Extremescape: The Lost Tomb

The Tomb

Outside the room

After playing Extremescape‘s first game (The Pirate Ship) and having a fantastic time, I knew that I’d be back to play game two as soon as it opened. They’d created that game after playing a grand total of four rooms, so I was excited to see what they might do with more games under their belt and the experience of having watched people playing the first room.

Second time round, it was much easier to find – head for the golf club and then take a right when you see the green and black logo, following the track until you arrive at the farmhouse. Inside, we chatted to the owners for a few minutes before being given a short introduction to the room and stepping inside.

Background

Your team of adventurers and archaeologists enter an abandoned gold mine in the heart of the Mexican mountains, your mission is to find the hidden gold. Legend says that the holder of the hidden gold of El Naranjal will find the Lost Tomb. The miners left subtle clues & hints, if you use all your skills you may find the hidden gold and ultimately the Lost Tomb.

Inside the room

Wow. Just wow. They’d eschewed the automated introduction of the Pirate Ship and instead chosen to start the game as soon as you’ve crossed the threshold. I have to confess I was initially a little disappointed with that omission, but within a couple of minutes I realised I’d been too hasty – they’d taken away one type of theatre and replaced it with another. I stood back, blinking in disbelief at what they’d chosen to do. Oh yes, this was going to be good.

Taking the time to look around the game (and, in this game, you really should), I was amazed at what they’d managed to create by mixing two different themes. First there’s the abandoned mine, but eventually your aim is to find a lost Mayan tomb. Playing a game with a novel theme is pretty special, but one with two – that’s amazing. It’s not just the novelty here, though: these were absolutely amazing backdrops each one of which would compare well against any other game I’ve ever played. If you look carefully, you might decide that a couple of the props don’t quite fit the Mayan theme and there are some padlocks in the room but, overall, if theming and decor are important to you, then you’re in for a real treat.

Having two separate themes also provides them with lots of material for puzzles. In a 90-minute game, it would be easy to run out of ideas and end up scraping the barrel, but that just wasn’t the case here. The biggest weakness of their previous room was the variety of puzzles, but it was clear they’d worked hard to produce a broad range here. To make things even better, there was almost nothing in the way of red herrings in the room – pretty much everything was there for a reason.

If you want to be picky, there were one or two challenges with weaknesses (one that felt a bit mathsy and another where the solution that seemed obvious to all our team didn’t work), but they were all logical. If you do get stuck, you can obviously ask for clues, but their default approach is giving nudges in the right direction via the in-room audio.  Clues were good – in our case encouraging us to focus our attention on the objects in the room which we needed to investigate further.

No review of an Extremescape room would be complete without talking about automation. Once again they’ve delivered the goods with some jaw-dropping work. Whether you’re someone that loves the magic of spaces unlocking because of an action in another part of the room or the theatre that automation can bring, they’ve got you covered. At times this felt like less of an escape room and more like an Indiana Jones film.

Result

We escaped in 59:10 having received clues on two puzzles.

Verdict –

I went into this game nervous that they wouldn’t be able to improve on the Pirate Ship but I needn’t have worried – the Tomb blows it out of the water. The set is stunning, the puzzles are enjoyable, the theatrical moments are fantastic and, to top it off, the couple who run it are a great pair of hosts. Move over, Time Run, I’ve got a new favourite game.

You should definitely head along here if you’re even vaguely in the area. And by “vaguely in the area” I mean “in the same country”. Officially, the game can take 2-8 players, but personally I’d opt for at least three. I’d probably cap it at five, or six if you’re not experienced. Anything beyond that and I think you’ll find the game a little crowded.

Detailed Room Ratings

Venue
Host
Wow! factor
Immersiveness
Difficulty

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