Published on November 8th, 2017 | by Dean Love1
Guildford Escape Rooms – The Case of the Missing Gun
This room is essentially a lesson in designing an immersive environment.
It doesn’t seem particularly ambitious at first – we’re in a private investigator’s office, a place we’ve been many times before. But in this case it’s a little different: it’s 1940s New York, and you don’t need to solve a murder, just find where the PI hid the weapon to tie the gangster to the murder. In many ways the most out of place thing about this room is it was in colour.
(I say that as a joke, but I’ve just realised how awesome an entirely monochrome room would be to play. Especially if you had outfits.)
So the noir is strong in this one. That’s mirrored throughout the game, with authentic sounding radio reports acting to fill you in on the story as you progress. There’s even the smell of coffee throughout the game. Best of all, you get some noir-style narration from the voice of god to act as both a hint system and warn you if you’re going off track. As a hint: take a look out of the window. Perhaps the only place where it goes off theme is that, well it’s actually quite a nice, clean environment. The coffee smell is lovely but the far less pleasant odour of tobacco smoke may have been more realistic. There’s probably less dust than there should be too. But of course, what makes a realistic noir scene does not make a fun escape room.
Rather, the somewhat more cosy atmosphere helps make this a very inviting game, and a nice place to spend an hour solving puzzles. Those puzzles are all fine – none particularly blew us away with inventiveness, but nor were any shockingly bad. It comes nicely together in a meta-puzzle at the end, where you finally figure out what to do with all these odd devices you’ve seen along the way, using the answers you got from previous puzzles. It also uses the space well and encourages a bit of teamwork.
And there’s not much more to say really, a solid room that does really well on the atmosphere front. If you’ve ever wanted to be in a film noir but without the shit bits, this is the game to play.
Result – we escaped in 33 minutes
Date played: 17 September 2017
Team: Dean, Sera, Sharon
Summary: A great take on a detective-noir environment, with some strong puzzles.