Cliffhanger Rooms: The Pharaoh’s Curse

The Pharaoh's Curse

Outside the room

After a few minutes’ break to give us the chance to write our result on the wall, we were ready to play Cliffhanger Rooms‘ second game.

Background

You’re archaeologists who have found the tomb of an unknown pharaoh. Legend has it that anyone who enters the tomb has an hour to find out the name of the pharaoh or be forever cursed.

Inside the room

In contrast to the theming of the previous game, I thought this was good from start to finish. You started off in the archaeologists’ tent in the desert, trying to find out how to gain entrance to the pyramid, and finished inside. They’d done a good job throughout, with all the decoration conveying that idea.  Furthermore, the puzzles within the game fitted nicely into that theming too and they all made perfect sense. Where we asked for clues, it was only because we either didn’t search well enough or we’d missed a legitimate clue  – all the puzzles in this game were realistically solvable (including one which I would consider one of the hardest fair puzzles I’ve seen).

The puzzles were nicely balanced. Some puzzles relied on searching the room, others were broadly mental challenges and some had physical interactions. I was a particular fan of one involving a skill challenge which might fit nicely within the Crystal Maze, albeit with a very low skill threshold. I’m not entirely sure what they’d do if you fail entirely, but it seems unlikely anyone will ever find out given the number of opportunities you’re given to succeed.

The styles of mental puzzles ranged quite widely, although there was a preponderance of decryption-style puzzles as you might expect in an Egyptian-themed room and its access to hieroglyphs. I like rooms that don’t just send you looking for three- and four-digit numbers hidden around the place, and this most definitely met my requirements on that front.

When we did get stuck, the host was available to give us some help and guide us in the right direction. It did highlight an issue with the lack of sound in the room. The host wasn’t always clear what we were up to so, at one point, when we pressed the button to ask for a clue, she thought we were further along and gave us a clue for a later stage. Fortunately, we’d already worked out what we needed to do but, if we hadn’t, that would have cheated us out of solving the puzzle. It’s understandable that they’re trying to keep budgets down, but I think audio in the room makes a big difference to understanding where a team is up to and, in particular, how close they are to a solution.

The game flowed nicely, and the finale in particular was well thought out, with things getting visually more impressive as time went on and the best puzzles saved till near the end.

Result

We finished with about twelve minutes remaining having taken a pair of clues.

Verdict –

This was a good room. The decor and props were nicely themed, the puzzles were fun. There were physical puzzles, a little bit of searching, some enjoyable mental puzzles and even a skill challenge. If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend visiting.

Detailed Room Ratings

Venue
Host
Wow! factor
Immersiveness
Difficulty

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