Bewilder Box: The Bewilder Box Initiative review
|You and your team are new recruits, tasked with completing the Bewilder Box assessment and locating the missing Dr Wilder Sr. Do you have what it takes to answer this unfathomable challenge with a hearty laugh and a self-assured thumbs up? Can you complete the various tasks, challenges and brain tickling puzzles before the time limit expires? Will you uncover the secret of Dr Wilder Sr’s mysterious disappearance back in 1989? You have 60 minutes to find out…|
|Difficulty not stated|
|£16-56 per person in peak time, depending on team size|
|The Hobgoblin Pub, Brighton|
|Played by Daiman, Jenny, Paul, Bharath|
|Escaped with 3 minutes remaining|
6/10Set in a testing facility, this game was appropriately futuristic in design. A downside to The Bewilder Box Initiative was that features of the original room were very prominent – the old fireplace immediately coming to mind. So there was a general homemade quality to the game that sometimes belied the theme. Something I definitely appreciated though was that the tasks we performed made sense within the game’s storyline.
4/10I didn’t really understand what the theme was meant to be here, this may be due to the unenthusiastic host or it was down to the beer they let me take into the room. When we entered the room it was really sparse with a few items scattered around. The room per the website was meant to be a testing facility so I suppose the focus was on the puzzles not the theme.
3/10The theming was very half-hearted. It’s in the upstairs area of a pub and you could tell – there was a random pub table and chair in the corner, a fireplace that wasn’t covered up and only parts of the walls had been themed. The games didn’t link particularly well to the theme either. The host came into the room to check on a puzzle that one of us was struggling with. It was fine – they just hadn’t figured out what to do. The host should never join you mid-game as it breaks immersion.
5/10One thing I felt about this room was the DIY feel of it. We could still see the outline of the old fireplace, this slightly lost the immersion effect of the room. I could tell it was an older room, especially as we had just done their other room D.A.V.E.
6/10I’d say that there seemed to be a fair mix of things to do although, unfortunately, I missed a fair bit in the initial room. This was owing to the fact that the puzzle I’d elected to solve lacked sufficient feedback. We’d solved it at least 5 mins before realising something had activated, causing us to continue working away at it believing that we were initially wrong somehow.
5/10The first puzzle I took part in was a simple game, where we solved the puzzle in minutes however as there was no key sound or nudge from the host, we never noticed that we could’ve lifted the box up to move on to the next puzzle. Instead we carried on for 15 more minutes still trying to solve the puzzle until our team mate came and assisted and then simply lifted the box. I feel the host should have announced that the puzzle was solved rather than wasting our time as after we turned around, the room had been pretty much completed by the non drinking goats. As I only really got to play a few games, I’ve had to score low as I didn’t get to see the variety of challenges. One part I did like was the musical section however due to a little wear and tear and poor lighting again we were struggling to see the lines for the padlock to solve the puzzle. The game however did have a pretty cool penultimate section which is where you get to see the celebrity Hugo Myatt.
7/10This isn’t a linear game. There are multiple puzzles on offer and we found ourselves naturally splitting off into pairs to work our way through them. They were logical and varied in difficulty. Some I have seen before though, like the shapes that convert to letters. I feel this is a good room for beginners or inexperienced larger groups as everyone should get a chance to solve a puzzle and not find themselves watching on from a distance.
6/10The puzzles were generally ok and just about did the job, but the lack of lighting in areas made it at times difficult to solve them. At one point the host had to come in to confirm if I had done the puzzle right as the colours were not clear. There was a lack of feedback on some of the puzzles so you weren’t sure if you solved them or not, it needs to be made more clearer.
4/10I think the game is probably decent enough but the issue that we had with the initial puzzle soured the experience for me as other teammates ploughed through the rest of the room, leaving us with little to do by the time it was discovered that something had worked. I’m open to the fact that we missed something activate and, therefore, it was on us for being unobservant. But, we would have expected the GM to intervene at some point which never happened.
5/10I came out of this game feeling a bit deflated. I feel the host wasn’t in the mood to be entertaining or warming. Not once were we asked our team name or how we were. Instead he stumbled the lack of intro and after we’d escaped pretty much rushed us out the door. The game itself was different as it used a celebrity host to lure you in but sadly felt flat in the game play. The room is also in need of an update as some of the locks were tricky to open due to amount of use. Lastly I feel allowing a beer in the room is a bad decision as it distracts you from the tasks.
6/10Our host was pretty poor. He was loosely in character, dressed in engineers overalls and making a basic attempt at acting like one. He didn’t really welcome us, we just got sent straight to the briefing area where we watched a video. He then realised he forgot the torch and had to come back after our game had started to give it to us. Once our game had finished, he left us to find our own way out. But apart from that, this room was enjoyable but forgettable.
5/10There were some funny moments in the room, especially at one point where there was a “karaoke” moment. However, I didn’t come out of this room wanting to do more. The host at times felt a bit impersonal and not that engaging.
5/10Maybe my experience was relatively unique but, for what I personally encountered, £28 is too much. I think the game is better than what I managed to play but that issue, coupled with a set that looks good in places and less so in others, dropped the score for me here. I genuinely think there’s a good game here, I just wish I saw more of it.
6/10At £28 this is quite a high price for a room in Brighton above a pub, however they do have the addition of the celebrity and some cool tech games. I feel the score could’ve been a lot higher if our host was warmer.
3/10£28 each for a team of 4 is at the upper end of the pricing scale and is reserved for escape rooms that are high quality and have something special about them. £56 each for a team of 2 is ridiculous! This was just a bog standard room with a few minutes of someone who was on an 80’s kids TV show that few people will know/remember! Combined with a poor host, this was certainly not value for money.
6/10There is enough in this room to keep you engaged, but I wouldn’t prioritise this room over their other room D.A.V.E.
Theming - 4.5/10
Puzzles - 6/10
Enjoyment - 5/10
Value - 5/10