, but the heater was on (it was warm) and there were mince pies we could eat! What more could we ask for? It was also well lit, yet a number of torches were provided just in case we needed/wanted them.
If you’ve played Loke Lake then the layout and some of the props in this room will feel remarkably familiar, but the familiarity soon ends as this is a game made to get you in the Christmas spirit rather than dealing with demonic spirits. Christmas games are never around for long so it’s understandable that things can get repurposed/covered up to save a bit of money. Having played Loke Lake quite recently, I can honestly say that nothing in this space felt like it didn’t belong or break with the Christmas theme.
We kind of got lost in the puzzle solving and just got immersed in the festivities, but I’m pretty sure there was some festive ambient noises being played – don’t worry, there isn’t just one Christmas song on repeat for the whole hour. Oh actually, that could be a great idea for a Christmas horror escape room, ‘All I want for Christmas’ is stuck on repeat, and you have one hour to switch it off before you go crazy… I may copyright that one.
This was a nice looking room though, Logic Box didn’t just cover up the stuff from Loke Lake, they actually added some stuff that made it look much cooler, it had a Santa HQ-vibe about it. I don’t recall there being any red herrings in the room either, to solve the mystery you pretty much need to examine everything in the room.
As you would expect from a game called ‘Santa and the Missing Pocket Watch’, the aim of the game was to find Santa’s missing pocket watch. So it gave a nice sense of closure to the game when we actually did find it.
Ok, so technically there could have been a red herring as it was a puzzle that didn’t really go anywhere, but it was more than that. Logic Box seemed to have a thing where they like to give some extra little treats during the game, this game is no different. We got excited by finding these treats and I’d imagine kids would too.
Gameplay was very linear and when we solved one puzzle it led us onto the next. There were things that we could see early on but they didn’t come into play until later, so everything just seemed to flow well.
The puzzles in the game were all based around the typical festive theme that you’d expect and that made it very family friendly (definitely go along with the family for this game). Observation, logic, cyphers, codes, and searching were all present. Logic Box can be quite sneaking with their hiding places so be sure to look at things from all perspectives, it certainly caught us out (again).
The puzzles generally resulted in combinations for padlocks, and there were a lot of padlocks. At times we had to try a code in multiple padlocks but that didn’t really slow us down much (I personally quite like padlocks). There was a little bit of tech though, and one thing in the room we discounted quite early on as ‘set dressing’ was actually needed, whoops.
Tom, was as always the perfect GM. He’s GM’d for us a number of times, both at Logic Box and when we worked at another local escape room venue, so he knows how we think and when we usually start to get frustrated. Thanks to this he also seemed to take great pleasure in chiming in over the speaker system to ridicule us on various occasions, perfect.
I think we only asked for one clue and this was down to a search fail (remember what I said about looking at things from all angles?). When we needed this, Tom came over the speaker system and swiftly got us back on track. To request clues in this game you can’t just shout, there’s a button you press that announces you need help and then a microphone to speak in to (no doubt connected to Santa HQ?).
There were a number of screens in the room displaying various festive images, but one of them was also used for showing our countdown timer.
We normally crash and burn in Christmas games, but this one clicked more than normal, although we still did have our moments. This is a lovely, family friendly game, and perfect for getting you in the Christmas spirit (even if you play in November).
Team: 2 players – escaped in 39 minutes
Address: Unit 6, Works 22, Bennett Road, Highbridge, Somerset, TA9 4PW