The fun begins even before you enter the room
You applied for the job as an apprentice, but when you arrived for the theatre, you discover the magician has disappeared. The performance starts in one hour and the show must go on. Can you decode the magician’s secrets and tricks to get on stage in time?
After having spent the day investigating the other escape room offerings in Peterborough, it was finally time to make our way to Thinking Outside the Box. We definitely saved the best for last! This room was actually meant to be our final room of our ‘Great Peterborough Escape’, but upon arrival, TOTB’s owner, Jason, asked if it would be okay to switch it up, and we were more than happy to oblige!
We arrived in good time, despite taking a few minor detours on our way (i.e. getting lost), and were warmly greeted, and shown to a cosy waiting area, with no shortage of activities to keep us occupied after a brief chat. Jason builds most (if not all) of the props and puzzles in his games himself, and the waiting area is filled with little mini-games. Definitely take some time to try one or two; the two we had time to play with were very clever, and I’m sorry I didn’t get to play with more.
After our warm-up game, it was time! We were led to our “dressing room,” as Jason explained what we were there to do. His briefing was just the right blend of in character, and standard health and safety, as he impressed upon us that “The show must go on!”
The space is massive, with so many elements to explore, but there are no red herrings that I can recall. The game really was a delight from start to finish, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this room, or Retro to anyone.
Puzzles throughout the room were a bit of a mixture. There was some searching, a few more physical bits, and lots of deductive reasoning, with a mixture of combination padlocks, and a few automated pieces of tech.
Everything in the room was on theme, and puzzles were logical. We did require a few clues, one near the end simply due to not looking closely enough, but one puzzle in particular really stumped us. It was perfectly clear what needed to be done, so I’m not sure if my struggle was due to looking at it wrong, if the props need a bit of love, or if both Gord and I simply have very poor eyesight, but I found it nearly impossible to see anything through a pair of special spectacles. Eventually, I did sort of see something, but it took far longer than it should have and was exceedingly frustrating.
I could quite easily be convinced that we were backstage at a magic show with the posters, and props throughout the room. But the real gem for me were the custom puzzles and props, many of which were built by Jason himself, which really made me think, “this is clever.”
There was one moment in particular where an element of the set did something that was completely unexpected, although in hindsight I probably should have seen it coming, and I’m ever so jealous that Gord beat me to it and got to go first.
Jason is a wonderful GM, and clearly pays attention while people are playing, as any nudges we required were delivered at just the right moment, and requested clues were delivered swiftly, with just enough help to get you back on the right track. The delivery system fits in perfectly with the theme, but you will need to uncover it first…
After we finished, Jason gave us a debrief on how we did, reading back some of the more entertaining things we said to each other throughout the game, and occasionally praising our teamwork or communication.
Team: 2 players
Address: 4 Cattle Market Rd, Peterborough PE1 1TW