Riddlr: The Brunel Enigma review
|The year is 1842. Your friend and colleague Isambard Kingdom Brunel has sent for you by telegram. When you arrive at his office, he is missing and all is not as it seems. Fearing for his life, and with a limited time, you must work through the clues he has left, to find out what has happened and hopefully regain contact with your friend. Expect an early Victorian, Bristolian twist in this intriguing puzzle escape room.|
|£17-25 per person depending on team size|
|Played by Daiman, Jenny, Paul, Bharath|
|Escaped with 15 seconds remaining|
6/10This one’s difficult to discuss because, at its base level, its just an office as we’ve seen many, many times before. It’s not a particularly interesting space to explore. But, the actual design and props in the room were well considered – it had a believably 19th Century aesthetic. So, for me, whilst the quality was high, the overall theme wasn’t the most exciting.
7/10The setting was the home of Brunel in the nineteenth century. Whilst this was another room, this company added lots of simple decor like old science and maths tools along with the standard artwork/pictures. The theming remained ever present in the games by using Brunel’s tools and designs rather than the standard need to read lots of text. There was also a unique pleasant smell in the room which I’m not sure if it’s part of the theming but it added to the experience.
7/10The room has a 19th century appearance to go with the Brunel theme and looks very smart with a minimalist and professional look, although it’s not the most exciting of themes. If you need help, there are pre-recorded clues which you can receive through a period telephone. The room has been designed to be completely automated meaning the immersion is never broken as you don’t see or hear the hosts during the game. There’s a cool bit of theatre if you manage to complete the game.
6/10Even though we have done the “study” theme time and time again there were a couple of items in the room which made it a little bit different. There were smoke effects that were fun to see. The theming was clean and consistent to the room.
7/10These were fun. The game had a nice flow to it and absolutely everything was logical and intuitive. There was also a fair bit of variety to the tasks at hand including one bizarrely physical moment! For something that appeared to be quite bland on a surface level, this room offered up a nice mix of fun things to work through.
8/10This room was very puzzle heavy with a lot of padlocks! This is a perfect room for enthusiasts that want to be tested. The games were logical and remained heavily linked to the theme. There were a few unique challenges we’d not visited before which we enjoyed but as per usual we struggled to find things which caused a tense end to the game. The last puzzle had a great finale too! One thing that was obvious in the room was that these games were thought about at length when designing the room.
8/10As the theming isn’t in your face, you are free to concentrate on the puzzles. They are linear, automated and logical but not simple so your brain cells will get a good workout. There was one cool element/activity which I’ve not seen used before. The main reason we only just escaped in time was because we struggled to find two of the items, even when one was staring at us in the face!
7/10As with their other rooms, this is a very linear game, the route is logical and clear. As it’s a first generation room, one of their older rooms, there are many padlocks with a bit of searching involved.
8/10I enjoyed this one a lot more than I was expecting to. It somehow feels a lot fresher and engaging that its theme and decor would lead you to believe. There’s also a nice little twist to this game in the second half, as though the designers are deliberately playing with your expectations! It’s definitely worth checking out I reckon.
7/10Normally the thought of escaping a living room doesn’t excite me, however, this room was fast paced with a lot to do and involved a lot of teamwork and communication which added to the fun factor. There was a unique item in the room which I felt was a bit of a cheat as it gave you a guide on the order to progress in the game. I’m still unsure whether this was a good addition but without it I’m not sure we would have sped through the games as well which may have diminished the enjoyment of the game.
8/10We’ve done quite a few escape rooms lately that concentrate more on the theming than the puzzles so it was good to go back to basics and have a good set of tricky puzzles for us to work on. We made a few mistakes along the way which meant our time was running out fast. The pressure at the end as we were rushing to solve the final clue as the last few seconds ticked down made a great climax to the game.
6/10As we got near to the hour mark, they put on intense music near the end. This definitely added to the pressure. In a way it made the room more enjoyable. I wasn’t blown away by the room, it was more middle of the road enjoyment wise.
8/10For the price of admission, this game is definitely worth it. If the office thing is a turn-off, trust me, it’s absolutely more than meets the eye with this game.
6/10On arrival you’re offered a complimentary drink which is always a nice touch. With Brunel you will get a room that is packed with a lot of tasks for each player to do (based on a team of 4). The company are clearly passionate about the experience you will get and this was evident in the cleanliness of the foyer, the designs and detail to the theme in the rooms. However with the unique item that is in the rooms, I’m not sure I felt like we completed the games by ourselves unaided which is why I’ve lowered the score.
8/10At £21 per person, you get a good value room where they’ve thought about the whole experience. The theming, puzzles and enjoyment levels are all good, and there’s a professional finish throughout.
6/10I would say if you are doing a few rooms at Riddlr then do this room. The other room that we did at Riddlr, Seance, I feel should be given priority if only doing one room there.
It was just a joy to play. Everything made sense, the flow was spot on and I really appreciated that the designers endeavoured to give this standard theme a bit of a twist.
For me the variations and the amount of puzzles, the scenery and the attention to detail stood out for me. I liked the finale and came out of the room feeling challenged.
The sets are of a very good quality and everything is automated and unique as they make their own tech. None of the room or objects within are out of bounds, meaning you don’t have stickers or warning tape breaking the immersion of the story. This will suit those that care more about the puzzles than the theming. That’s not to say the theming is bad, it just doesn’t distract from the good selection of games.
The intensity at the end of the game was fun to go through and I liked the teamwork element side to it as there were a couple of puzzles where you had to work together.
Jumping back to the Seance review, it’s the same thing. I like what they’re doing with the clue system but it offers too much of a temptation to divine your path through the game – the white grid on the wall essentially tells you where you should be looking which feels like too much guidance. The argument is that you obviously don’t have to look at it but the fact that it’s right in front of you, not hidden away sometimes makes it hard to avoid.
The unique feature in the room is my main issue. I was a fan of the companies idea to be different in the way they gave clues and this idea can be worked on to make a perfect game if they could just hide the progression order. As I feel this made us all feel we cheated as we kept using it. Whilst this didn’t give away answers I feel it changed the way we played.
There’s a plaque on the wall listing the order that you need to solve the puzzles in, which is used for their clueing system. I am not a fan of this as it helps you work out where you need to be looking and feels like a cheat or free clue that you can’t help but look at. I like that the room is automated, but this isn’t the best way of doing it. They are based 2.5 miles from the nearest train station so it’s not the easiest venue to get to without a car.
There were too many padlocks for my liking. Also like their other rooms, you are given the route of the game which I’m not the biggest fan of.
Theming - 6.5/10
Puzzles - 7.5/10
Enjoyment - 7.25/10
Value - 7/10