Compendium Bury: Wrong Turn

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?”

Wrong Turn at Compendium Bury

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!

Website: compendiumbury.co.uk

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One comment

  1. Thrilled to be picked to test this room out and we headed over to Bury on Sunday not knowing just what to expect. Having briefly spoken to the owner a few weeks prior I knew what they were aiming for but to be honest we’d heard this before (and from a place in the same town! 😆) and the end result didn’t quite live up to the claims (The Impossible Room as it’s now known amongst enthusiasts) so we went along with no expectations.

    On arrival we were told we were the first team to play the game through – this is important info as it meant any issues we had were not indicative of the final finished product. Owner Alex said he hoped he’d created the Wow factor on the room. It’s not often you do enter a room and actually say wow!… But… Wow! 😮

    The game starts off in a small area where there’s not much to do but even the theming in that area was really good considering you’ll spend hardly any time there. The Wow though comes at the next stage. As Jamie says, for such an ordinary setting it’s been done fantastically. The detail is huge and after the game Alex pointed out where there used to be a bay window etc and we realised then that we’d totally forgotten we were in an old office in Bury!

    There is so much to look at.. lots and lots of items/props that are not needed in the game but add to the immersiveness. Some other venues would only use half the amount and get away with it. It’s made quite clear in parts too that a lot of these props are not used in the game so don’t worry about wasting time on these items.

    This room had quite a surprise in relation to getting to another area… it wasn’t obvious from the outset and was a nice touch.

    The great theming carried on throughout the game and more surprises came. But it’s not just about the theming, the quality of puzzles is also important and we weren’t disappointed on this score either. I’ll be honest and say there was one puzzle that just didn’t quite work for me, giving an ambiguous answer, and without a means of writing anything down it was made slightly more frustrating. That issue has been addressed and we know the team in after us were provided with a pen and paper. Also our lighting issues have been addressed. The room isn’t particularly dark, just that some locks were in dark dingy areas and the candlelight we had wasn’t sufficient. It also made seeing some important colours a bit difficult. A torch eliminates all that and again, the team in after us were provided with one. That really was the only issue we had which is pretty good going for a first play of a room!

    Everything else made sense and was so well done. The ending… when you finally get to it (we thought we were done a couple of puzzles prior!) is one of them “Aaaghh!” moments that induces last minute panic that I love making your eventual exit all the more sweet!

    I also need to mention the reception/waiting area – this is another area they’ve worked hard on. Rather than a plain old office this looks professional and vibrant with plenty to look at whilst you’re waiting.

    We were really really impressed with Compendium’s first room… they told us they wanted to go back to basics with it… no electronics etc but there’s certainly nothing basic about this room! We’re looking forward to their second room!

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