Eskape Whitby – A Curious Case
The Team: TDM, Mr Carrot
Their second room ‘A Curious Case‘ claimed a much lower escape rate, so we were less than optimistic about our chances of repeating our success…
CODE RED COMMUNICATION
From: Headquarters at Time and Space Investigation Unit
AGENTS, as the top team at Special Branch we have an urgent and most curious case for you to attend to.
Someone is attempting to invade our world! Using dark magical powers they have managed to cause cracks within space and time, allowing a kind of Wonderland to break through and merge with our reality. If it is not stopped within the next 60 minutes, the whole of our planet will be consumed and become part of this strange kingdom.
You and your team of Time Agents must stop the invasion in time. The world as we know it is counting on you!
Can you save us?
I always feel Whitby is quite an out of the way place for an Escape Room venue and was pleasantly surprised to see one open up there a year or so ago, but it’s a testament to the love and passion that the owners have for the format that has led to to this, their second room opening. It’s difficult not to feel that Eskape Whitby isn’t quite getting the attention it deserves though, and location wise I’m reminded of Lakes Escapes over on the opposite coast who are also a little ‘off the beaten track’ but both are well worth a trip to enjoy what’s on offer.
In most rooms I’ve done the host has usually entered the room with us to give us our briefing, and the clock has started once they’ve exited, but here we were actually given a short ‘in theme’ intro to read and told to enter the room ourselves when ready and the timer would start. As I recall I’ve only encountered something similar once before at ClueHQ in Warrington, and while I imagine this isn’t to everyone’s taste I quite liked it, as it once again stood out for me as something a little different and memorable.
Speaking of starting the clock, that’s one tiny bugbear here… I’ve mentioned this before but I much prefer having some kind of timer in the room so we know exactly where we stand, and I’ve been in a few rooms recently without them. Some venues have gone as far as telling us that we can set a timer going on our phones if we want to, but that tends to break the immersion a bit for me not to mention that I’m constantly low on power. It would be such a minor thing to solve though that I can only imagine that the exclusion of them must be by design rather than anything to do with tech or cost.
Once we got started, we found the room to be eclectically themed (in a good way) and set about our first task of working out how to get clues if we needed them, or rather *when* we needed them if we judge ourselves by our previous experiences. Thankfully, this was nice and easy to solve and revealed a clue method that, while we had seen it before, we hadn’t encountered it frequently, and the fact that it was woven into the story made it more fun.
From the room’s storyline above, it seems clear that A Curious Case is going to contain a nice blend of sci-fi with some familiar fantasy and that’s certainly what we found. This comes together well in a room containing a variety of smaller puzzles which feed to a larger meta goal to progress further. It was great to see a combination of hands on tasks alongside more traditional puzzles some of which would find their source in good old fashioned pen and paper, and these were used in an intelligent and fun way, which fell into place logically once the pieces were there.
As expected, we did need a few clues along the way, but that was more down to us being a bit rubbish rather than anything not making sense, and we eventually tumbled out of the exit to find we’d exceeded the hour by about 3 minutes… but our host had been kind enough to let us finish off as we were so close.
Sadly, still counts as a fail for us as we’re just too damn honest.
In all it’s a great room which we found to be a little tough but fair, and while I’m not sure we saw anything completely new to us, we did find what was there to be used in fun and original ways.
Well worth a visit.
(But they let us finish with another 3 minutes)