Our Finest Hour by Escape Hunt – Basingstoke

Our last Escape Hunt room of the day was Our Finest Hour. We had deliberately left the hardest room until last.

This room has fantastic military theming and requires you to combine different clues from different parts of the room. It has some fantastic wartime props and technology which helps you to feel transported back to 1942.

It was definitely a hard room but this time for all of the right reasons. The puzzles were tricky and in depth but still very logical. We managed to make it out in 47 mins and 10 secs which put us at the top of the leaderboard again.

Overall, our visit to Escape Hunt today has been brilliant and we would recommend most of the rooms. The staff were lovely. Our GM Lucy was very friendly and fantastic and the manager also gave us some free drinks as we had booked all 4 rooms. We will definitely go back when their new room opens soon!

Escape room number: #57
Completed: September 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 47 mins 10 secs

Overall rating: 8.5/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 5/5
Difficulty: 5/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Success rate: 35%
Best time: 47 mins 10 secs this month

Alice in Puzzleland by Escape Hunt – Basingstoke

This room saw both us and Escape Hunt redeem ourselves with an amazing game of Alice in Puzzleland.

Tasked with freeing the Mad Hatter and finding the lost jam tarts, we entered the room and were immediately impressed by the amazing set. There were some fantastic puzzles and again only one padlock in sight!

This time, the room was much more logical and flowed seamlessly from one clue to the next.

We smashed it in 29 minutes and 34 seconds which we were told was not only this month’s record but the fastest time the gamemasters had seen in Basingstoke ever.

Escape room number: #56
Completed: September 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 29 mins 34 secs

Overall rating: 9/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 5/5
Storyline: 5/5
Immersive quality: 5/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Best time: 29mins 34 secs

Aladdin by Escape Hunt – Basingstoke

Our second room of the day was Aladdin. As before, the theming and immersion were very good. Some of the puzzles were enjoyable and logical however several again just required guess work. There were also some things you had to do which there were no clues for at all.

Whilst we love a challenging room, the difficulty needs to come from the complexity of logical puzzles rather than having to guess what to do.

Our downfall was that we were looking for the logical when it wasn’t actually there.

We couldn’t help but feel disappointed with this room overall.

Escape room number: #55
Completed: September 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 58 mins 42 secs

Overall rating: 6/10
Puzzle quality: 2/5
Puzzle range: 3/5
Storyline: 3/5
Immersive quality: 3/5
Difficulty: 4/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Best time this month: 38 mins

Blackbeard’s Treasure by Escape Hunt – Basingstoke

Our first room of the day was Blackbeard’s Treasure, a pirate themed room with the aim of recovering the treasure.

The theming was great with lighting and sound effects to create a fantastic atmosphere. We like that it didn’t rely too heavily on padlocks.

It was mostly a straightforward room but we did find that some puzzles were just down to guesswork with no direction about what you had to do. The only way to find out what was required was by asking the GM for a clue which shouldn’t be the case in good room.

Overall, we still enjoyed the experience and it was a good start to our day.

Escape room number: #54
Completed: September 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 34mins 56secs (3rd on the leaderboard)

Overall rating: 7.5/10
Puzzle quality: 3/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 3/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Success rate: 40%
Best time this month: approx 32 mins 26 secs

Jack the Ripper by Mystery Room – Split, Croatia

Following the story of Jack the Ripper, we were tasked to find the names and dates of his victims and then his true identity in order to get out.

This room had some amazing props and a brilliant atmosphere which made it feel much more immersive than Diocletianus. Again, I was annoyed at how long the final clue took us as we should have solved it much more quickly but we still managed a decent time in what was a tricky room. This was definitely our favourite of the two!

Escape room number: #53
Completed: August 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 62 mins 28 secs (12m 32 secs left)

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 4/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 75 mins
Success rate: 38%
Best time: approx 40 mins

Save King’s Landing by Puzzle Punks – Dubrovnik, Croatia

So we couldn’t go on honeymoon without seeing what Croatia had to offer in terms of escape games. As fans of Game of Thrones, we had picked Dubrovnik as our first location. We, of course, had to try their GOT inspired room – Save King’s Landing. Based on events from season 2, we had to find the wildfire to ensure that Tyrion’s army could defend themselves against Stanis Baratheon’s attack at Blackwater Bay (which was partly filmed at Old Town Dubrovnik).

From the second we entered the room, we loved it! The props and decor were phenomenal. With inspiring books about the great houses of Westeros, house banners and old wooden and iron props, we were transported to the seven Kingdoms.

The room itself takes a linear strategy and it seemlessly flowed from one puzzle to the next. The puzzles themselves were imaginative, immersive and there wasn’t a coded padlock in sight!

Our GM was also welcoming and interesting to talk to, an experienced escape room player himself. He let us complete the room without interference and we luckily didn’t need to ring the “bell of shame” for a clue.

We finished with just over 27 mins to spare, which was a quick time but we loved it nonetheless.

Escape room number: #49
Completed: August 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 32 mins

Overall rating: 8.5/10
Puzzle quality: 5/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 5/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 2

Cursed Waters by Elusion – Southampton

A very fun room by Elusion Escape Rooms in Southampton. Set in the subterranean caverns, you are tasked with followong in the footsteps of an old friend who has been missing for a long time.

