A true sense of adventure
1947. Volcanic eruption threatens an ancient temple on an uncharted island in the East Indies. The intrepid Jameson-Webb expedition is lost somewhere in the jungle. Can you puzzle your way through the temple, find the fabled golden idol of AtumAtum and flee the island before lava consumes the Temple of the Volcano God?
Liz and I moved back to Somerset after many years of living in London. As an escape room enthusiast it was a bold move and meant giving up on easy cross-country rail travel to play games. As fate would have it, a new company recently opened up in Taunton to add to the slowly growing southwest market – Reynard’s Adventure.
We took a bit of a punt on this company as we knew nothing about them and no one we knew had played their games. Our first puzzle was finding the venue! I know Taunton pretty well but this was a building I’d never been to before. Fortunately, the owner (and our host), Richard was keeping an eye out and rescued us from the carpark.
When Richard found us, he was in full adventurer costume (must have been a tad toasty in the heat), and he greeted us warmly and showed us into the building. When we played the building was pretty much just a shell, but it’s clear he has some very grand plans if all goes well – mini golf, tiki-bar, and more escape rooms.
Richard escorted us up the stairs to where the escape room is located, and into a secondary waiting area with some very comfortable couches. After a lovely chat to hear all about the plans for this venue, it was time to get down to business. First up was the health and safety briefing, swiftly followed by the mission briefing. With these out of the way, we were given a standard issue ‘temple raiding’ backpack and a wonderfully themed field phone should we need any assistance from HQ.
I consider it a good sign when you go to play a game and the theming overflows into the space outside the game – and that was definitely the case here. They may not have much going on in the building itself (yet), but they’ve focused all their attention on the game itself and it shows.
Unusually this game has a maximum player limit of four. However, once you get into the game, you’ll soon see why. Despite the space seemingly never-ending, the areas themselves are quite cosy, and I’d imagine you’d be stepping on each other’s toes if you played with more. We played as a team of two and it was arguably the perfect size.
We went into this game with very low expectations, and we were blown away by the quality of the theming in The Temple of The Volcano God. All of the spaces felt like they did indeed belong in a temple and a lot of thought (and skill) had obviously gone into the design aspect of this game.
Being a temple, you wouldn’t expect modern lighting and that was the case here. Atmospheric lighting lit our way in a way that was dim but still light enough to see. Fortunately, we were also provided with a lantern, which helped immensely.
Sound also played a part in this experience. Ambient music and noises were being played at all times which helped us feel like we were in a jungle temple and not just over the road from a Sainsburys.
One of the first things we realised once we completed this game was that there were no padlocks in this game at all, literally none. All of the puzzles in the temple were physical/tangible and were great to interact with. I can’t really use the word ‘tech’ as it wasn’t even that, it was just good old-fashioned (jungle) mechanics.
I should just say it now, this room will not challenge enthusiasts, that’s not to say it isn’t enjoyable, it’s just perhaps on the easier side – we weren’t rushing and completed it in just under 24 minutes. This is another one of those games that is perfect for getting friends and family hooked on escape rooms.
This game had a bit of everything in terms of puzzle types, but fortunately, none of them were annoying or frustrating: searching, observation, wordplay, physical elements, communication, teamwork, audio, and perhaps a little logic (maybe, I’m not sure on that).
Being brutally honest, the puzzles and mechanics were perfect and it would be very easy to brute force some of them. One particular puzzle could be solved by simply listening closely to something that was happening. We did speak with Richard after the game and fed this back and offered a potential ‘fix’ (not that we know what we’re talking about), and it sounds like this puzzle may be modified slightly.
Many people aren’t fans of walkie-talkies and believe them to be a lazy clue system. We don’t agree with that, as there are certain scenarios where they actually fit in the story. This game is set in 1947 so a modern walkie-talkie wouldn’t really fit, so they’ve designed a call case for it that makes it look like a wartime field phone. A little detail that goes a long way.
We didn’t need any clues as we found that everything clicked with us. If we did, I’m sure that Richard would have radioed in with some help to get us back on track – he gave a decent debrief after the game so was obviously watching us closely.
This is a game that is sure to turn beginners into enthusiasts. The set design was beautiful and the puzzles were not the most challenging, but were fun.
It’s great to see new companies opening up in the South West and Reynard’s is one that we’ll be keeping a close eye on. We can’t wait to go back for their Tiki Bar when it opens.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 27:35
Address: Mansfield House, Silver Street, Taunton, Somerset