Sands of Time, Sans Sand.
There’s a strong rumour about a treasure hunter finding lost gems within a tomb known as The Sands Of Time. Dr Nubis could never escape which was believed to be because of his greed. He’s set an array of puzzles & traps to make sure no one else can get their hands on his loot. Do you have what it takes to go one step further?!?!
Day two of our epic escape room road trip and our first venue of the day was to be Break Escape in Loughborough. We’d heard a lot about Break Escape, mostly talk of their Nerve Klinik game so we knew that we would have to swing by and give all their games a try, first on the list, The Sands of Time.
When we arrived at Break Escape, we were greeted by our hosts for the first three games, Tim and Ally. They did a lovely job of making us feel welcome and we took a seat in their very comfortable waiting area while they went and made sure everything was ready.
With everything set up, they came back to retrieve us and we headed out to check out The Sands of Time. It’s worth noting that all the games at Break Escape are up at least one flight of stairs, so if you have issues with stairs, factor that in.
We disposed of our stuff in the lockers that were provided and proceeded to receive the health and safety briefing in the hallway before entering the room where we were given the room briefing. I must admit, the first bit of this room was rather small and we felt a bit uncomfortable receiving our briefing in there as our GM wasn’t wearing a mask, and there was no way to really be distant, obviously outside of a pandemic this wouldn’t be an issue.
Covid Precautions: We were told that we didn’t have to wear masks if we didn’t want to (we did), none of the staff wore masks. Hand sanitiser was provided in places, although some dispensers were empty. Additional Ozone disinfecting machines were in use in some areas.
I feel like a tomb room, in the basic sense is quite an easy room to design – make it feel dark and enclosed and you’re pretty much there. The Sands of Time had both of those things, yet still added a few extra touches to make it feel different from the norm and have this added sense of adventure. I wonder if in non-Covid times there would have been sand on the floor to add to the feeling of being in a tomb, but it didn’t affect our enjoyment of the game.
The story fitted with the theme and it was nice to see that we didn’t just instantly start in the main room but had to solve puzzles to gain entry, Howard Carter would be proud. You need to be able to move over objects and have a good amount of flexibility so make sure you factor that in. Also, one of your team will need to be comfortable with tight and confined spaces
The Sands of Time was dark, and if you were to turn out your torches you would not be able to see anything. Fortunately thanks to the torches they provided, we never found the room to be too dark to see what we needed to do. We also had a torch per team member which was very much appreciated.
There was set dressing all over the place and many of the items in there were simply there to help set the scene. It was very easy to discount what was needed and what was set dressing so we didn’t really waste too much time looking at the various artifacts contained within.
According to Break Escape, this is their easiest game. Difficulty is subjective but we struggled more on this room than perhaps we should have. Whether this was because it was the first game of the day, or we just have a habit of overcomplicating simple rooms, I’m not sure, but it certainly took us a while to get going.
This is a very search heavy room and there is a lot to find, so that may make it quite appealing if you’re looking to play as a family as children will be able to feel fully involved. Other than searching, there were observation, communication, and one puzzle required some physical dexterity. Nothing too challenging (easy to say now), and all the puzzles fitted into the Egyptian theme well.
We found the game to have a linear flow to it, with little options to solve things outside of the order in which they were designed to be solved. This didn’t really matter too much as we played as a team of two, but in larger teams you could perhaps find that some of your teammates may be left out while others are solving puzzles.
There wasn’t really much tech used in the room as most of the puzzles resulted in combinations for padlocks, but the signposting was decent so it didn’t take long to work out what went where.
Our GM was on the ball and on standy by for when we needed hints, which was more frequently than we would have hoped. Clues were delivered over walkie-talkies, which as we were explorers in the current time I didn’t mind, although we did experience a few issues understanding what was being said on them at times.
With no timer in the room, and no screen, we were left guessing as to how long we had remaining in the room. It was a good choice as a screen would have broken with the story too much and would have thrown more light into the room and changed the feel of it.
We should have performed better in this room than we did, but it was still enjoyable and this would be a great room for family groups to play; even enthusiasts should have a good time. If you don’t mind a load of padlocks, and some crawling, then this is your chance to be Indiana Jones for 60 minutes.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 45:22
Address: 58/59 Baxter Gate,Loughborough, LE11 1TH