Last weekend, we took the long drive down to Swindon, ready to head to the highly recommended Co-Decode to play our 200th game. To break up the journey (and play enough games for it to actually be 200!), we spent a long time looking at the Exit Games map for somewhere to play, and ended up deciding on a stop in Wolverhampton to visit Room Release.
Stupidly, we forgot to check the football fixtures, and ended up arriving at the same time as the 30,000 fans heading to the Molineux, a small walk away from our game venue. Thankfully, we navigated road closures and hugely busy streets to actually arrive early, and not knowing a thing about Room Release, set out to play The Archaeologists.
“Tristan and Makhara Edwards have stolen an artifact and have been arrested! They need you to go into their office and retrieve the artifact before the police arrive. Can you work together as a team to go through their booby traps or will you leave them to rot in the slammer?”
Weirdly, Room Release is based at the same address as Clockwork Escapes, another company we also didn’t know much about. So because we knew nothing, we were very pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a very loud and entertaining character known as The Professor, before being guided to our room through the world’s darkest corridor by our host The Librarian, who, as the name suggests, was much more understated than her counterpart.
The game takes place in the study of the aformentioned architects, and is decorated with many authentic looking props that help illustrate the backstory of Tristan and Makhara.
This game is only open for a limited time, so we maybe weren’t expecting too much, but along the way we discovered some ideas that definitely felt like something from a more permanent installation.
The game had a very good flow, with a mixture of observation, paper based, and physical skill puzzles, with one particular centrepiece game being very enjoyable. The game also packs in a whopper of a logic puzzle, that you know is coming throughout the game, and when it finally arrives, it is just as complicated as it looks. Logic puzzles are never my strong point, but this was a good one to get our teeth into.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this game. It was of a decent quality, and we really did have fun playing it. The room definitely doesn’t appear fresh anymore – some pieces of paper looked like they’d been being handled for 20 years, but it wasn’t detrimental to the gameplay, and with the game closing in October, it’s understandable. If you’re passing through Wolverhampton before the game closes, it’s worth a visit, and after the excellent welcome from the in-character hosts, we’re eager to get back to Clockwork Escapes to try some of their own rooms.
Host: Our host was The Librarian who delivered clear, useful clues, and handled the game perfectly.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via walkie talkie.
Success? Yes, we escaped in around 55 minutes, taking three or four clues along the way.
Facilities: There’s a waiting area, lockers, and toilets, as you’d expect, and for parking, there’s a large pay and display directly opposite that charges £2.50 per day (even if Wolves are playing!).