21st of October 1891, London. A dark silence hangs over 221B Baker Street. The great detective Sherlock Holmes has been discovered dead, washed up in the gutters outside a seedy East End opium den. Without his nemesis, the wicked Professor James Moriarty plots world domination from the shadows. You – Sherlock’s oldest friends and faithful assistants – are now the only hope of stopping him.
Completion Time: 55 minutes
Date Played: October 2018
Party Size: 4
** PLEASE NOTE I visited pre-lockdown but didn’t get round to posting this review until now. **
Sherlock’s Despair was my very first escape room with Breakin’ and it was also the escape room I used to introduce a whole new team to the genre! For this reason, it has a special place in my heart.
If you ever browse Breakin’s website, or ask them which is the hardest – they’ll say this one. For that reason when we arrived we were given the choice of swapping to another room if we wanted … Even with that tiny doubt in my mind that we might not make it out in time, I’m so glad we didn’t swap. Instead, this group of motley beginners, absolutely nailed it. Sherlock Holmes, eat your heart out!
Sherlock’s Despair as a game has really cool theming. It really feels on brand (to the Sherlock Holmes vibe, I should say) and like you’re stepping into the detective’s own study. I find it hard not to compare to the last escape room I reviewed (Sherlock: The Time is Now – I do a lot of Sherlock rooms huh?), but where that one was modern and based on the TV show, Breakin’s was vintage and Victorian in all the right ways. Magnifying glasses? They got em! Dusty tomes, cool looking lamps? Check and check! Gimme a deerstalker hat immediately!
And the puzzles? A good mix. There are mathematical puzzles, word puzzles and logic puzzles a plenty – I actually LOVE a logic puzzle, and what better for a Sherlock Holmes room? The room is quite padlock heavy, if that’s you’re thing – so there’s quite a bit of hunting, searching and solving to find a key, or suss out a code. Not only this, but with the most number of puzzles compared to all other Breakin’ rooms – there’s more than enough for the whole team to do.
I’ll admit, this room isn’t as fresh in my memory as my other recent reviews, but I’ve a crazy huge backlog of rooms I’ve been needing to put up on my blog and I might as well start with this. Why? Because I just remember it being so much fun. Smiles all round and a good time to become an escape room fanatic.
Sherlock’s Despair can be played at Breakin’ Escape Rooms in Holloway, London. Prices are currently between £23 – £35 pp. All photos in this review are (c) Breakin’ except the final one.