A straight up horror room
You’ve been driving for what seems like an eternity and your pupils are burning through their sockets. The dark, winding road just never ends and it feels like you are the only person left on the planet right now. You can’t even remember when you last passed another car. A sign for a Motel creeps up to you and passes by, the classic red neon tube lighting. Beneath it, ‘vacancy’ reads in blue and you decide to pull in and call it a night.
Our GM for the day, Tyrone, knew we were on a tight schedule and as they were a little quiet he was able to rearrange our room bookings and get us in earlier than we initially planned. Having just successfully completed ‘Reanimation’ and ‘Maine State Prison’ we had a little downtime before we went in to ‘Motel’ so we chatted with Tyrone before heading to the room.
As with the other rooms, the room briefing took place in the room itself by the GM. Part of this briefing was him warning us that there would be a live actor at times – always nice to be prepared.
First impressions of the room were decent, it looked pretty much like you’d expect a run-down motel to look like, with chest of drawers, TV and a bed. The way the room was designed made it pretty obvious where you were going to go next, but it was still a fun start. As our GM departed, our time began and it was time to escape before the killer returned to claim his next victims….
For the most part the room was nonlinear and we were able to split up and work on different things at the same time. There was a fair amount of searching required so if you don’t like search heavy rooms then you probably won’t be a fan of that aspect. We had a couple of search fails so it took us longer to find things than perhaps it should have, but we got there in the end.
One puzzle required teamwork and communication but only the one puzzle, the rest of it was set up so you could divide and conquer.
There were a fair number of padlocks in this room, and at times you could question how they fitted in with the theme, but it really didn’t detract from our experience and for me at least they worked well with the dark and dingy feel to the room. Modern, hidden tech would have arguably felt out of place.
One item we didn’t spot even though it was right in front of our face. We’ve become accustomed to seeing items in rooms and assuming they are just fake but this room went the opposite way and we didn’t even notice. This led to my favourite puzzle in the whole room, I say puzzle, but really it was just a very clever way to hide something.
As previously alluded to, the first room was convincing enough to feel like a low budget and seedy motel room, from there it got really rather bleak and morbid. As a horror room it was nice to see they didn’t just paint all the walls black and turn down the lights so much that you couldn’t see – ok, the walls were painted black and it was dimly lit, but they didn’t abuse it.
I’m not a fan of ‘difficulty by darkness’ which is when rooms turn down the lighting just to make life harder for you. In Motel we were provided with one torch each and fortunately these were more than adequate, although they went for mood lighting it wasn’t pitch black which was nice to see.
The Clue system was actually very well done and fitted in well with the room. There were no modern TV screen timers in this room, this really added to the pressure as it was hard to keep track of time. Our GM was good and although it was obvious he was also the live actor, he did a good job to provide subtle timely nudges when we needed them, either via the clue system, or in character as the live actor.
I think the live actor feeds off the team in the room for how crazy he goes with the scares, unfortunately for him, we’re pretty dull and didn’t react much at all. He mostly went for jump scares and at no point were we touched by him, nor did we touch him – I can imagine that this room would be terrifying for those of a more nervous disposition.
This was a straight-up horror room, there’s no denying that. But the puzzles flowed and we had fun, even with the live actor tormenting us at every turn. The oddest thing about this room though, and we still talk about it often, was one of the tools that they use for scaring you. I don’t want to give it away but I’m pretty sure there must be some health and safety issues with it being used in such a small and enclosed space. Play the room, let us know your thoughts.
Team: Two players
Address: 6 Priors Haw Rd, Northamptonshire, Corby NN17 5PH