ESCAPE HUNT UK - PLAY ONLINE & AT HOME GAMES
Escape Hunt UK have locations throughout the country and have developed a whole array of online and at home games for all the family. We've had the pleasure of those listed below!...
To purchase these experiences, visit; https://escapehunt.com/uk/play-at-home-games/
ESCAPE HUNT UK - ENOLA HOLMES
PADLOCK RATING; 4.5 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
A print at home game, with the added bonus of being accompanied by a brand new film, just released on Netflix. What's not to love?! A escape room game and a movie - that's my weekend sorted!
So to give you a full insight into the story, your best bet is probably to watch the film first (its a great watch and will certainly get the pulses of escape room enthusiast racing!). The film certainly sets the scene and you will certainly understand why Netflix and Escape Hunt have collaborated on this project. The game would still work really well standalone, but combined it hits all the right notes. When it comes to the print at home game story, this follows a similar vein, however you will need to track down Enola Holmes (the sister of Sherlock), who has left a trail of breadcrumbs throughout London. Track her down, and become part of her allusive detective gang.
A real positive to this game is that it is absolutely FREE! Yep, didn't cost a penny, except the cost of ink. Although it is a rather colourful, and should I say beautifully designed piece of work, there isn't particularly a need to print if all off in colour. So don't worry about your pocket when downloading this!
Now, onto the puzzles. When watching the film in the first instance, it was very clear to see the way in which the puzzles would likely to pitched, and it certainly didn't disappoint - a brilliant collection of cipher styles and word games, plus some great fun origami type challenges.
As print at home games go, I often find them overcomplicated or over-engineered, however this is not the case here. The team have found a great balance between being able to cater for the enthusiasts and first time gamers. There are no huge surprises in puzzle content, however this is actually a positive - its more of a "what you see is what you get" approach, where the simplicity of the puzzles is a real bonus - that's not to say that you will find this a breeze that for sure. (One particular origami challenge was passed to the wife to complete, as it beat me!)
In terms of clue systems, the download document includes a page of clues in which you have to use a mirror to read. A nice touch, which added to the detective style theme - we didn't use them often however they do provide just the right amount of hint without ruining the game. Likewise, if you are completely stuck, there is a web address where you can check the answers. These explained the puzzles very well and also included video answers to demonstrate the trickier paper folding challenges!
The games revolve around some key London areas, and solving the puzzles in the correct order moves you to your next location and its associated puzzles. The game builds into a crescendo, whereby everything you have already solved works into the final puzzle, therefore getting the correct locations in the correct order is certainly key!
When all is said and done, this is certainly up there with my favourite print at home games. As ever, getting a real wow factor proves difficult, however the combination of the escape puzzles and an accompanying Netflix movie certainly goes a long way to fill that void. A great collection of beautifully designed puzzles, suitable for all, which hit a home run in my household. Get out your magnifying glass and check this one our for sure!
ESCAPE HUNT UK - STOLEN
PADLOCK RATING; 4.5 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
A really strong "who done it" print at home game, which is slightly different to the norm, but safe to say we really enjoyed it!
The story - there is mischief afoot in the streets of London! Five robberies, five precious items stolen. Your job, work out the culprits, what they stole, when they stole it and where they stole it from.
I really enjoyed the concept with the game in that it isn't the traditional linear puzzle in that you have to find out one person who is responsible for the crime.
On the flip side, this isn't the normal escape room format and works off a logic style grid in being able to eliminate particular individuals or scenarios as you work your way through the evidence you are presented with.
In terms of the evidence, the attention to detail is strong within this game. The printed materials are certainly believable and very well presented. In fact, given that this is a print at home game, there is the potential to turn your home into a physical escape room by hiding the different printed objects to be found and then pulling the team together to carry out the actual detective work.
The print at home document contains 9 pages of "evidence" to aide you in your detective investigations. The puzzles vary vastly in each evidence item and there were two or three which we were particularly impressed by. Your powers of deduction will certainly be tested! In terms of difficulty its an odd one to gauge - I would suggest slightly more experienced gamers would enjoy this, that said, it is a great game for families with older children to get involved in too!
It is clear that the designers have taken great pride in developing this product and it certainly shows in the care and attention. It cannot have been easy developing the volume of complex "puzzles" which allow you to solve this game - particularly as all the documents intertwine with one another and it is not always cut and dry as to whom the evidence relates to- one member of the team certainly got themselves in a twist!
We made our way through the puzzles and managed to work out correctly all five scenarios without the need of any clues in 48 minutes! As a side note, the PDF file received with the evidence includes a link to the clues and answers page should you get really stuck - the clues are very well put together and point you well in the right direction without giving you too much to spoil it!
Having completed the game, we checked the answers on the link and found that we got everything correct! As with most print at home games, its really difficult to get the wow factor "pay off" finale. That said, we certainly had a great sense of pride in completing this complex who done it game.
