I went with 3 friends across to Kentish Town to play insideout Escape. Sed (Secret Studio, Hidden Rooms, Clue Quest) was fashionable late but our wonderful hosts didn’t hold it against us. SweenDog (Sherlock unlock, The Room Berlin), was desperately hung over after an extended St Patrick’s day, but raring to go having not played a room in almost a year. T-Man (Enigma) was fighting fit and focussed on success.
Insideout has been up and running since September last year and are in the process of beta testing their second room, CSI. The hosts were welcoming and really engaging. They clearly understood the industry and loved escape games. But back to my original question. I’m on around 60 games but has it helped? Well.. Yes and no. Search fails will always happen no matter how experienced you are. During Revenge of the Sheep (Clue Quest) played a few months ago we did suffer from a number of epic search fails with a far more experienced team than this time. We were proud to have no search fails this time.
So when you think about the sheer volume of rooms worldwide surely most puzzles are either ripped off from other rooms or variations on a theme. To be honest having played 60 games in 10 countries I have rarely seen a direct rip of a puzzle and variations on a theme are not as common as you would think. Experience can also be a hindrance because of how you know a puzzle has been solved previously and there is no guarantee it is solved the same way in every situation.
The puzzles in Sherlock were challenging but there was no over reaching between ‘in room clues’ and the outcome of the puzzle. I was pleased that there were a variety of different types of puzzle and everything worked. The room felt in keeping with the theme without being too cluttered. This is a solid game with a good balance of puzzles for virgins and veterans alike. I would have liked a more definite ending but this is the kind of game I like. We escaped with about 20 minutes to spare which more than made up for Sed’s tardiness. I would recommend “Finding Sherlock Holmes” as an above average classic game that would be suitable for everyone.