August 2018

Locked Gent: Kubus and Labyrint

Two deeply-flawed games from a puzzle perspective but still utterly amazing and worth a significant detour. Kubus is worth a very big detour in order to experience – it’s hard to convey just how amazing a concept it is.

Onigo (London): The Break Out

A game that’s little more than a walk round a park solving some puzzles on your phone. On a warm summer’s evening, it’s just about reasonable for a team of two but I wouldn’t sign up with a larger team unless you’re getting a discount.

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Clockwork Escapes (Wolverhampton): Starpoint Alpha

A rough diamond of a game. The set, the mission and, above all, the humour are fantastic. A few too many padlocks, a couple of weak puzzles and, at times, a feeling that I was being walked through the game took the edge off the experience but I’d still thoroughly recommend, especially to enthusiasts.

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Room Release (Wolverhampton): The Archaeologists

A guilty pleasure of a game. There’s nothing about it that massively stands out: it’s got a lot of padlocks, little sense of exploration, average puzzles and the decoration is a little tired but there’s something about the game that made it enjoyable – it didn’t aim high but what it aimed for, it achieved.

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Mission Breakout (London): The Lost Passenger

From start to finish, a game that kept delivering impressive reveals with a real sense of exploring our way through the story. Solid puzzles kept us entertained although we did feel lost on a couple of occasions in the game.

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Scramm (Banbury): The Chocolate Factory

A feelgood game. Plenty of chocolate to go around, lots of silliness and fun puzzles. You’re not going to travel across the country to play but, if you’re passing nearby, it’s definitely worth dropping in.

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Crack It (Bolton): Haunted Mansion

Sometimes rough around the edges, this is packed with fun puzzles and fantastic value for a couple of enthusiasts. Expect to get a full hour of fun with physical and mental challenges.

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AIM Escape (London): Patient Zero 2150

This was a fun game with a variety of challenges and a fantastic set, but I can’t help but feel that it fell short of its potential. This could be a fantastic mission if they smooth out some of the puzzles and enhance the finale – fingers crossed they manage that.

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AIM Escape (London): Psychopath's Den

A room with real potential, but with too many rough edges. Issues with audio and lighting greatly affected our enjoyment and the finale lost some of its potential impact. A solid set of challenges, including some real crowd-pleasers, at the core of the game suggest that it could definitely do well with the right tweaking.

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Escape Hunt (Leeds): Our Finest Hour

A solid game but one which, for me, never really took off with temperamental tech in the middle, use of technology that looked out of place for the theme, and a finale that was a bit flat. Nothing to ruin the game but enough to take the edge off of it.