Worth doing for (some of) the set design
The Bunker” is a British WW2 themed Escape Room full of surprises. Step back into the 1940’s and discover clues and solve the puzzles to get out of The Bunker as soon as you can.
We had some time to kill before heading into Swindon to meet up with our regular team to do a couple of rooms, so we thought we’d book in to give The Bunker a try as a team of two.
The place was easy enough to find, just follow signs for the Karting business and you’ll find your way ok. There was plenty of parking and the building that the business operates from is all kinds of impressive. It is literally a massive WW2 hanger, where we were informed that they used to work on Spitfires (awesome). Although the hanger is only used for their other business, Karting, the Bunker escape room takes place in a small building attached to it.
When we arrived we were greeted outside by the owner Tom, we assumed there is probably a waiting room inside the main hangar but as we went straight to the room we can’t confirm this. After a short chat with Tom he took us over to the door to the room and proceeded to give us the health and safety and room specific briefings. Then it was time for us to begin our mission.
Where this room excelled was its set design (at least later in the room), but where it struggled was the puzzles. We found that a lot of them really lacked any form of sign posting and there were many ways to interpret the puzzles to get completely different answers to what you needed.
Couple weak puzzles with some of the worst red herrings we’ve ever seen in a room and we found most of the puzzles just annoying. Although after speaking with the GM he said they may be changing those red herrings, oh how I hope they do! They’re the type of red herrings that mean when you finish the room you feel like you haven’t done everything so you end up leaving with confusion as to if you’ve missed something.
In fairness to the puzzles, although we didn’t like them and them really not clicking with us, this could be down to us over complicating them (like we always do) or simply being not fully awake.
You know you’re often in for a treat when a company spends time decorating the exterior of a room, especially when it is outdoors, and the design outside the room certainly set the bar high. Entering the first room I must admit it was a bit of a let down, think a typically baron WW2 control room, but it was actually probably appropriate for what it was going for.
Once you’re out of this first room it’s like you’re in a different world, literally it is set in a different location but also it looks like the entire budget had been spent in this one room alone.
The room design is very much a mixed bag but where they really put in the effort it shows. Although it does make for a confusing journey when you consider where you start to where you progress, it actually doesn’t really make sense – but hey, this is an escape room so there’s always an element of disbelief.
The room was a little dark in places but it was never so dark that is posed a problem for us. One extra thing in the room which made life a little easier was a chalkboard for jotting down notes – we’d have been lost without it!
Our GM, Tom was certainly kept busy by us. I’m not sure if it was because it was early but the puzzles in this room really didn’t click with us and I lost track of how many clues we needed. When we did need clues they were delivered quickly and gave us enough to get back on track.
Clues and the timer were both displayed on a TV screen in the room.
This room has potential and with some tweaks to the puzzles (and red herrings) it could be great. They’re still refining the room and although we had fun, I don’t think we’d be telling people to make a special trip for it, but if you’re passing, it’s worth a shot.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 47 minutes
Address: Hangar 88, Hullavington, Chippenham SN14 6GU