The Escapist, Modern Fables

Played: February 2020

How we did: 4 person team – 36:00

In a nutshell:   Stripped back, inter-dimensional detective bar work

4.2 / 5

Host – 4

Puzzleology – 4

Fun Factor – 5

Immersion – 4

Room Quality – 4

Stash – Team photo, posted on Facebook afterwards

Having really enjoyed my first visit to Modern Fables – good people with a commitment to science fiction and narrative – I was really looking forward to another Lovecraftian room. Before I felt that the Oracles was perhaps too heavy on the story and the detail. Here, with their original story and room, they get it spot on.

The set up, very simply, is that you’re in a bar and the bar owner has gone missing. As always, great use of human actors for the hosting, and lovely immersion early on. Spoiler alert – it feels like a real bar. Kudos to the team for creating a really weird mood to the room. A sense of unease, dread perhaps.

As you can see from the time, we raced through this. While it would be natural to fault the level of the puzzles, I don’t. They are well thought out, satisfying puzzles. Mixing different elements of clue work. Props to the team for the spooks along the way. This is a venue where it is always so much fun to make the most scared members of the team go first. 

I recommend this as a first entry into the Modern Fables universe. The narrative works, the puzzles are fun and there is a fun old ending to crescendo the room. Great use of text and wordplay, which is so rare in escape rooms these days!

What I think is lacking is perhaps one majorly memorable puzzle. More time in the first room perhaps. I spoke before about the Oracles having two of my favourite ever puzzles, and I think there might be room for one or two more puzzles in this one. 

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