The waiting area was the highlight
Amidst the skyscrapers and stifling heat of the city, a small group of hustlers are planning the steal of the century.
Your mission: to infiltrate the West Blackridge Memorial Museum, evade security, and escape with your prize.
Have you and your team got what it takes to pull off The Heist?
There aren’t too many escape rooms in the south west, and those that are are pretty well spaced out. We’ve known about Red House Mysteries for a while just never made it down to Exeter (or Torquay) to try out their rooms, well on this day that changed and we did all four of their rooms over both locations.
First impressions were a bit odd, we turned up at the time slot we were given but as the group before us was a little late we had to wait downstairs, not in a waiting area, literally in the stairwell by the toilets. After ten minutes our GM was ready for us and she ushered us up the stairs to the rather comfortable waiting room. As it turns out this ‘one at a time method’ seems to be the norm for this venue as we completed the second room very quickly and the team that were in the waiting area were then booted out to wait in the hallway so we could be debriefed. It was just odd.
The decor in the waiting room was lovely and has a nice 1920s feel about it, our hope was that this great theming would be carried through to the room (spoiler alert… it wasn’t).
Our GM was pleasant enough and we had a little small talk before she explained the room mission and some of the quirks about it. She explained that this room has two distinct parts and you can move onto the second part without completing everything in the first section. Essentially the first part of the room is planning your heist and the second part is doing it.
With the briefing complete we were given our walkie-talkies, shown into the room, and our time began.
There was a little bit of searching required to find some small items but it wasn’t really a search heavy room. Generally the puzzles were just the usual mixture of escape room puzzles, with nothing that really stood out to us.
One puzzle was very maths heavy and due to when we encountered it, we struggled with it. Given more time I think we’d have been ok but with time slipping away we just bypassed it.
In the second part of the room the puzzles became a bit more tactile but again this felt like a bit of a let down. It didn’t help that we failed to deactivate one of the security features so we spent most of the time working with a bit of a handicap.
The puzzles were set up in a way that they had a multi-linear aspect but there were a few choke points where everything came together. One puzzle in particular felt random to me and really there was no signposting to indicate how you were supposed to do what it wanted you to do, we just guessed and got lucky.
To an extent this room design was ok, but it was certainly nothing special and we didn’t find any wow moments with it. I liked the premise of the game that you had to plan the heist then carry it out, but for us it just didn’t quite work like we thought it would and couple that with poor puzzles and it wasn’t quite our cup of tea.
I love a strong ending and The Heist most certainly didn’t have one of those. I could best describe the ending to this room as confused. It never helps when you exit through the door you come in from and the GM is nowhere to be found so you’re left wondering if you really have finished.
We gather that this room is due to be replaced in the near future and that’s not a bad thing. It was worn in places and generally more frustrating than fun, so don’t rush out to do it before it goes.
There was no timer in the room so you’re kinda left guessing for the most part as to how long you have left, but the GM does chime in every now and then to let you know how long you have left to complete certain sections. Clues were requested and delivered via walkie-talkie which fitted the theme.
Unfortunately, Red House Mysteries operate with one GM for two games so if you actually need a clue you have to spend some time explaining where you are in the game and what you have already done. We needed a couple of clues to get us back on track and when we requested them we were told how to do something we had already done, this just showed that we weren’t really being monitored. That being said, she was friendly just let down by the system.
A room with a solid premise but ultimately the execution was lacking. Couple that with a distracted GM and it doesn’t make for the best experience.
One thing worth noting is that Red House Mysteries accept the Escape Game Card* and as we played as a team of four this saved us £14 per game! Considering the Escape Game Card is only £10 per year it really is a no-brainer
Team: 4 players, escaped in around 37 minutes
Address: Red House Mysteries, King Street, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1BQ
*the escape game card link is an affiliate link and we may get a small kick back if you sign-up after following that link