This room is like Marmite, you’ll either love it or hate it
This room is the exhibition gallery of some rare stolen artworks. In the Italian renaissance era a secret group formed with a very mysterious purpose. The gallery is their hiding place, and they keep the main secret in this place. The players mission is to reveal the original purpose of the order, and find out why they keep the artworks in this place.
There aren’t a massive amount of rooms to choose from in Somerset so we thought we’d give Puzzlair a go and swiftly booked ourselves in for two rooms. Puzzlair Yeovil is located on an industrial estate just outside Yeovil but is very easy to get to and has on-site parking which makes life easier.
On arrival we were greeted by our GM (the owner) in the very spacious waiting area, and we had a lengthy chat about escape rooms and enthusiasts while enjoying all the messages written on the walls by previous players. The first room we were doing was a two and was ‘The Lost Artworks’, it was time to enter the room. Although just before we entered we were asked the odd question of “Do you have a smartphone?” Of course we do, but fully expecting to be told to turn them off, we were then told “Good, you will need it”…
The room was very sparsely decorated but then many art galleries are so that’s fine and in keeping with the theme. When we were in the room we started pulling apart everything and seeing what we could find and what we needed to do. We solved one puzzle early on, well we partially did, what we didn’t realise was that we had to go online to find the answer, not sure how we would have known that though.
We spent an inordinate amount of time in the first room which meant we felt very rushed in the second. The second room was a little odd but nothing was really out of place, nothing except for the time font on something saying to ‘use google’.
It’s not worth spending time listing what we didn’t like about this room, but there were plenty of things we didn’t enjoy. We got out, just. But we only got out because the GM had to give us the answer for one of the puzzles. Even after the game when he was trying to explain it we still couldn’t see how you would ever come to the answer.
You’ve got to appreciate when games designers try and do something different, and that is what they were trying to do here. But unfortunately, for us on this occasion it just didn’t work. I’m sorry to say but this was one of the least enjoyable rooms we have ever done and that was down to things that didn’t make sense or just felt lazy. When we do an escape room we do it for the escapism and for getting away from the outside world so the last thing we want is to be using our phones in a room.
I’ve been staring at the screen for a while trying to think of a puzzle I liked in this room, unfortunately I can’t come up with one. There didn’t feel like a flow to the room and there was one thing involving the torch which I really can’t see how anyone would think to use it in the way intended, but maybe that’s just me.
There we no ‘wow’ moments, no ‘that’s cool’ moments, just a lot of frustration.
Yes it felt like an art gallery for the most part. Yes people use their phones in an art gallery. But unfortunately I felt that using the phones just went against everything an escape room should be and I really hope this isn’t something we see repeated anywhere else.
Clues and hints were delivered over a television screen in the main room. The GM was generous with clues and was very attentive in giving them when we asked for them.
This room is probably a love/hate type of room and I’m sure some people will love in. In fact looking at TripAdvisor you can see that many people do, but for us it is one that we’d advise our friends to avoid.