We’d have probably done better if there actually was alcohol
It’s 1926 here in Chicago, and depression is still rife. Jobs are few and far between and the Prohibition has been in force for six years now. Everyone still drinks, nothin’ has changed. But now the mob control the streets, the supply and the money. The influence of the Outfit is far reaching. Most of the cops are even under their control. Who can put them in the joint? You can, that’s who.
The Commissioner has put together a special task force of straight, trusted cops and you’re on the team. You’ve spent the last few months infiltrating their network and now tonight is the night to get the evidence you need to put them away forever. But it won’t be easy, your cover might be blown!
We did Nethercott Manor the previous week so had high expectations of The Outfitters. On a cold Saturday morning we arrived at Tulleys and were once again greeted by friendly hosts and a warm fire (also goats and guinea pigs). We were a little early but that was no problem for them and we got into the room early as we were the first group of the day and it was ready.
You start The Outfitters in (rather obviously) a tailors’ shop and the staging in here is all related to this theme. However you soon enter a world that is straight out of the 1920’s prohibition era. Even though this room doesn’t have the same wow factor as the other rooms at Tulleys it is still very well put together and compare it to any other room and it would come out as an easy winner.
A theme with Tulleys seems to be that all their rooms are big, really big, so there is a lot to do in this room but as it is non-linear there is plenty to be getting on with for everyone in your team. Even in the smallest of the rooms we found that we were all kept busy and we got out of that room in no time at all, unfortunately things slowed down remarkably quickly after that.
This is a solid room, there is no doubt about that, but strangely we found it harder than Nethercott Manor despite this one being classed as easier. If we had to rank the rooms at Tulleys then this would be their third best room out of the three they currently have (new one opening soon!), but that still makes it better than most of the rooms we have done elsewhere.
A very mixed bag of puzzles and some were simple while others were a bit tricker. In all the rooms there is an undertone of needing to find items hidden around the place to help you progress with the story, but nothing was hidden so well that you couldn’t find it.
One could argue that some of the puzzles didn’t really fit with the era, there was one that you were briefly told about earlier in the room that I really felt didn’t fit in with the theming and it wouldn’t have been too hard to modify it to make it look like it belonged.
There is one puzzle that makes it very obvious what needs to be done, and we thought this was going to be a cool piece of tech but unfortunately it was just the GM watching us and when we did it he flipped a switch. The effect that came after it was very cool, but I would have preferred it if it was automated as it is in other rooms where we have seen it.
The set design was very good, as you would expect from Tulleys, but it wasn’t as exciting as their other rooms. Some of the props were well made and obviously a lot of thought had gone into them which is always nice to see, but then there were one or two things which felt like they were thrown in last minute as they needed to ‘bulk it up’ a bit. For me, the immersion was only lost at two points, the briefing (a TV screen) and the aspect that I mentioned in ‘puzzles’ above.
The GM was very attentive although we felt that he was a bit too keen to give us clues. Although he gave us a choice of taking a clue, because it was offered and he started his sentence with “you look a bit stuck…” it made us feel like we were falling behind and we should take it. I like attentive GM’s but I prefer them to hold back on offering clues until really needed, perhaps they were but it really did throw us off.
Clues were given over a speaker system and were in the character of the room, including the dubious American accent.
Make sure that you keep the pencil and paper close by, some parts of this room are quite maths heavy so if that isn’t your strong point then you may struggle in places.
Team: 4 players (escaped with 4:31 left)
Address: Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill Road Turners Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, RH10 4PE