A bit of retro fun
You are time travellers. However, on your last voyage your time machine crashed leaving you stranded in the 80’s. Will you be able to fix the damages and return to the future or will you be stuck in the past forever?
Being a child of the 80s this was the room that I was most looking forward to, and having just completed The Damned it had a lot to live up to. Our GM took us to the room and gave us the health and safety briefing that we had become so used to, and then we were sent back to the 80s….
Upon entering the room, I must admit I did get a bit excited by all the bright colours and reminders of my childhood and I probably lost a good few minutes just looking at everything and trying to work out where to get started. Fortunately Liz was focussed and got to work right away.
Like the other rooms at Tricky Escapes we found this room to be very much non-linear which was both a blessing and a curse. It meant the Liz was happily working on solving something and I was just left standing like a bit of a fool while I tried to work out what to do next, that’s not a fault of the room, I think I was just tired by this point.
Although there are items you need to find in order to progress, this isn’t a search heavy room. Infact, I can’t think of anything that I would class as being really hidden. A large percentage of the room involves finding combinations to various padlocks that are dotted around the room (there were a lot of padlocks), but fortunately the way you get these combinations all vary and each puzzle felt like a very distinct and separate puzzle. Communication will be needed on at least one puzzle, but I wouldn’t say that it is a room that massively relies on teamwork.
One puzzle we failed miserably, not because it was hard but because I think we were just being a bit too delicate with the room and didn’t want to touch/break something. After a clue it all became clear and we quickly got the combination we needed to progress, but it certainly cost us a lot of time.
If you do this room I think you will easily be able to work out what my favourite puzzle was. It uses a toy that any 80s child will remember and love. Arguably what it does is very simple and you can probably work out the solution without using it, but oh was it fun!
I’m torn on this room, I really wanted to love it and when I first entered I was enjoying it. But scratch the surface and it just felt a bit lacking. We were talking on the way home and neither of us were really sure what type of room we were supposed to be in, was it a changing room, a child’s bedroom, a playroom? It just felt like a random room with lots of 80s gear thrown in for good measure. So in terms of story, I get that we were stuck in the 80s to fix a time machine, but I’m really not sure where this time machine was supposed to be.
The actual time machine itself was decent and it felt like a very separate area to the main room. The way you enter the time machine was a little bit of fun too, but they’ve also thought about how annoying this could get and added a secondary way to travel between rooms – it ruins the immersion a little bit, but it certainly would help with accessibility for less mobile guests.
I hate red herrings, things that you spend a lot of time on only to realise that they have nothing to do with the room except to distract you. Fortunately, there were no such red herrings in this room. Everything in the room seemed to have a purpose and even those that didn’t were very clearly set dressing and just helping with the wonderful 80s feel.
We hadn’t actually needed any clues for the other two rooms so we weren’t really sure how their clue system worked or how responsive they would be. But A Race Against Time was the room that broke our steely resolve and we had to request a clue. Fortunately our GM, Glen, was ready and waiting and delivered the clue almost instantaneously (I gather this made his day that we needed a clue).
When clues were delivered they came through on a screen in the room. The screen in the main room was designed to fit in with the theme and as such it didn’t feel out of place (like a flat screen would have done in the 80s). The countdown timer was also displayed on these screens.
Like their other rooms you are limited to three clues, so use them wisely….
I wanted to love this room, and although I enjoyed it for the most part, it just didn’t grab me as much as I was hoping – perhaps I overhyped it too much because of the 80s link. It’s still a decent room and we did have fun, but unfortunately for us it felt like the weakest of the rooms at this location. I believe this may also be their oldest room and it is starting to show it’s age and could really do with a refresh as it is very worn in a number of places.
I also wish the background music was a little louder, I’m all about 80s music and I could have done with it being cranked up to 11 so I could enjoy it a little more.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 43:17
Address: 175 Old Rd, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 3AU