JM’s Office, Hint Hunt

Played: February 2020

How we did: 4 person team – 45:22

In a nutshell:  The place that launched a thousand rooms. Hard-boiled detective fun

4.4 / 5

Host – 4

Puzzleology – 5

Fun Factor – 5

Immersion – 4

Room Quality – 4

Stash – Team photo 

Hint Hunt proudly lay claim to London’s oldest escape room, and this is it. Eight years old, the J.M’s Office detective escape room felt like a classic. Our team consisted of a first timer, two who had played a handful, and myself. We all enjoyed it, and it felt like a classic.

First up, there is a rich vein of satisfying puzzles. A room heavy on puzzles is my kind of room. Befitting the detective theme, you need to examine everything in a different light. 

Our host was fun, kind and helpful. Really bought into the Hint Hunt project, and she echoed our mood well to make the experience fun for us.

Yes, the detective schtick has been replicated in many, many other rooms. But when it’s this fun, I am happy to do it. Padlocks, keys, maps. It is a tactile room. The narrative is clear and it works. 

One thing we noticed; the iconic chalk outline of a dead body was so small, we wondered if it was a child a dwarf who had been murdered.

Like watching an old Hitchcock or Humphrey Bogart movie, this felt like a classic. A real genre-piece that still holds up and has influenced others.

I loved playing this room, and I’d recommend it for veterans or debutants – and everyone in between.  

Submarine Torpedo, Hint Hunt, London

In a nutshell: Immersive, claustrophobic room with good quality puzzles

Played: April 2019

How we did: 2 person team, 51:52

4 / 5

Host – 4

Puzzleology – 4

Fun Factor – 4

Immersion – 4

Room Quality – 4

Stash – Team photo using our phone 

This was a return to Hint Hunt encouraged by the discount voucher. Al joined me again but my dad didn’t make the cut. (See Zen room)

With my grandfather’s naval background, I had been really keen to try out a submarine themed room. 

This room is actually used twice at Hint Hunt. We were given the option of launching a torpedo or surviving engine failure. Despite Al’s strong experience of solving engine failure with his vintage car, we opted for the torpedo.

Using the same room twice meant that the room is sprinkled with red herrings that don’t relate to the game. While I don’t enjoy major, in your face, red herrings in any game, these didn’t both us. 

The guys at Hint Hunt were really helpful in the pre-grame and the instructions were clear and fun. I do enjoy any room that has some real props to enjoy or wear while you’re escaping.

It’s a fun room. As is the mark of a good room, we were laughing and joking our way through it. We and the host enjoyed some banter, together. 

I really enjoyed the blend of puzzles – mixing classic escape room puzzles with more technical challenges. Crucially, they helped to drive the narrative too and the little ‘sub-missions’ along the way kept us engaged.

I don’t think this room would work so well for most kids. But if you enjoy a little of a mechanical and technological slant to your puzzles, I’d recommend it as a solid room

Zen Room, Hint Hunt, London

In a nutshell: Satisfying Japan-themed espionage room with one really awesome puzzle

Played: March 2019

How we did: 3 person team (one very late, one was my dad) 57 mins

3.6 / 5

Host – 4

Puzzleology – 4

Fun Factor – 4

Immersion – 3

Room Quality – 3

Stash – Team photo using our phone + discount card for next visit

My dad doesn’t like Escape Rooms or Japan. It seemed like the perfect Father’s Day gift to take him to the gorgeously Japanese Zen room at Hint Hunt

My first experience of Hint Hunt, I’d heard good things from their international reputation. As is custom, my dad arrived 45 minutes early. Unfortunately Al missed his train, and would be missing the start for sure.

Kindly, the staff were as accommodating as they could be, given it was a busy weekend.

If you can imagine how beautiful a Japanese spy’s headquarters would be, the team at Hint Hunt have nailed it. Only occasionally around the room would a clunky old fan pull you out of it. What the room does need is a fresh coat of paint and some sprucing up. It is showing visibility of years of good, hard, escaping. 

As my dad mused, myself and eventually Al whizzed enjoyably through the tasks. Without giving much away, there is one really, really fun puzzle that still makes me smile nearly a year later. 

I’d recommend this room, although I’m keen to see if Hint Hunt can do better

For a second opinion, here’s my dad’s review