Published on June 22nd, 2017 | by Dean Love0
Do Stuff Escape Games, London – Hostage Hideout
In a world where so many escape game companies have fairly boring names, I do admire the sheer simplicity of Do Stuff Escape Games. Hey you? Thinking of doing nothing today? Why don’t you do stuff? Like an escape game maybe?
Hostage Hideout is their first game, located in a bar in Battersea: you literally enter the bar and there’s a reception desk for the room and the room itself on your right. It’s a neat location, though we were on something of an escape game binge that weekend so didn’t get to sample the meal deal they offer.
The story is that the local shopping centre has been attacked and hostages have been taken. You run to safety and have to both not die and free the hostages. After that fairly intense opening you actually find yourself in a very pedestrian location. It’s small and almost entirely non-linear. There’s six puzzles to solve, and six items to find to crack the final code. Given the size of this part of the game I was really impressed at how well they used the space. You know going in that there’s a set number of puzzles in this section, and once we’d solved half of them we were somewhat baffled. How could there possibly be three more puzzles hiding in here when we had looked at everything? Obviously, we hadn’t looked closely enough: almost everything is part of the game, even things you might expect to be red herrings.
None of these puzzles have anything to do with the story at all, though they’re all fairly good, they’re very much puzzles for the sake of being puzzles. They don’t relate to the hostage situation whatsoever. Indeed, we’d almost forgot that that was the plot by the time we reached the second part of the game. Which is perhaps why it was a little jarring to enter a very different sort of space and be, for the first time, face to face with the reality of the fiction. It went from a pleasant time solving puzzles in a bright space to looking at terrorist and hostages in a darkened room. It’s an uncomfortable tonal shift, but not a bad one.
The second part of the game is a bit more linear, and involves a lot of searching: there’s a whole bank of lockers, and you’ll need to find keys for all of them. But at least they label them! The puzzles in this part of the game didn’t stand out quite as well. It’s here we ended up taking our first and only clue, delivered by walkie-talkie, which turned out to be a shame as we were very close to being the first team to beat the game without a single clue but just didn’t put two things together in an “obvious” way (I put it in quotes because it’s not actually obvious but it’s something I’ve seen in rooms twice before so we should have noticed).
It’s a solid game that doesn’t really have any stand-out moments. The sets are good but not particularly ambitious. The puzzles decent but without any stand outs. There’s a lot of searching and opening locks but not much interesting to play with. It’s a game that doesn’t do anything wrong but doesn’t do anything particularly right either. Certainly worth checking out if you’re in the area.
Result – we finished in 49 minutes
Date played: 13 May 2017
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess
Summary: Just a solid, enjoyable room. Would probably make a great first game for those new to escape rooms.