Published on April 21st, 2017 | by Dean Love0
CryptX, Cambridge – The Gaol
After playing The Haunted Pub we had a short break before heading into The Gaol, CryptX’s second room. A bit more of a traditional escape room setting, you start in a jail with one team member locked up, and set about freeing them before making your escape.
First impressions here aren’t great – yes, it’s meant to be a prison and so it should feel dirty and run down but here it seems a bit like an excuse. Once you break out of the cells and reach the second part of the game, an office, you’d expect far more contrast if were done with purpose. Verem’s Dictator in Budapest has a similar set-up, starting in a dark, uncomfortable space but once you reach the office you’re suddenly in this luxurious, well presented set. Here the office doesn’t feel much cleaner than the cells themselves.
Though much like The Haunted Pub the puzzles elevate the room a fair bit, but unlike the other room there some of them felt a little illogical and vague – on occasion we felt like we were just trying random numbers seen in the environment on locks and just happening across an answer. In contrast to that, there were also some really good puzzles, including a neat bit with a computer which seems like an obvious set-up for testing teamwork but I’ve not seen before. Again, we were fed clues by walkie-talkie at the right time, and generally simpler nature of the puzzles reduced the confusion factor a fair bit.
Ultimately The Gaol lacks anything that really stands out. The puzzles are a little above par, the presentation and theme a little below. It’s also towards the top of the difficulty curve, but not to the extent that I can specifically recommend it to those looking for a challenge.
Result – we failed to escape in time but were able to finish with a few extra minutes and clues
Date played: 29 Jan 2017
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess
Summary: A decent enough game with the emphasis on puzzles