Outside the room
Having played Timed Trap‘s Prison Break, it was straight back into the action with Treasure Theft, an Indiana Jones-style story where you have to rescue a crystal skull.
During the cold war, Russian agents watch professor Billy Jones when a young man brings him a coded message from an aged, demented colleague; Harold Oxley. Led by the brilliant Irina Spalko, the Russians tail Jones and a young man ‘Mutt’ to Peru. With Oxley’s code, they find a legendary skull made of a single piece of quartz. If Jones can deliver the skull to it’s rightful place, all may be well. Ageing professor and young buck join forces with a woman from Jones’s past to face the dangers ahead.
You and your team follow Jones’s clue to hunt the treasure. Will you get to the treasure before it’s too late…
Inside the room
First impressions weren’t great – a little bit of furniture, some fake treasure and not very much to search. I didn’t feel a huge amount of immersion – just the vaguest hint of pirateness (it’s a word). That problem continued throughout the game. Everything they’d done to make the room feel a bit more piratey seemed, well, a bit amateurish.
The puzzles weren’t much better – we kept on having experiences that made me feel they were a bit fragile. Not physically, just in their solutions. One required a bit of a leap and it would have been easy not to realise it was even a puzzle. Another required a painstaking search of the entire room. Another puzzle took a cool-looking piece of technology but felt like it was pretty much trial and error to solve it. Another puzzle (which we got a clue on) used a piece of cool technology to do something incredibly dull. It felt like each time there was the potential for a good puzzle our hopes were shattered.
The game as a whole was almost entirely linear, and that really didn’t help us as experienced players. A lot of the time we’d be stuck waiting for someone else to complete a puzzle before we could move on to the next stage. That’s probably less of an issue for novices, but even then I still think it’s not good enough.
Again, technology played a big part in the game, even though it really didn’t fit with the pirate theme. Whereas in the other room it felt like it added, here it detracted. A good example, in addition to the ones mentioned above, was where they’d taken a nice analogue solution input and then stuck some LED number displays on it. How much nicer would that puzzle have been if they’d just had the analogue number inputs?
Probably the best thing about this game was the finale – there was a physical object to bring out, and the way in which that escape was engineered worked well but it was too little too late.
We escaped in 36:15 with two clues – both were for search failures but we really shouldn’t have needed the second.
I never got inspired by this room. The linearity of the puzzles meant I frequently got frustrated at the lack of action and, when I did get involved with the puzzles, I found too many of them were disappointing. The theming didn’t win me over, and the host coming into the room to give clues meant that what little immersion I might have felt was broken.
Detailed Room Ratings