I first came across X-Door on a visit to Madrid about three years ago. Timings hadn’t quite worked out on that occasion but, given that it had franchises across Spain, I was keen to visit and find out what it was like. It’s conveniently located right in the heart of the city above one of the smaller shopping streets. I’d seen decent reviews for Haunted Prison, so I opted for that over a game I’d seen in Madrid and knew was a few years old.
Unsurprisingly, you start the experience in a cell. As prison games go, it was reasonably decorated – you’re never going to have this theme look stunning. Having said that, a couple of things didn’t meet that standard: a bucket for the air conditioning to drip into and a bed that fell apart when I sat on it. That wasn’t a great start to the game, but the rest of the room seemed well constructed and, while there may have been the odd weak moment, they weren’t terrible.
Generally we enjoyed the challenges this room presented, though two or three of them disappointed me. One felt a little too complicated for what was pretty much the opening puzzle, and another was genuinely clever but I would never have solved without a clue (we checked with the GM afterwards and very few people do). While the puzzles were all ones I’d seen before in one form or another, they were still fun and pretty varied examples.
The finale to this game was where I was most impressed: it added to the story in an interesting way and was a bit more original than a typical prison escape. A classic prison start and unusual ending sandwiching a set of fun puzzles led to a very solid experience and one of my favourites in Málaga.