When all was said and done, we all agreed that this is a great print at home game which was very enjoyable. Some very strong puzzles, great attention to detail made even better by having to work out multiple different scenarios as opposed to just one. This being the second print at home game we've played by Escape Hunt UK, we would certainly recommend these games. Looking forward to the next one, and, when the doors are able to open again, making a trip to see their physical rooms!
ESCAPE HUNT UK - LEVEL UP
PADLOCK RATING; 4 - GREATLY RECOMMENDED
A very cool and colourful retro styled print and play at home game, with a tech edge!
The story - you stumble upon an 80's retro games console however things aren't quite what they seem. Switching it on, you release a dangerous computer virus which threatens the future of the world. You must hack into the mainframe and shut the system down before its too late.
A really enjoyable story and theme which certainly opens up a real field of creativity. Retro gaming is a real personal favourite theme of mine (in fact a physical room I have played previously which had a retro theme is up there with my personal favourites) so I was very excited when I saw this game advertised!
In respect of game play, once purchased you will receive a printable PDF file. This includes the vast majority of puzzles and story however you do miss key pieces of evidence which you will unlock online as you work your way through the different levels.
The first thing you notice when receiving the PDF is the outstanding design - a real 80's feast of pixel- led retro gaming vibes. Nicely created characters and effects certainly fit the theme beautifully. Now, it may not be the most printer-friendly of games given the vast amount of colour, however the instructions sheet does direction you as to what should be printed and what is required to be in colour - there are a handful of sheets that will require colour in order to help aide you in solving the puzzle.
In respect of puzzles, again, these fit the theme brilliantly and there is certainly no doubt you are on a retro gaming mission. There may not be vast amounts of puzzles, but those within the game are very strong and unlike anything I have seen on any other print at home games. Be prepared with your scissors and best origami skills and then be prepared to be amazed with the games creativity.
I would certainly suggest that this is one that families and enthusiasts alike will enjoy - with a medium/high difficultly this certainly isn't going to be a game you will crack within 20 mins and move on! Younger players will certainly enjoy the design, bright colours and the physical aspects to the game (which also includes some interesting online elements), whilst others will appreciate the difficulty and effort which has gone into making a very well rounded game.
If you get stuck, the PDF includes a link to a web page where there are some well appointed clues and if you get really stuck, you can also track down the actual answers. We used the clues on a few occasions and they certainly helped move us along. Given that the puzzles have multiple elements to them, make sure you press the right box for the right hint otherwise you could end up getting yourself in a bit of a mess!
An honourable mention should go the way in which this game reaches its conclusion and the addition of a "bonus" , just for fun level. They are both great little touches which added to the enjoyment.
In summary, a game that we certainly enjoyed. The colourful design, story and theme are strong. Although not hugely puzzle heavy, those included are great fun and unlike anything I'd played before. Nice interaction between the printed and online elements make this a very well rounded game.
ESCAPE HUNT UK - MURDER AT THE MANSION
PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING
Now, this print at home/online murder mystery ticks every box for those who love a who done it case!
The story, back in 1914, the owner of a wealthy estate died under mysterious circumstances. With the war looming, the case went cold and no one had been charged with his murder. A Will has since emerged over 100 years later, with you as the sole beneficiary - you are attempting to solve this cold case, find out his killer and gain your rightful inheritance!
In short - love the story! I think it sits beautifully with a print at home game where you can have multiple pieces of evidence and pull it all together. The element of the case going cold due to the war is a great touch - not only does it make the story line believable, it adds to the feel of the game and provides a greater insight into the world you are being plunged into.
The initial aspect of the game is at print at home PDF document. It contains some vastly detailed, well produced documents which set the scene nicely - great attention to detail and some strong characters aide your experience. This is much like an old-school puzzle book elimination puzzle where you have to work out who did what, where they did it and what they did it with - but on a much more elaborate scale!
Unlike the online escape games where things are much more linear, the printed materials provide a great way of building a case file against the prime suspects, where everything isn't black and white or on one screen! Some "puzzles" are on the simple side where it is easy to understand what suspect the evidence relates too - other are much more complex and will call on numerous pieces of evidence to understand the motives of the killer. As such, families with older children, couples and enthusiasts alike, will all enjoy this game and bring something to the table!
In addition to the printed materials, there is a handy online hint and answers page which you can refer to. It is particularly helpful that this doesn't form part of your printed materials, as not to spoil the game by accidentally reading the answers! There were moments we were tempted to check for answers but I'm too proud to do that so carried on regardless! (Although from looking at them after the game, these are really well put together, easy to understand and provide just enough level of hint without spoiling the game play).
Without giving too much away, cleverly, the finale to this game isn't as part of your printed materials - the use of email and internet is therefore also required to solve the mystery. Further evidence comes to light which, as long as all your other answers have been solved, allows you to complete your mission and rightfully gain your inheritance! A strong finale to this game ensured we went away happy with our hours-worth of detective skills!
All-in-all, a well rounded game, with great puzzles, a strong design and good story telling. A real treat for families and enthusiasts alike, this game comes really highly recommended. Take an hour out of your day to become the detective you were born to be!