Escape Room Review - Mystery Room UK: The Suspect

Camberley’s one and only escape room is located in its town centre.  However, the game begins long before you enter the room, and maybe even before you’ve ever set foot in Camberley.  Upon booking, you’ll be sent instructions on how to find a secret message that needs to be decoded.  This teaser for the game is a really good way to build anticipation, and I found myself looking forward to this session more than I usually would. 

When you arrive at the location, you’ll be greeted by the game’s manager.  We were met by a man called Adrian, who was really friendly before and after our playthrough, and even let us walk away afterwards with one of the props!  (It was due to be replaced anyway, but still).  Adrian will go through the coded message with you before the game begins, so there’s no need to worry if you didn’t have time to look at the message, forgot about it, or simply couldn’t crack it.  It’s a good thing that he takes the time to go through this, as this introductory puzzle comes up again during the course of the game.

The backstory to the game is that you’re ransacking an office in search of any information you can find on a missing person.  The office belongs to someone who’s a suspect in the investigation, although it’s a pretty clear bet that they’re going to be involved somehow, or else every team is in for a very uneventful hour.  The props and setting are all in character when you enter the room, although that’s a lot easier to achieve with a mundane setting like an office.  Still, at first glance you could believe that you’d wandered into someone’s study by mistake and just decided to rifle through their filing system anyway.  That simple setting is only on the surface though; there are a couple of tricks built in to the room itself that you won’t see coming. 

Nothing to see here…

The game feels quite difficult at first, and by the twenty-minute mark it felt as if we hadn’t made much progress at all.  We had a lot of clues to piece together, but no answers yet.  But if anything, this room seems to have the difficulty curve the wrong way round.  It may just be that the room flows better as you progress, but by the time you reach the end, the final two puzzles almost seem too straightforward.

Don’t let that put you off though – the room is definitely challenging, and the premise and how it unfolds is engaging.  It’s also the first room I’ve seen with an adjustable difficulty setting.  The default is ‘medium’, but if you’re concerned that this won’t be enough of a contest then you can always up the difficulty to Hard Mode, which offers a less guided experience.   Equally, for beginners or family teams you can ask for the difficulty level to be reduced.  To assist with this, hints can be requested via the push of a button and delivered via text.  Although be warned, if you’re playing on Hard mode, each hint will cost you a time penalty…

The company is already planning its next offering, which is expected to be up and running by February 2017.  We’ve already decided that we’ll be paying a visit – although next time we may face the room on Hard mode.

Price: starts at £51.00 for a team of 3
Players: 3 – 5
Strengths:  Story
Weaknesses:  Back to front difficulty curve

Completion time: 00:46:77