On Bank Holiday Monday, we spent the day in Sheffield, revisiting Crack the Code and making our first journey to Enigma Rooms. As well as the Sheffield location, Engima has four rooms at what seems to be the main venue in Doncaster, and a further two rooms in Redford. At the Sheffield centre, there’s currently just Voodoo & The Bank Job, but a third room should be opening in the basement by the end of 2017.
We arrived about 50 minutes early, so killed some time with a drink at the Malin Bridge Inn around the corner. If you go on as nice a day as we did, we recommend some time in the large beer garden at the back! After a pint, we headed off to Enigma for the first of our two games.
“Legba is one of the principal and most revered in Haitian Voudoun. Although now transformed to the aspect of an old man, he is still the powerful Guardian of the Centerpost, and the “Opener of the Gates” to whom first salutation is due in any ceremony of communication with the Voodoo King.”
The game description on the website doesn’t really tell you too much about the game, but before we went in, we were given the story in a bit more detail. The premise consists of you being on holiday, enjoying cocktails at a tiki bar, when it appears someone has put something in your drink. You pass out and wake up locked in a cell, with no idea where you are…
You start the game blindfolded and in individual cells. The puzzle to get out of the cells of course requires teamwork, and it’s a lot of fun. Don’t worry about spending ages locked away in small cell, it shouldn’t be long until you’re out into the main part of the game. In our case, I missed something obvious and we were trapped for 10 minutes. I know it was exactly ten minutes because on the TV screen, under our timer, where the clues should appear, was the sentence “No clues for the first 10 minutes”. I’m not sure if this is always the case, or if it was down to our game host resetting the next room so there’d be no wait after the game. Either way, it wouldn’t have been issue if I’d actually used my eyes!
After finally getting out, we had a chance to explore the room. Don’t let the underwhelming reception area deceive you – the actual game room is finished beautifully. Bamboo on the walls, nicely themed ornaments scattered around the room, and to top it off a creepy, well suited soundtrack echoing over the speakers. The theming of the game was spot on.
Some of the puzzles however, seemed a bit off. Not all of them, but just a few which didn’t seem to make that much sense. There were a few times we were successfully putting codes into padlocks, not quite sure why it was correct, but happily moving forward. Maybe it was just us not being at our best, or maybe it was just how the game was. Overall, the tasks were mixed – some crystal maze-y, physical activities which were a lot of fun, along with clue/paper based puzzles.
Voodoo is a good room. Quite a unique theme, executed to a good standard by Enigma. A team of 2 enthusiasts shouldn’t have a problem with this one, though we’d recommend a group of 4 if you’re less experienced.
Host: It seems that usually your game host would be owner Chris, but on our visit he was away enjoying the bank holiday. Instead, our games were taken by Adam – he’d worked for other escape companies in the past, and helps Chris out with puzzles and the tech side of things. We had a great chat with him (I think we were chatting in reception for over half an hour after our second game about all things escape), and he was a fantastic host. Funny, enthusiastic and good with clues when we needed them.
Clue System: Quite traditionally, clues came via a TV screen
Success? We made it out with around 4 minutes to spare. With a success rate of 49%, Voodoo is the easier of the the two Enigma Sheffield rooms, but we definitely found it the more difficult one.
The Bank Job
“After years of planning you and your crew have planned the perfect bank job. All you need to do now is pull it off!!”
The opening to the Bank Job is a great, immersive sequence that actually takes you from the reception area to the room itself. Once you’ve made it into the room, there’s not as much of a wow-factor as there was with voodoo. After all, the room you enter is a bank’s office – it’s not supposed to be spectacular. This game works a bit differently, as is explained before you enter. The main path through the game is followed by opening four digit padlocks, but there are also some bonus three digit locks that you can come back to once you’ve completed your main objective. The extra locks hide bonus bags that can help you find a place on the Engima leaderboard.
Inside the first room of the game, there are some good puzzles that require a bit of brain power. Upon entering the room, you’ll notice a smell of mint – this smell comes from something special in the room that you can get a nice little treat from. A lovely touch!
Heading into the second part of the game, the theming is good. It’s a small space, but it’s used well. There’s a task in this room we really loved, that was quite unique and also enjoyably frustrating! Unfortunately there was a small task in this part of the game we couldn’t actually complete – this was because we didn’t have something we needed, due to us accidentally lodging a key somewhere… Our game host had to give us a hand with that part of the game as such. (We hope you managed to get that key back!)
Overall, we really enjoyed the Bank Job. There were some nice touches to the room, and it was a lot more logical and physical task based than Voodoo.
Host: Adam was our host again – very helpful when needed!
Clue System: There was a TV again if we needed any big hints, but all of our clues came from our “getaway driver” via walkie talkie.
Success? Yes! We completed the main part of the game in around 40 minutes, and stuck around to try our luck with the bonus bags. With 8 minutes to spare, our host radioed to let us know if we got out within the next minute with all the bags we’d collected, we’d be top of the “teams of two” leaderboard. A quest for glory took over and we got out of the room in seconds, making sure we didn’t drop any of our bounty.
Overall, our time at Enigma was very much enjoyed. When you can spend over half an hour chatting about escape games after your game, it’s always a good sign! Two very different, but strong rooms from Enigma.
Newbies in Sheffield looking for something to do – give it a try! Enthusiasts yet to add this place to your tally – we recommend.