So much sand!
Break into an ancient Egyptian tomb littered with lost secrets and bring home the hapless hero trapped inside. Will you escape in time? Or will you become a part of history while crying for Mummy?
Renowned explorer and celebrated archaeologist Julian Bones ventured into a long lost tomb and hasn’t been heard from since. Time for a rescue mission! But as you begin your search, you accidentally set off a booby trap and the crypt seals you in! Work together and keep your wits about you to become a Tut above the rest before the sands of time run out!
We seem to have a bit of love/hate relationship with Egyptian themes, we love doing them but hate how we seem to do terribly at them, it’s like a mental block. So having just done CSI, The Panic Room and Strike Force we had no idea how we were going to do.
Our GM, Mitch, was wonderfully enthusiastic when he came to greet us in the reception area (this enthusiasm stayed with him the entire time). We filled in the waiver we had become oh so familiar with and then we’re guided through the labyrinth to the entrance to the room.
Mitch gave the health and safety and room-specific briefings outside the room and issued us with our trusty backpack, useful notebook, and vital lanterns. It’s always nice to see a venue who takes time to make the entrance to a room something and The Panic Room has certainly done that here. Before entering the room you can see the effort put into just the door and it helps build the anticipation for what is to come. Mitch wished us good luck, opened the door, and we entered The Tomb…
Ah, the puzzles, where do I start with the puzzles? Actually most of the puzzles didn’t cause us any problems and we thought they were decent. But there were two particular puzzles that we weren’t a fan of. One puzzle we just couldn’t decipher how to do it, we knew what to do, but couldn’t work out how to get what we needed from it. In the end, we managed to find a loophole and solved it that way.
The other puzzle caused immense frustration and we needed a couple of clues for. What’s worse was that the ‘solution’ didn’t look like a solution at all. We researched this puzzle after the room and from what we can see it looks like it was actually missing a few pieces yet hadn’t been replaced so they came up with a new solution that really didn’t make any sense to us.
The room played out in a linear fashion and we found there was a set way to solve everything. The puzzles were the usual tropes that you’d expect to see in an Egyptian themed escape room – expect hieroglyphics and translations of them and a bit of searching thrown in too.
First impressions were raised on this room even before we entered thanks to the heavily themed entrance door. That sense of adventure continued throughout the room and it was a joy to explore.
With a stupendous amount of sand in the room it’s hard not to be impressed by the effort they have gone to simply to get it all in there – and keep the rest of the place clean.
Everything in the room felt, for the most part, on theme and the dim lighting wasn’t too much of an issue – thanks to the lanterns that were provided. There were a number of padlocks but they were keyed rather than numbered so were easy to operate in low light and although they felt out of place, we didn’t mind them too much.
Unfortunately, the room was let down by the usual wear and tear, which really is a shame as I’m sure when this room was new it was probably quite a sight. But generally, it was just feeling a bit run down.
This room didn’t feel particularly high tech and we’re pretty sure a number of the mechanisms were controlled by the GM rather than through any form of automation, which is fine when there is an element of doubt about it if was manually triggered, but for at least one puzzle it was very clear that it was the GM pushing a button. .
We found the ending very odd as it looked like it once did something a bit more special, but either the mechanism broke a long time ago, or health and safety got involved and stopped it. Either way, it wasn’t the ending we were hoping for.
Mitch was on form and was a pleasure to interact with. When we needed clues, he was there, and he was there to greet us at the end. Although even Mitch’s great clues could not save us from that annoying puzzle.
Clues were delivered via walkie-talkie and fortunately, they seemed to be unlimited. As you’d expect, there was no timer in this room.
With some love and attention, this could have been a much better experience for us, unfortunately, as it was it felt run down and tired. Still, I’m sure groups with children will have a great time and it’s impressive if for no other reason than all the sand.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 37:36
Address: 1-5 Harvey Centre Approach, Harlow CM20 1HF