At the weekend, we headed back to Cryptology Sheffield, for their new second room “The Mysterious Case of Hugh Dunnitt”.
We’ve always liked Cryptology’s rooms – it’s sad that the two very good games at the now-closed Barnsley site have gone forever, but it’s good to see some new creations at Sheffield. Following their great first room “First Contact”, they’ve now opened “Hugh Dunnit”, but is it just detective office game, or have they got something else up their sleeves?
“You must investigate the murder of Hugh Dunnitt and find out why he was killed and who killed him.
Be careful though something else is going on.
Investigate what’s happening on West Street, and you may become embroiled in a struggle for more than just the truth!”
I really did go into this expecting another standard murder mystery theme, and while I don’t doubt it would have been good anyway, they’ve gone ahead and chucked in a bizarre twist involving the afterlife and astral planes. It’s probably the most unique escape room theme we’ve come across, but it’s a great idea that adds a different feel to the room.
The game begins in Hugh Dunnitt’s detective office, but don’t expect to find anything too puzzly. Instead, be prepared to carry out an actual investigation, with a bit of searching, and plenty of information and evidence to deal with.
It’s a game of two halves though, with the second part of the game being quite different in gameplay style, and ensuring things don’t get too samey. Both parts of the game worked really well, and we very much enjoyed going through the two different processes.
In true Cryptology fashion, this room is absolutely littered with brilliant additional material, to the point we probably built up a bit of additional time by reading things to try and spot all of the silly jokes and references. The second half of the game has one of the most distracting things I’ve ever come across in a room, but it’s an absolute genius way of presenting clues and background noise all at once.
It’s not a difficult room, and it’s very much completable by teams of two, while not being too easy. It’s a good balance, and adds to the fun.
Overall, this is a great addition to Cryptology’s back catalogue of rooms. The puzzles are fun, the gameplay just works, and the execution is unique, yet hilarious.
Host: Our host was Simon, who was great fun as always. It was also good to see he was still alive, considering the last time we saw him, he was in the process of burning off around 5000 calories on a Chinatown karaoke bar dancefloor after the NERD event in June.
Clue System: In the first half of the game, clues were delivered via the police database. In the second half, clues came via a different medium – no spoilers here.
Success? Yes, we got the third fastest time (won’t last for long), getting out in around 38 minutes.