Legitimately a vault
Locked within 12 inch thick walls, encased behind a 6 inch steel door, lies the mysterious safe… And you’ve got your eye on what’s inside!
Along with your team of crack shot cohorts, you’ll set out on the heist of your lives, with just 60 minutes to break-in to this REAL vault, you need to think OUTSIDE the box to get INSIDE this safe. It’s not going to be easy, but you may just discover… The Secret of The Vault!
We’d never actually been to Bracknell before, and to be honest, we didn’t know where it was, so it was even more of a surprise when we found out there were now escape rooms there that we didn’t know about! Arguably a perfect location for roadtrippers as it’s close to both the M4 and the M3, and literally a stone’s throw from The Lexicon shopping centre.
We were hoping to fit in both rooms that are currently open (as of Oct ‘20) but timings didn’t suit so we opted for just one room, and that was to be ‘The Secret of the Vault’. Being completely honest, I thought the title sounded more like an archaeological vault rather than a bank vault, so I was a little disappointed when I realised my error – not that bank vault games are bad, I just love a good Indiana Jones-esque adventure.
Arriving in the building we were greeted by a friendly Puzzalogical employee in the reception on the ground floor, she gave us the waiver to fill in and then lead us downstairs into the basement and to the secondary Puzzalogical waiting/briefing area.
Going down into the basement (I believe there was a lift) we instantly forgot that we were in a modern (1970/80s?) office block and were transported to a different world that felt 100% perfect for escape rooms. Puzzalogical obviously have an eye for what looks good and applied that to what would likely have just been a dingy basement had they left it as it was.
Our briefing took place in a comfortable waiting area using a large screen TV and was swiftly followed up by our GM, Nathan who went over more specific things that we needed to know. Nathan explained our mission while walking to the room and with this clear in our head, we entered the vault, ready to learn its secret.
Covid Practices: There was hand sanitiser when we entered the building and at various points around the venue, all people we interacted with were wearing masks.
Sometimes we play a room and click with every puzzle, this was not one of those rooms. Looking back I can see where we should have been quicker but on the day we just weren’t getting it.
The puzzles in the vault were a mixed bag and included some searching (some of which was very sneaky), logic, observation, maths, wordplay and some tangible things that involved physically interacting with elements of the room.
The puzzles generally resulted in obtaining keys or codes but there was some tech thrown in too, but again, nothing felt out of place.
For the most part, signposting was good, albeit subtle at times. We did find a few of the puzzles to be a bit more frustrating than clever as they resulted in trial and error rather than actually solving them and one of them found us technically using an item twice which we weren’t expecting so this cost us more time (an incorrect assumption on our part).
I wouldn’t describe this as a search heavy room but you do need to be on form with your searching for it as the team at Puzzalogical are very sneaky!
Now that we’re closing in on 300 rooms it’s not often that we see puzzles that we haven’t seen before, but in this room, there was certainly one and we thought it was great. It was like something straight out of a bank robbery movie!
It’s hard not to notice that the door you open to get into the room is solid and really rather heavy, Puzzalogical started with a bank vault themed room for an obvious reason, the room was legitimately a vault.
Like most vault rooms it was sparse and there was nothing in there that wowed us, but nothing in the room felt out of place. Puzzalogical clearly have an eye for detail and want to do things right with how their rooms look, no wooden bars in this vault, only metal will do!
Despite the room being very clinical and cold, it was immersive, perhaps it could have been improved with a bit more ambient noise or soundtrack but I’m not sure, actually what noises are normally in a vault anyway?
I’m trying to think of how to word this without giving any spoilers, but those who are vertically challenged may struggle at times with certain items in this room, but tools are supplied to make your life a little easier.
The ending to the room was a bit of an odd one; it felt a little anticlimactic but I can see why they did it. It seemed to culminate in a ‘choose your own ending’ type of scenario and the ending we chose had a heartwarming story attached to it.
There was no timer in the room, which makes perfect sense when you think about it, and clues were delivered over a speaker system when needed.
Our GM, Nathan was in character when we heard him over the speaker system and he did a good job of reading our frustrations and knew when to chime in with a clue. When we needed a clue, he would ask if we wanted one, but he was also not opposed to giving us a little nudge should we need it.
One or two frustrating ‘trial and error’ puzzles don’t detract from what is a decent room and one that kept us occupied for nearly 50 minutes. We probably wouldn’t recommend going in a large team as there may be a fair amount of standing around for some players at times.
A good use of tech, and two tools/props that were very satisfying to use will give us something to remember this room by. Puzzalogical are planning on building eight rooms in this location and we will certainly be keeping an eye out for their next rooms!
Team: 2 players (escaped in 48:00 with a couple of clues)
Address: Easthampstead House, Town Square, Bracknell, RG12 1BH
*Disclaimer: we weren’t charged for this experience, but this has not influenced our review