This feels familiar…
Arthur Moon was just a geeky kid leading a humdrum life in 1980s Britain – until the day he disappeared without a trace… Amid layers of reality and unreality, nothing is quite as it seems. Can you and your team uncover what’s really happened before time runs out for poor Arthur?
Having just done two rooms in Exeter we headed to Torquay to tackle the other two rooms that Red House Mysteries had. First impressions were strangely familiar of our experience in Exeter as we entered the building only to be left waiting in a holding area. I say holding area as it really did feel like that, there was fabric on the walls, nowhere to sit, and we couldn’t enter the building proper until our GM was ready for us. When she did come to collect us it felt even stranger as the actual waiting room is massive and could easily have accommodated three teams or more at once.
Once again the decor in the waiting areas was stylish and harked back to the 1920s era which was rather lovely. As previously eluded to, the main waiting area was large and comfortable and had drinks available to purchase should you need a pre or post room sugar boost.
Once we got through to the main waiting area our GM was enthusiastic and chatty and after a brief chat she double checked the room was ready and then give us the health and safety and room briefing. I must be honest, I didn’t know anything about this room or the story behind it so when we stepped into the room it was a shock to be confronted by a replica of my ’80s bedroom.
The puzzles in this room were on theme and generally nothing that you wouldn’t expect to find in a child’s bedroom was apparent. There was a mixture of puzzles which we believe would have probably been set up in a linear fashion, except we managed to solve a number of them out of sequence.
We were able to solve at least two puzzles by simply applying logic and not actually following the path set out (accidentally). To me, if you can solve a puzzle without needing to actually solve it then it is either a poorly designed puzzle or you cheated. Unfortunately, I think these puzzles were just poorly designed.
A number of puzzles resulted in a combination used to open a padlock but this wasn’t a padlock heavy room and the ones that were there didn’t really feel out of place. To counter the padlocks there was also a good use of tech in places to keep us guessing.
Out of all the puzzles, the most frustrating to us was the last puzzle. I think we spent probably around 8 minutes trying to solve it, and considering we escaped in 30 minutes it says a lot. I don’t think it was a bad puzzle this time, it just didn’t click with us and we ended up over complicating it and thus felt like an anticlimactic way to end.
The best way to describe this room would be to say it has been inspired by a certain popular Netflix show that is set in the 80s and features ‘the upside down’, yep, that show. As we entered the room expecting perhaps a 1920s theme this came as quite a surprise.
The 80s theming was on point and they really did a great job of recreating a child’s bedroom from the 80s. It’s worth noting that those with mobility issues could struggle at one point, but they could still be part of the game.
I’m still not sure if we just missed something but the story felt quite odd and I’m not sure we ever really got closure as to what happened to Arthur Moon, yes we saved him, but I’m not fully sure how or if we ‘brought him back’.
The main area where this room was lacking was the lack of ambience, a bit of 80s music would have ramped up the enjoyment immensely and I really wish they had some music just to take away from the silence – of course as this is a room that deals with the occult perhaps they wanted that eerie silence?
The one thing we’re yet to experience at Red House Mysteries is a solid ending and unfortunately this room didn’t break that curse. Yes it was obvious we had completed everything but exiting into the hallway you entered through and having no GM greet you just leaves you with a bit of confusion as you walk back to reception.
There was no timer in the room, nor any screens. Clues were delivered through walkie-talkies should you need them (we didn’t on this occasion).
Once again Red House Mysteries operate with one GM for two rooms (and covering reception and resets), this meant when we were there she was rushed off her feet. We can’t fault the GM though as she was friendly and chatty but I have no doubt that if we need a clue we may have had to wait a while for it as we could hear her chatting with another team in reception. As the camera monitors are in a separate room from reception there is no way she could have been watching our progress at all times.
The theming for this room was fun but weak puzzles that were easily bypassed and a lack of atmosphere took away from the excitement we should have experienced, and one GM for multiple rooms is never a good way to go. This is an easier room and enthusiasts will blitz it, four is probably a good number of people for it and I wouldn’t go much bigger than that.
It’s also worth noting that Red House Mysteries currently accept the Escape Game Card* which can give a nice little discount on their rooms.
Team: 4 players – escaped in 30:30
Address: Red House Mysteries, Braddons Hilll Road West, Torquay, Devon, TQ1 1BG
*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