I want to believe
Your friend has travelled the world investigating great conspiracy theories – from the pyramids to JFK.
He has vanished, no doubt because of the secrets he has uncovered.
It’s your job to search his house to find out what he discovered that got him in so much trouble. Can you finish his work and uncover the ultimate mystery?
He was a paranoid guy, I bet he’s covered his tracks quite well…
It was Day 12 of our 14 day Escape Room Roadtrip Extravaganza. We took off a few days to recover, but couldn’t stay away for too long, so the next stop on the agenda was Want to Escape in Rushden. (After hearing nothing but praise for the games there from Amy (Brit of an Escape Habit), skipping them was never going to be an option.)
Want to Escape have plenty of onsite parking, and once we were settled, we made our way to the outdoor sink as directed to wash our hands before starting. We were there to tackle all four games, so after an introduction to James, our host and the owner of Want to Escape, and a bit of a chat, we started the day having an absolute blast in Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop, but next it was time to shift gears and look into conspiracy theories in Conspiracist. (After that, we would go back to school in Teacher’s Revenge, and on an epic adventure in Guardian of the Gallery). Of course, we did get to take a bit of time to sit in reception and admire the wall of records between games. Yes, they were actual records, and yes, I’m proud to say we added a couple to the collection (And also got a few to take away with us as keepsakes.)
Records admired, and a drink of water later, James sat us down to tell us all about our strange friend, and all of his conspiracy theories. It was our job to uncover the mystery, so with that in mind, we ascended the stairs, and stepped through the door into his office.
Covid-19 Precautions: At the time of our visit in early June 2021, we were impressed with the precautions in place at Want to Escape. The venue has an outdoor sink and requires hands to be washed before entering the building. Additional hand sanitiser stations were also available throughout. Masks were required for our visit, but are no longer mandatory (although it is preferred that teams wear them.) Rooms are thoroughly cleaned between teams, start times were staggered to avoid cross over. Reception had even been stripped of soft furnishings to aid the cleaning process between teams.
The space we entered was exactly the sort of office I would envision to be occupied by a conspiracy theorist, with alien writings on the walls, articles of conspiracy, and models to allow one to puzzle out the mysteries of certain things. Despite being a simple study set, the space provided a wonderful sense of exploration. The ambient music, while perhaps not really “conspiracy” related, lightened the tone, and gave us a few moments of fun as we bopped along to it.
As the conspiracies unfolded, the pace of Conspiracist seemed to pick up, and although it’s not a particularly strong narrative driving the game forward, I found myself quite absorbed in what we were doing. The puzzles flowed from one thing to the next, ultimately culminating in a rather exciting, and epic finale.
If you’re struggling to choose a game at Want to Escape, Conspiracist is the one you should choose if you’re after solid puzzles (okay, all the games have solid puzzles, but here, the puzzles were the focus of the game.) The game felt as though it had several parallel paths, which allowed Gord and I to split up to investigate different things, although there was so much to explore, it may just have been that we were each trying to work something out, one would succeed, and then have the missing piece for the other’s puzzle.
The puzzles ranged from a bit of searching, simple observation, logic, codes, and everything in between, and were all based on various conspiracies (think UFOs, aliens building the pyramids, and of course, who actually shot JFK). The signposting was spot on, resulting in some really wonderful and delightful moments of realisation. The blend of tech and padlocks kept the game interesting, and also gave us quite a few chances to say “Oooo, that was clever!”
Clues in Conspiracist were delivered through a screen in the room that also displayed the timer. These were accompanied by an alert noise, just in case you weren’t looking at the screen at the time. We didn’t require much assistance, but there were one or two instances where we did our usual clever trick of overlooking something staring us straight in the face, and James was quick to subtly steer us back in the right direction.
I can’t compliment James enough for his Games Mastering, both in terms of his friendly demeanour in reception between games, but also the way in which he was clearly switched on and engaged with what we were doing within the games throughout the day (he was our GM for all four games that we played at Want to Escape). His timing for offering assistance was always perfect to avoid any loss of momentum or frustration that tends to emerge from our own puzzle solving inadequacies.
If I had to pick a game at Want to Escape that was the most “traditional” in the style of escape rooms, it would be Conspiracist, and I loved it because of it. (No really. I should probably say Guardian of the Gallery was the best, but Conspiracist was my favourite of the day.) The game is chock full of fantastic, clever, and satisfying puzzles that are sure to please every player, from beginners to enthusiasts.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 35 minutes
Address: 40a Newton Rd, Rushden NN10 0HD