Boogie on down!
It’s 1978 and your evening at the 2P’s nightclub has ended in disaster! You hear rumours that the ‘King of Groove’ has been murdered!
With all your belongings inside, there is no way for you and your friends to get home. You find another way in and you can’t help but have a snoop around. Your curiosity gets the better of you.
What you are about to find inside is not groovy…
We’ve been hearing fantastic things about Pressure Point for months (I know, we’re a bit behind the times); it was just a matter of finding the perfect time to make the trip south. That day finally came and following a delightful game at Clever Dilemma (Murder at the Wild West Quest Saloon) , we arrived in Ashford to try out all three games on offer at Pressure Point. When we arrived, we were greeted by Keri, one half of the husband and wife team that own and run the company. After a chat that went on for at least half an hour (and could have gone on for far longer), it was time to solve the murder of the King of Groove.
As the description on the website suggests, rather than the traditional scenario of being locked in a room and needing to break free, you actually need to break in to gather your things, and you may as well solve the mystery while you’re there. It was clear from the briefing that this game would be highly driven by the narrative, and paying attention to the story is imperative to finishing the game. That being said, the information you need is easy to pick up, and reinforced throughout gameplay, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll miss it.
The start of Murder on the Dance floor was completely different from what I had envisioned. Instead of the glaring lights of a 1970’s era disco club, we found ourselves in an alley – a complete 180 from the garish colour I was expecting. But this was a brilliant choice, giving the story an arc, the game room to grow, and offer a great many surprising delights.
In short, Pressure Point have designed a special game, full of humour and clever puzzles, with a fantastic set and fun music, and I’m just sad that I can’t play it again.
Murder on the Dance Floor isn’t a particularly search heavy room, with keys or clues hidden in sneaky places, but as one might expect you will need to have a good look around your surroundings, and paying attention is paramount. Puzzles relied mostly on logic, and used a combination of traditional locks and some clever tech, with padlocks only in logical places where one might expect to find one (my favourite place for them.) Aside from that, the clever sign-posting ensured that we were never stuck for long on where to go next, but wasn’t so obvious that it removed any need to think for ourselves.
The first half of the room puzzles had a more traditional escape room feel, but once you’re through to the main club, puzzles became varied, incorporating more tactile elements, and requiring more interaction with the pieces around the room. With each element different to the next, the game had a fun, fresh feel throughout, and nothing ever felt stale.
We happened to play as a two, and I loved every minute of it, but with the multi-linear structure to the gameplay, there’s plenty to keep larger teams occupied, and everyone will be able to get in on the action. As an enthusiast, I particularly enjoyed some of the little touches on the final puzzle; while it actually has no relevance at all to anything you need to solve, it gave me a laugh and added a bit of fun.
The care with which this game was crafted was evident from the moment we walked through the door. The attention paid to detail was impressive; and was even more so once we finished the game and discussed some of the research that went into the crafting pieces of the set (needless to say, I was impressed).
I often talk about the “journey” a room takes you on, and Murder on the Dancefloor is no different. The game is well thought out, with a multi-stage process taking teams through to the final goal. There wasn’t much in the way of surprise, but the game had a clear progression, with a climax, and a very clear finale, something which I occasionally find other rooms lack. Aside from that, the standard of set design is high, and the room does eventually explode into the riot of colour and music I was expecting from the beginning, adding a great element of fun as I grooved my way from puzzle to puzzle.
Murder on the Dancefloor ulilises two different clue systems. In the latter half of the game any help will be delivered through one of the more traditional methods: screen. However, in the first portion of the game, this simply wouldn’t make sense, and Pressure Point have devised a more immersive, integrated clue system. I won’t give too much away, but it’s creative, and fits perfectly.
Keri was absolutely lovely to chat with prior to our game, and I would have been content to chat even longer. But once we were off and running, we actually managed to play the game without any clues, only one or two nudges to confirm that we were in fact doing the right and to double check our work, which were perfectly timed to avoid any frustration. While I am pleased that the game flowed so well and we didn’t require any help, I am actually disappointed that we didn’t get to see the clue system in action for the first half of the game, as I’ve heard that it only adds to the experience.
I can’t let the review end without mentioning the toilets. While the facilities themselves were standard, what stood out to me were the baskets, in both the men’s and women’s rooms, containing personal care items (deodorant, etc.). It’s little touches like these that really make a venue stand out to me, and it’s clear that Pressure Point not only want their customers to have a great time, but also be comfortable throughout their stay.
Team: Two players (escaped in 37:22 with no clues)
Address: 1st Floor Offices, 2C New Rents, Ashford TN23 1JH