Outside the room
On to the fourth venue of our weekend in Nottingham, Logiclock. They’re located just at the edge of the shopping centre but in an area that still feels bustling. Upstairs they’ve got a couple of nice waiting spaces with table puzzles to keep you occupied. That worked well for us because, with two teams, it meant we could be together when we wanted to but could also split up to talk about the rooms we’d just played without giving any spoilers away. That would all be later on, though – first up, friendly hosts came across to give us the intros and show us into our rooms.
Enter Professor E.’s room. Professor E. had to leave very quickly and without attracting attention. He had to go so fast that he couldn’t find anybody who could continue his work. There are lots of candidates but he needs the best of the best. Prove your skills by escaping from Professor E.’s room.
Inside the room
The start of Made in Stein felt very open, with plenty of puzzles on display for us to investigate and no clear picture of which was the right place to start. At the time, I felt like that was a deliberate decision but, talking to our GM (also the owner) afterwards, they explained that this was a classic enthusiast problem. Inexperienced players naturally gravitate towards a specific object in the room and then the game path is very linear. Enthusiasts, on the other hand, spread out and, because of their experience from other rooms, can easily subvert that order by making assumptions on what you’re meant to solve. Beginners don’t break that cycle because they’d need a specific nudge to realise that was what they were meant to do (which they get within the game flow).
As the game progressed and we got through that initial set of puzzles, it became entirely linear, which worked reasonably well for our team of three. Towards the end, that was particularly noticeable because we got stuck on one puzzle for a long time and, during that period, mentally solved the ones that followed it. So much so that, as soon as we were unblocked on that single puzzle, we zoomed through the remainder of the game, grabbing the unlocked piece of information at each stage and instantly knowing exactly where it needed to be used. It’s an interesting point – I could legitimately say we lost ten, maybe even fifteen minutes, because of that one puzzle, but we obviously gained some of that time back in the following puzzles through not having to think.
The room’s full of potential red herrings with numbers abounding, but be assured: when we solved a puzzle, we knew it was the right answer. You won’t need to go inputting every random number you find into padlocks.
The decoration was fairly minimal, with bits and pieces to convey the science theme. That said, the puzzle themselves, particularly towards the end, had more of a science theme running through them and, overall, the room did a decent job on that front.
We escaped in 45 minutes with a single clue.
Made in Stein is a fun game with enough puzzles to go round. It’s not the prettiest or most story-packed room I’ve played but, if you’re looking for a bunch of puzzles with a vague science-theme, you’ll not be disappointed. Experienced escapers should stick to three players.
Detailed Room Ratings