Rocking Mod’ing good time
Modrophenia is a classic murder mystery puzzle hunt with a twist! You and your team take on the roles of a gang of Mods in 1964 Brighton who are investigating the murder of one of their friends. Puzzles, riddles and discovery will lead you to uncover more and more of the story, but will you find out what happened in time?
Our first visit to Pier Pressure occurred back in August 2019. At that time we had only recently joined the 100 game club, so thought we’d take it easy by only tackling RaverQuest and Pavilion Perplex. In reality, we were playing it safe, as by all accounts Modrophenia was reckoned to be quite the challenge for a team of two and we weren’t so confident in our skills back then. But I suppose that just gave us an excuse to come back, not just for Modrophenia but also Loot the Lanes when we were feeling a bit more sure of ourselves.
Returning to Pier Pressure is a pleasure and whichever game you choose, you’ll want to savour the experience. Whenever we have walked through the door, we’ve been immediately made to feel welcome and at home, with a friendly welcome, escape room chat, comfortable seating and more. And that’s all before we even start talking about the games.
To date, Pier Pressure have picked themes for their games that are very much Brighton centric. Even the story of Broken appears to have been modified slightly in its move from Pressure Point to include Brighton. Modrophenia is no exception to this rule, and is set in the swinging sixties at the height of the Mods and Rockers era. The game even touches on the tensions between the two groups, which famously came to a head in 1964, resulting in riots between the two groups in seaside towns across the southeast, including Brighton.
Our return to Pier Pressure began with a diamond heist, but when we returned to reception totally buzzing about Loot the Lanes, we had only a few minutes before it was time to step back in time and join the Mods. We were met by our host, and fellow gang member, Molly the Mod, and informed of the demise of our friend, Jimmy. Since it’s 1964, the police aren’t too happy with the Mods, so it would be up to us to scour Jimmy’s place for any clues.
Molly, of course, had a fantastic opportunity to go live her dreams, and conveniently it would be an hour before the police would be arriving at Jimmy’s. Twisting the dial on a vintage clock/timer to 60 minutes, Molly departed with a final “No Pressure,” and it was up to us to solve poor a murder.
Jimmy’s apartment was packed full of awesome details, including a genuine pinball machine from 1964 and an actual Vespa. Everything from the furniture to the colours used throughout the game screamed 1960 something. Classic ‘60’s tunes playing on the radio added to the atmosphere.
With multiple parallel puzzle paths, Modrophenia started with a quick pace that swiftly became rapid. Most surprising for a non-linear game was that the narrative actually helped to drive the game and played a massive role in the puzzles as we pieced together the hours leading up to Jimmy’s demise.
Everything we encountered in Modrophenia felt as though it just belonged, and the game quickly ensnared us, becoming quite immersive. But a plot twist found the pressure ramping up as we narrowed down our list of suspects, finally capturing Jimmy’s killer.
Although difficulty is subjective, it turns out we probably needn’t have worried about taking on Modrophenia three years ago. The challenge of the game for smaller teams comes from the non-linear structure and the volume of content. Duos and trios used to working independently of one another are likely to fare just fine though because Modrophenia is a masterclass in puzzle design.
Logical, fair, and subtly signposted, each puzzle we encountered was a pleasure. There were so many thrilling “Ah-ha!” moments as clues pieces themselves together in our brains and it just made the game a total joy to play.
At its core Modrophenia is a classic Whodunnit murder mystery, albeit with a funky theme, so there’s plenty of of deductive reasoning to be had as you narrow down the suspects. But it wouldn’t be a good game, let alone a great game, without a bit more variety. (And it is a really great game). Tactile puzzles, a bit of searching, observation, codes, pattern recognition, twists and turns galore, and so much more add up to an hour full of wonderful puzzles and quite simply loads of fun!
It wouldn’t be a Pier Pressure game without a delightful host, brimming with character, and Molly the Mod was certainly that! Sadly
we I lost our time card revealing Molly’s real name, so she shall forever be known as Molly the Mod. Molly was full of life, fun and engaging as she led us to Jimmy’s basement flat and gave us our mission. At least until she left us to fulfil all her radio DJ dreams.
But not to worry, Molly was only a phone call away if we did need assistance, and would have promptly used her new DJ job to provide audio clues. Despite our initial fears that Modrophenia would be too difficult, we didn’t actually require any clues. But since Molly was paying close enough attention to give us a report card with achievement stamps (Under 45-minutes, Small but Mighty, Clueless Wonders, and most amazing for us – something to do with searching), I’ve no doubt she was paying very close attention to our progress.
There’s a reason Pier Pressure are so well thought of amongst escape room enthusiasts, and Modrophenia highlights all of those things. Funky sets, perfect puzzles, and an immersive atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with any of the games here, but Modrophenia is one not to miss.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 42:29
Address: 33 Upper N St, Brighton BN1 3FG