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

Escape the Casino

These brilliant games have been extremely popular and unfortunately have gone out of production. If you’re lucky, you can pick one up if escape companies have them in existing stock.

This is quite a simple game as far as escape boxes go but it follows a great story. Additionally, the board and resources are clearly made with good quality materials.

The game requires you to download an app which plays videos and allows you to input the codes you discover. You can replay the game as many times as you want but can only use the code on one device.

I would recommend this escape box if you want a simple game. It would be suitable for beginners.

Game information:
Players: 2-6
Age: 12+
Length: 30-60 mins
Approximate Price: £15

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

U. S. S. Redemption by Houdini’s – Kegworth

Overall rating: 6/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 3/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 1/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 3-6
Success rate: 37%

Escape room number: #21
Completed: December 2019
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes

Time: 39mins 33 secs

We have done 3 other Houdini escape rooms in Southampton, all of which are fantastic. The ones in Kegworth have good theming but the gamemasters interrupt the flow of the game far too much.

Ouija part 1 – Bournemouth

Overall rating: 6/10
Puzzle quality: 1/5
Puzzle range: 1/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 5/5
Difficulty: 2/5
Gamemaster: 5/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 3+

This escape room is very different to any other. The puzzles are simple but they’re not the main selling point. This is a scare experience which creates screams, jumps and the fear factor! We still prefer our traditional escape rooms but we enjoyed this as a fun experience with friends.

Escape room number: #4
Completed: June 2019
Team: 6 adults
Escaped?: yes