I’ll always find the way the escape industry has hit Bury a bit weird. It’s only a small town, and while many locations of similar size have no games whatsoever, Bury now has three separate companies operating escape games in it. First came Trapped In, which moved to the other side of town (opening the brilliant Interstellar once there, although they look to be currently closed), to have Time Race take over its former premises with two “impossible” games (although it’s been said recently they’re under new management, who’ve made changes to the games). Now, Compendium have added yet another escape room company to Bury, with the opening of their first game “Wrong Turn”, and the promise of second room “Laboratory” on the way.
On Sunday, we were thrilled to be chosen as testers for “Wrong Turn”, and on arrival discovered we’d be the first people to play it through, with them making the finishing touches on the room about an hour before we arrived!
“You and your friends are driving along route 66 when you notice your gas running low, a friend suggests to make a turn at the next set of crossroads to see if there is a gas station… you don’t find a gas station but decide to explore the one place you have discovered by taking that WRONG TURN…. Will you escape or will you spend your life regretting that wrong turn?”
Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been blown away by such a normal setting. The game takes place in an abandoned house you find off Route 66, with the early part being set in the kitchen. The set building is at Hollywood level, with the kitchen looking like it had come right from the recording of a post-apocalyptic TV drama. Dirty, mouldy walls and ceilings, and so many props made this feel very real, and the great theming continued as you got further through the game.
There’s a definite creepy atmosphere set throughout, as you uncover the secrets of the house you’ve found yourself in. Quite rightly, it’s not a case of “the door mysteriously locks behind you” as you get with a lot of escape room stories – this isn’t about escaping, it’s about finding some petrol so you can continue with your journey.
The puzzles were good, with the game being mostly linear, but with a few moments where things opened up a bit. We did have issues with a couple of puzzles, mostly due to lighting, but since our test game, we know this has been rectified. The game ends with a puzzle that feels like a kick in the teeth, in a way reminiscent of the curveball thrown at you at the end of E.P.I. Centre at Escapologic Nottingham – it’s a good ending that gives you a real sense of urgency.
Overall, this is a very good game, especially as a first effort from new room owners. They’re enthusiasts who’ve played a decent number of games, and the experience they have definitely rubs off on their rooms. Excellent theming, an immersive storyline, and a fun hour of puzzles – this is definitely one to stop off at when you’re in the area. We can’t wait to see their next room!
Host: Our hosts were Alex and Jennifer, the owners of Compendium, who were helpful with clues when we needed them, and very welcoming with a good brief.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success? A close one, we escaped with 4 seconds remaining!