Published on April 1st, 2016 | by Dean Love0
Puzzlair, Bristol – The Lab of Dr. Lev Pasted
Do you like searching for things? No, this isn’t another escape room that’s hard to find, just a game that requires a hell of a lot of searching – anyone who enjoyed easter egg hunts as a child will feel right at home!
At Puzzlair there’s no waiting area and not really anywhere nice to go nearby so I wouldn’t suggest arriving too early. We had a brief chat with the host about other rooms we had done, and the host told us a story of a staff training day at KeyHunter in Birmingham, where they attempted to troll the staff, only to fail because of said staff’s utter indifference and failure to pay attention.
The room is themed around a secret hideout of a crazy Doctor, with your job being to track down his hidden formula. There are some pretty neat puzzles in the game, but we spent a good 15 minutes without solving a single thing, as we just hadn’t found all the clues we needed. Perhaps it was conditioning from previous games, but we didn’t think to climb up on things to check in the ceiling rafters for clues! Things picked up a bit once we understood exactly how well some things were hidden, with us being sure to check a lot more carefully, though there were audible sighs when the room gave us a blacklight and expected us to check over every inch of the room again, this time with a special torch. There were no clues pointing at the right area (indeed, we were later told the clue was in two different places, to make it easier) and it took the best part of ten minutes.
The clue system used was the same as that in HintHunt – clues shown on a screen when needed. I’ve praised this system in the past for how it makes you forget that there’s someone on the other end watching you, thus increasing your immersion in the game. Unfortunately the host couldn’t help but put his own personality into the clues and constantly adding “HURRY UP!!!” to the end of them ruined the main advantage of doing clues in that way.
Eventually we failed, hitting the one hour mark a few puzzles shy of the ending. Post-game, the host was happy to take time to chat with us about the game and what we did and didn’t like, but was strangely reluctant to actually explain to us the puzzle that we were stuck on – I’m not sure if they somehow thought we might want to pay them to come back and do it again just to solve it – so that left a somewhat bad taste in our mouths.
Result – we failed, for the third time in a row! This is also the first room we’ve never actually completed (the other failures we were given extra time to finish up).
Date played: 1 August 2015
Team: Dean, Katherine, Jess
Summary: An average room, great if you enjoy searching