“Don’t lift the beautiful flooring, there’s nothing under it”
A body has been found in Panic apartment room 402! The victim: Daniel Cox. Cause of death: Unknown. The private dick that took the case – Richard Insmouth – hasn’t got the best track record. He’s probably come to the completely wrong conclusion! What a cop-out! Can you solve the case of the Defective Detective?
One of our most popular games to date is alive and kicking, even if the victim isn’t. Gather your own team of detectives, sneak and sleuth your way around the crime scene and watch out for red herrings! You’ll need to solve who the real killer was before an innocent person goes to jail for life!
Sadly we had reached the last room of our epic ‘Panic Room’ weekend and that room was to be ‘Defective Detective’.
This wins the prize for being in the strangest location we’ve seen a room, it shares a building with a church. So as we were going in, there were worshippers entering the building for a service; it just felt wrong somehow.
Our GM (plus assistant) gave us the usual briefing while we were in the ‘hallway’ waiting to enter the room.
Entering the room proper you can see that this is a big room and as a team of two we felt like we had a lot to cover and take in. But we couldn’t let this mammoth space make us lose our focus, it was time to solve who had committed the crime.
In a room of this size there is no option but to split up and see what puzzles we can find.
We’re not a fan of red herrings especially when they take up a lot of time. We found this red herring (before realising it was one) and probably lost ten minutes trying to solve it because the containment mechanism had failed. Despite repeatedly entering the correct combination it wouldn’t open, so we were confused at the end when we had solved the mystery yet not solved this one puzzle.
To make this a little different you are given an iPhone and when you see something that you believe is a clue you need to take a picture and send it to your detective buddy on the other end. It was an interesting way to drip feed you more pieces of the puzzle as you progressed but we weren’t a fan. Not being trained detectives everything looked like a clue to us!
This room didn’t feel up to the same level as the other Panic Room rooms, and although it was fun, we left feeling a bit flat. Our advice would be that if you’re doing this room then four players is probably a good number to help you cover the space quicker.
Given the size of the room and the level of the puzzles it felt like this room was designed to accommodate groups of mixed abilities. Some puzzles felt very simple while others kept us guessing for quite a long time.
There is a lot of ‘looking’ in this room and given the size of it this means you will most likely take some time to find everything you need to find.
They did a good job of bringing the memory of something you may have already seen into one puzzle as I’m sure that could stump some people for quite a while if they hadn’t seen it.
One puzzle involving items of clothing felt far too ambiguous to us, even though we knew what to do with them and what was contained on them, they were so poorly drawn that it felt nearly impossible to correlate them with the solution.
I’m undecided on the room design for this one, it felt very basic but at the same time it worked for the story. It felt like you were entering someone’s apartment and the team had done a good job to make it feel lived in.
Arguably areas were done cheaply but again that didn’t really detract from anything. The highlight of the room was the flooring, if you’re a fan of original hardwood parquet flooring then you’ll enjoy that at least.
The room was relatively low tech and I’m sure some things were done by the GM pushing a button, but everything in room fitted the theme well. Despite this ‘low tech’ approach I did quite enjoy the VHS system – you’ll see… nostalgia.
Clues were delivered via an iPhone which was given to you on entering the room. Clues and nudges were delivered efficiently when they were needed or asked for.
If The Panic Room do a few minor repairs to the puzzles in this room then it will be a much better experience for the detectives. As it stands, it was just a bit frustrating.
Team: 2 people – solved in 47:01
Address: 148-150 Milton Road, Gravesend, DA12 1DP