Outside the room
When I heard that Sherlock Unlock were releasing a new room, I can’t say that it was high up my list for a visit. In fact, if it wasn’t for their trailer, I probably wouldn’t have made the trip down for a very long time indeed. The trailer made it clear that they’d put some effort into Mutiny, and so I was keen to head down and find out how things had progressed since my previous visit.
We arrived at the appointed hour and, after being given the story behind the game, we were shown into the captain’s cabin.
You’re trapped in an empty ship floating adrift in the Indian ocean. There is a whiff of mutiny in the air, but perhaps something more sinister surrounds this deserted vessel. Follow the trail of events that led to this ship’s abandoning and solve the mystery of the ship’s crew in order to escape the captain’s cabin. Or will you be engulfed by the same shroud that took the crew…
Inside the room
As we walked into the room, it was clear that Sherlock Unlock had upped their game. This genuinely felt like it could have been a room aboard a ship with pretty wooden panelling and even a ship’s wheel in the centre of the room (OK – so it’s unlikely there would have been a ship’s wheel inside a cabin, but this is about giving a feel, not realism). The props dotted around the room struck the balance between setting the scene and overwhelming players with potential red herrings.
As the game progressed and we unlocked new clues, the theming continued well both in terms of props and story. The latter was a particular strong point as we slowly learned more about the events that had led up to us finding ourselves aboard an abandoned ship. I really enjoy rooms where you learn the story as part of the game, although it does require the players to take the time to listen to the clues, which might not have worked so well with a larger team.
Speaking of larger teams – we played as a group of three, and I’m very grateful we did because this game would have been crowded with the maximum of five and even four would have been quite cosy. Even in London, where space is at an absolute premium, it’s very rare to feel like the room’s capacity is limited based on physical size, but I think that was the case here.
What of the puzzles? There was one, very early on in the game, which seemed to require a bit of a leap, and a second puzzle later on where we’d seen a similar puzzle mechanic before and therefore knew exactly how to solve it but that might prove tricky for first-timers. Otherwise, they were all straightforward and logical. I say all, but there really weren’t very many. In fact, by far the biggest problem with this room, in my opinion, was the dearth of puzzles. You might be able to get away with a handful of difficult puzzles (although I suspect it would make for a poor experience) but you can’t get away with such a small number of easy puzzles.
We escaped in just under 22 minutes, taking a single clue on one of the first puzzles in the room.
I played this game with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. There’s a story behind the room which unfolds as you solve the puzzles. The puzzles themselves are reasonably varied and sit nicely alongside the theme. The set is simple but nicely done. The host was friendly and enthusiastic. That’s great but you can have all the “great” in the world and it won’t do you much good if people are escaping in little more than a third of the time, especially when it claims to be the highest level of difficulty available. This game was fundamentally far too short. If you’d doubled the number of puzzles or reduced the time by twenty (or maybe even thirty) minutes, then it would have been OK, but this was just far too easy. That said, I can see beginners having fun here, particularly if they come in small groups or with close friends. Experienced players should stay clear.
Before the game we headed over to the Lotus, a floating Chinese restaurant. Given the floating restaurant gimmick, I didn’t hold out much hope, but everything was very good – definitely a good choice if you want a leisurely meal before or after your game.
Detailed Room Ratings
Full disclosure: We weren’t charged for these tickets. That doesn’t influence the review – you can read more on the About page.