The set up is very imaginative and the clues were largely very logical and to follow. There are some some great effects and surprises as you move through the room and the final task leaves you with a difficult decision to make.

There are a great range of puzzle types with some physical, some ciphers and codes and some logic needed! We did need a clue or two so we enjoyed the level of challenge it provided. We managed to get out in 49 minutes and definitely left with that escape room buzz!

Escape room number: #46
Completed: June 2021
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 49 mins

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 4/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 3-8

Timelock by Locked in a Room – Southampton

Escape room number: #44
Completed: October 2020
Team: 4 adults, 1 child
Escaped?: yes
Time: approx 48 minutes (from memory)

Overall rating: 7/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 3/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 2-6 (we’d recommend 2-3)
Success rate: high

Difficulty: 🔐🔐🔐

We loved Locked In A Room from the moment we walked in. As we entered, we were met by the lovely and energetic gamemasters who were so welcoming and full of enthusiasm.

As slightly crazed scientists, we had to work our way through clues to discover Professor Pottenger’s secret and escape the room in 60 minutes.

The Locked In A Room games are all linear which makes them really logical and avoids any confusion. This does mean that the room is slightly easier and that all participants can only work on one clue at a time. We found that as a team of 4, some of us were hanging around a bit whilst the others worked on a puzzle. For this reason, it would be enjoyed best by smaller teams of 2 or 3.

The room itself is intriguing with a traditional study feel crossed with the eccentric scientific world of Prof. Pottenger. There is a good range of puzzle styles with some cypher, some hunting, some practical and some logic. We did find, however, that it was slightly repetitive in that for each one solved, you would be given the next clue on a laminated piece of paper.

Locked In A Room offer 2 different rooms – Timelock and Parallax. However, they have 4 rooms of each meaning that there is the opportunity to go head to head with other teams. A great idea!

We escaped in 40-something minutes which reflects the moderate level of difficulty. We had a child as part of our team so went at quite a slow but steady pace so it can be done in a much quicker time.

Overall, a great room and we will definitely be returning to have a go at Parallax very soon!

The Betrayal of Cluetankhamun by Clue HQ – Bournemouth

Escape room number: #43
Completed: October 2020
Team: 2 adults, 2 teens
Escaped?: yes
Time: 55m 43 secs (4m 17secs left)

Overall rating: 6/10
Puzzle quality: 3/5
Puzzle range: 3/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 3/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 2-6
Success rate: approx 40-50%

We had been waiting for Clue HQ to bring their Cluetankhamun room to Bournemouth for so long after loving their Bunker 38 and Cell Block C rooms. It opened last weekend so we went at our earliest opportunity!

Walking into the room, the aesthetics and props were really impressive. The hieroglyphics, chests and lights created a wonderful, intriguing setting and we were eager to get to work.

We were tasked with venturing into the tomb after an earlier group of explorers had gone missing and finding the valuable crystal but of course, with many obstacles in the way.

As always, we don’t want to give away too many spoilers for anyone wishing to have a go at this room. The set up and immersion is excellent whilst a handy screen lets you know how much time is left and conveys any clues that are needed. Most of the puzzles simply require the use of logic rather than guess work which is always refreshing in an escape room.

There is also a lot to do in the time, especially compared to their other rooms, which made us feel we got good value for money. This, however, also makes it much more difficult to complete in the time given. We managed it with just over 4 minutes remaining and were told that very few groups had completed it since opening.

Whilst there are some puzzles that are a little different, the vast majority are finding 3, 4 or 5 digit codes which had to be entered into padlocks. Altogether, we counted over 20 padlocks – unfortunately, this was slight overkill! There were so many chests and boxes to be opened that they just kept getting in the way and it got quite repetitive.

Overall, we still enjoyed this room and it scratched our escape room itch for the day. Is it our favourite from Clue HQ? Theming – yes; actual game play – definitely not. It was still a fun way to spend an hour and we are glad we gave it a go.

Trapped: The Art Heist (series 1, game 1)

So we have finally got round to having a go at our first Trapped home escape room game – and we loved it!

Tasked with he challenge of escaping the art museum with a stolen painting, you work your way through a series of clues. There is a man on the inside too, but who? The puzzles themselves are varied and logical so we did not find the usual frustrations with having to guess what you have to do.

The set up encourages you to physically place the components around a room to make it as interactive and as escape room like as possible. It includes posters, confidential envelopes and individual name tags to assign to each team member. Each piece is well-designed and, intriguing and great fun to explore.

There is a handy clue booklet if needed but luckily we only had to use this once or twice. Otherwise, we found the clues fairly easy but this is understandable with the age 8+ rating. It states a 1-2 hour game play although it only took us 40 minutes to complete.

We still loved the game and would recommend it for couples and families. We look forward to trying the others in the series.

Game information:
Players: 2-6
Age: 8+
Difficulty rating: medium
Length: 1-2 hours
Approximate Price: £11

Our ratings:
Overall: 7/10
Difficulty: 4/10
Puzzle range: 6/10
Logic and flow: 9/10