A massive who-dunnit!
Talented and eccentric musician Charlie Lagami is celebrating a big birthday with family and friends. You arrive only to find the place deserted, the guests dispersed, and Charlie in quite a state – dead in fact!
Charlie has just managed to leave some clues to the attacker’s identity. Can you eliminate the innocent, reveal the culprit and get out of there before the detectives arrive? Or will you be caught with blood on your hands?
You have 70 minutes. The clock is ticking…
We got a bit carried away when the country came out of lock down and decided to plan an escape room roadtrip, then things snowballed and before we knew it we had booked to play 59 rooms in two weeks, whoops. Day nine of this roadtrip saw us head to Oakham to play all the games at One Way Out.
We started our One Way Out experience with Robot’s Return and our second game was Framed (to be swiftly followed by Gas Alert and Rhyming Room. As seems to be the norm for us lately, we didn’t actually know much about the theme for any of these rooms, but we had assumed that Framed was a bit of a classic who-dunnit, and it was!
One Way Out are in what looks like an old office building on the outskirts of Oakham, but the benefits of this is that they have lots of space and car parking right outside. On a tangent, if you get a chance to visit, Oakham is a lovely place to investigate. When we arrived to play our first game, Robot’s Return (a lovely little game), we were greeted by the owner and our GM, Tessa. After finishing Robot’s Return we took a little break before heading back upstairs for Framed.
Tessa gave the health and safety briefing upstairs in the reception area, but then Tessa disappeared and reappeared moments later in full character to deliver the remainder of the briefing for the story/mission of the game. I can’t remember the name of the character, but it’s one thing that One Way Out do well and I imagine families would really get a kick out of this extra bit of theatre.
Covid-19 Procedures: track and trace was available and plentiful hand sanitiser was available to use. We did see another team in the venue, but we were never close to them. We wore masks and staff also wore face coverings, although we were encouraged to remove masks for photos, and to wear props (we played in May 2021)
Framed starts off in a relatively small and dark space but soon opens up into the complete opposite. The main area for this game is massive and bright, no torches needed here and no difficulties seeing anything – top marks there! I believe this game can accommodate teams with up to eight players, and it most definitely can! There is plenty of space and plenty of puzzles to keep everyone going, this is a 70 minute game for a reason.
I must admit, when we entered the room it felt like there was a lot to take in and I thought it may take us a while to work out where to get started. Fortunately, One Way Out have designed their games so that they are suitable for both experienced teams and newbies. Because of this, there was some very good signposting at the start to help point you in the right direction.
If you’re playing a game in a larger group then you really want to be able to split up and work on different things, rather than all having to huddle around one puzzle. Thanks to the non-linear gameplay in Framed, it would be possible for your team to split up for a large part of it. Liz and I spent most of the game working on different things and only came back together when we needed to (or when something wasn’t clicking for one of us).
There was an additional side mission/bonus in Framed that was a nice touch. From what Tessa was telling us, this can actually be solved at any point during the game and often kids are the ones who find it. We missed it because we made an assumption and this meant we didn’t pay attention to something that we could have touched, but thought we couldn’t. Fortunately Tessa was kind and as we had completed the game with time to spare, she let us finish to receive this extra prize.
This is a massive space so it makes sense that there would be a wide variety of puzzles, including some which we hadn’t seen before. It was quite a search heavy room, but only one or two were sneaky and even then they were perfectly, although subtly signposted in some very clever ways.
Other than searching, there were logic (well it is a who-dunnit after all), observation, wordplay, codebreaking and one puzzle type which we were a bit dubious of, especially in covid times. This particular puzzle involved taste and as we were playing in masks and conscious of touching things, we didn’t feel particularly comfortable encountering a taste puzzle in a game.
All of the puzzles fitted well in the theme and although at times we had things that we didn’t know what to do with, as the game progressed it soon became clear and everything came together nicely. The game really did play out like a massive who-dunnit, kind of like living a real life Cluedo, although perhaps with not as many rooms.
We needed a few clues here and there, mostly for search fails, but in our defence, some of them were really sneaky! When we needed a clue, I’m not sure we ever had to actually ask as Tessa was obviously paying very close attention to our progress and chimed in at exactly the right moments with help.
One Way Out weren’t as creative with their clue system in Framed like they were in Rhyming Room, and they went with audio clues over the speaker system. Nothing fancy, but it worked.
A massive space makes this a perfect game for larger teams of either enthusiasts or families. Some very clever puzzles and a great way to play out a classic who-dunnit.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 47 mins
Address: ROL House, Long Row, Oakham LE15 6LN