Published on July 11th, 2016 | by Dean Love1
Handmade Mysteries, London – Lady Chastity’s Reserve
Lady Chastity’s Reserve is a wine. A wine of legend. A wine that, if you succeed in the game, you get to take home a bottle of. And by ‘home’ in our case I mean the pub the game is based in, where we drank it all. And now I have to remember enough of the game to write a review.
The game takes place in perhaps the smallest room I’ve seen, and the vast majority of it involves working with a single large device in the centre of the room to solve a series of riddles, to unlock the titular bottle of wine. As you might expect from this, it’s entirely linear, which makes it more of a collaborative puzzle solving experience than a traditional escape room.
The second thing to note about the game is it’s very much focused on creating a certain atmosphere. The host, Gabriel, hams up the story and rules of the game to a ridiculous degree, getting laughs out of awful puns and barely concealed innuendo, as he spins the tale of Lady Chastity. He’s also on hand throughout to offer advice from just outside the door, but you’ll also experience the voice of the Lady herself through various recordings that get played as you move through the game. All this comes together to produce this over-the-top Edwardian ghost story-esque atmosphere that pervades the game, and is a lot of fun.
There’s very little searching to be done in the room, as a result of it being so small, and much more in terms of traditional riddles. Very early on you get a book which is basically the instructions on how to complete the room, but of course, they’re in the form of riddles. You combine clues from the book with others you find the game and slowly pick your way through. It’s quite handy as you therefore know up front how much of the game you have left, so can pace yourselves accordingly. The puzzles themselves are pretty neat though none are mind-blowing, and centrepiece contraption itself is certainly like nothing you’ve seen before.
But whether it was the size of the room or the linear nature of the game, the whole thing did end up feeling a little bit slight. And while we took almost the entire hour to finish it, very few specific bits stood out. The atmosphere as a whole was far more notable than the individual puzzles.
Result – we escaped in 55:57, then drank all the wine between us. Then went off to play a different escape game!
Date played: 13 September 2015
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess, Kirsty
Summary: Wonderful theme and atmosphere, average puzzles.