Deception Escape Rooms Matlock: Scarytale

At the weekend, we took a trip to the lovely town of Matlock, to pay a visit to an escape game centre that hadn’t really been given much of a mention amongst enthusiasts. Deception has been open for around seven months, and offers three games with very interesting stories, the first of which we decided to play being Scarytale…

“The Millers thought they had the Fairytale life; a wonderful marriage, a beautiful home and a gorgeous little daughter, Olivia.

They also played lots of games, challenging games. It had become an addiction, so when a stranger set them a challenge to find and escape his lair with riches beyond their wildest dreams promised upon success. They just couldn’t refuse.

The price to pay on failure… a mere gift of hearts desire.

This mere gift turned out to be their little daughter Olivia, who disappeared from her bedroom in the dead of night. They have spent the years since searching for the mysterious stranger and their daughter, hoping to play the game again and win her back.

Having finally found him and agreed the stake, they are now pleading with other escapologists to help them defeat the wicked, little man.

Do you want to play a game?”

Scarytale at Deception Escape Rooms Matlock

The game starts in your typical escape room ‘creepy child’s bedroom’, dimly lit and packed with some unnerving dolls. This develops though, with the next two sections of the game taking on completely different themes. One part of the game has a brilliant ceiling (never thought I’d say that in a review), with another great centerpiece that is utilised well. The journey through this game is surprising to say the least, and where it ends looks very different to where it started.

The gameplay is quite linear, and everything is nicely logical. We slipped up a couple of times, but overall there was a good flow. We had some real trouble with one of the game’s biggest puzzles, failing to realise we didn’t have all the information we needed yet. A bit of simple maths was required, and the puzzle fitted in brilliantly with the theme.

The final part of the game introduced quite a unique mechanic – it’s a great finale that can make or break your efforts. Without giving too much away, you have to make some careful selections – get it right, you’ve completed the game. Get it wrong, you’ve either added some minutes onto your escape time, or it’s a complete ‘game over’. It’s not something that’s left down to chance – it just requires some careful thought about the game you’ve played…

Overall, a good game to kick start our day. Nice theming, with some interesting twists and turns, and a good selection of puzzles. One down, two to go!

Host: Our game was hosted by Tina and Sam. Perfect game briefings, and good clue delivery. We chatted to them for ages about all things escape, and it’s clear they’re very passionate about what they do.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via walkie talkie.
Success? No, sadly our first loss of 2018! Not only did we run out of time, but after being allowed to play on, we made the wrong choice and got an instant ‘game over’.


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  1. Aghh! Our first loss of the year! Gutted. However, we were beaten fairly and squarely having simply just run out of time. Yes we made the wrong choice at the end but we were just doing everything then because we knew the game was over but we were allowed to carry on for a few minutes to see everything.

    We wasted a lot of time in the first room by being too scared with regards a certain piece of furniture and we wasted a lot of time in the second part by thinking we had all the info we needed but it turns out we didn’t, so the fail was entirely our fault! We simply weren’t at our best!

    I was discussing Deception’s games with a mate recently (no spoilers given!) who said they didn’t like the idea of working through an entire room only to then maybe not escape right at the end because of a wrong decision. I explained that the decision is not down to chance as Jamie says and that it was quite obvious to us which decision you certainly don’t make so please don’t let that part of the game put you off. The answers are all there to guide you to the right decision and the story for this room plays a big part towards the end!

    This was a fun room and it didn’t turn out as we expected it to! The first room, the creepy kids room, was as expected, but after that we couldn’t have predicted anything! Puzzles were clever in here and made you think quite a bit rather than being dead simple. There’s a funny attraction in one room that just adds to the craziness and is used well – suddenly you realise what certain little pieces you found earlier are for… a proper a-ha moment!

    We were impressed by the space used whilst travelling from area to another, something we’ve seen done plenty times before so it was really refreshing to see it done differently here!

    A clever room with a strong story!

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