Classic Escape Room Fun
The famous 190 carat Saratov diamond from Russia is being deposited at the central bank in Rawtenstall. Lucardo has hacked the security system, buying your team a one hour window to steal the diamond. Can your team pull off Rawtenstall’s biggest ever heist?
Our final room on day five of our escape room road trip, and our final game at Lucardo Rawtenstall was one that we hadn’t expected to play: Gem Runner. We had actually already played Gem Runner at the Lucardo Manchester venue in 2019 and as the games are very similar we hadn’t planned on playing it in Rawtenstall, but as we were already there, and had time, we decided we’d give it a go.
We had just finished playing three other rooms at Lucardo Rawtenstall (Corruption, Safe House, and Dragon’s Heart, so we were feeling suitably warmed up. We returned to the comfortable waiting room where we watched the briefing video for Gem Runner. Once finished, we made our way through to the room and were ready to complete our heist.
It’s worth noting that Gem Runner Rawtenstall is very similar (not quite identical) to Gem Runner Manchester. If you have played one already, we would not recommend playing the other. In our view, the Manchester version of the game was perhaps a little better, but as the games are so similar, this review will likely be similar too.
Covid-19 Procedures: Possibly some of the best precautions we have seen so far. Thermometers were on hand to check temperatures, screens in place to keep staff safe and they remained socially distanced at all times. There was sanitiser all around the place, including in rooms and there was also a mid-game sanitiser session at the 30 minute mark. Masks were worn by us and staff, and there was thorough cleaning and long gaps between teams (we didn’t see any other team).
It’s no surprise that Gem Runner takes place in a space that resembles a bank, but they certainly did a good job in resembling a small town bank, it even had an authentic cash machine! Everything in the room felt pretty authentic and the journey through the game was good and Lucardo had used the space well. The use of background audio also helped to ramp up the tension in the room.
I’d guess that this isn’t a room you’d want to do with larger teams but we found it enjoyable as a team of two, four would likely be a good number.
When we played Gem Runner in Manchester they made use of what the room had available and that worked well and introduced a puzzle that we felt was really rather original. That was a bit more challenging to do in Rawtenstall, but they still found a way to incorporate the puzzle using another clever method. This puzzle in Manchester was our favourite puzzle in the room, so it was nice to see that they had managed to imitate it in Rawtenstall too.
In terms of puzzles, it was pretty much identical to Manchester, but there were a few tweaks here and there that were needed to make the game work in the space available. Even though we had played this room before, there was still one puzzle that completely stumped us, and we ended up bypassing it by using some good guessing. After the game, Simon gave us a chance to solve it properly but we still pretty much had to have it spoon-fed to us.
Gem Runner had the usual puzzle types; searching, observation, problem solving and if I remember correctly, some basic maths. Fortunately none of the searching was too sneaky, and the maths was simple (a calculator and pen and paper were provided).
Bank Heist games are never our favourite, but Lucardo add some extra little touches to make this bank heist a bit more like a scene out of a movie, and they’re good fun – although be careful that your team don’t get too distracted having fun with one of the tasks!
As we had basically played this room before, we fortunately didn’t need clues (especially as we managed to ‘guess’ the solution to one puzzle). If we did need clues, they would have been delivered efficiently by Simon (our outside man), using the screen that was in the room. We know he was paying attention as we got a cheeky comment on the screen when we guessed that puzzle.
The screen was also used to display the countdown timer – handy to know when the Police are on their way!
We enjoyed Gem Runner in Manchester, and we had the same feeling in Rawtenstall. A fun game that will remind you of all the things you first loved about escape rooms.
Our quick finishing time is not a reflection on the room, when you remember a number of puzzles, you’re bound to be quicker.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 25 minutes
Website: 33 – 35 Kay Street, Rawtenstall, Rossendale, BB4 7LS