Code To Exit Altrincham – The Dark Ages
The Team: TDM, Mr Carrot
Since the last time we visited Code To Exit back in December, Mr Carrot and I have discussed on a couple of occasions that we’d probably underestimated just how much we’d enjoyed the rooms we’d done then. The Forger particularly stood out for having a completely original theme, and it’s nice to be surprised with something totally fresh from time to time.
We’d been eager to return to see how The Dark Ages compared… and it compared very well! So well in fact that it gets a
This team game takes you back to the time of the Legend of Camelot. By revealing the secrets of the castle, you will be able to rescue the mystical Excalibur. Once you have the mythical sword you are only a step away from acquiring the Holy Grail. You need team work, skills and excellent powers of observation to complete the mission in time and escape the room.
With the previous two rooms at Code To Exit, The Forger and The Blueprint, we’d been briefed inside the rooms themselves, but with The Dark Ages the briefing happened in the reception area. There was a good reason for this though as the first task was to actually get into the room!
The room is located in the basement, and we were led to the stairs from where we made our own way down. Thankfully, getting in was a nice simple task and we were soon greeted by a room containing things that immediately caught our eyes – large physical puzzles, which we always love.
It was evident that a great deal of work had gone in to building the furnishings in the room as everything seemed custom made and built from scratch, which led to some wonderfully creative and unique tasks we hadn’t encountered before, and I’m guessing in some cases are unlikely to again.
I think there were only a couple of what I’d describe as mental puzzles in the room, as it was more of a series of manual challenges – nothing strenuous as they were skill and dexterity based rather than physically intensive.
Most important of all though, they were FUN!
An element of the room is the collection of multiple occurences of a certain object type to progress. Some of these objects are just lying around, some of them are hidden, and some of them have to be ‘won’ by completing the challenges.
One challenge in particular had the potential to be extremely frustrating, and indeed to start with felt like it would be an almost impossible task. One short learning curve later though to get the technique just right, and it quickly become… well, I wouldn’t say easy, but certainly manageable and extremely satisfying upon completion. I can completely understand how some people might become quite despondent while attempting this and give it up as futile, so it was good to note while chatting to our host afterwards that there’s a simple but effective backup plan in place should this happen, as I imagine does from time to time.
Bearing in mind the nature of a lot of the puzzles in the room, The Dark Ages doesn’t appear at first glance as though it would host a great deal of hidden tech, but like with The Forger upstairs, this is cleverly deceptive. While not overloaded with automation, what was there was utilised extremely effectively, and we were never in any doubt when we triggered things.
The only criticism I had if I was being super picky is that maybe the story progression didn’t really make too much sense which had the potential to break the immersion, but we were too busy grinning and having fun to notice really.
Yep, we loved it, and Mr Carrot tells me that this is his favourite room that he’s played so far – high praise indeed!