Completion Time: ~45 minutes
Date Played: 15th February 2021
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Puzzlers of all ages, but not if you’re hungry because wow it looks tasty!
Okay SO in a whirlwind of completing this game and drooling over the sweets I… Kind of forgot most of the plot. But woah, woah, before you say anything, it’s okay! Instead I’m going to tell you what I *think* the plot was, and if it’s wrong you’ll still have a great time playing the game, because the real joy is in the illustrations, environment, and puzzles.
So there’s a mysterious confectioner who has designed her whole house to be pretty wacky- in particular, the chocolate print rug is very cool. The house is surrounded by a (probably) never-ending forest you could easily get lost in. It’s 10/10 spooky, but the house is warm and inviting at least. Locked deep inside the house is a secret stack of recipes, very important ones too… It’s imperative you find them! I don’t think it’s a B&E, I think it’s more the case that if you find the recipes you get to inherit the confectionary empire.
So with the all important plot out of the way, how did I get on? I played Humbug Hijinx in a team of two with Armchair Escapist and we completed the whole experience in a respectable 45 or so minutes. The game system is good for multiple players logging on with different devices, as each other player using the same link can see what each other clicks and the same prompts appear on the screens. So be careful if you start button mashing!
We had a minor technical hiccup at the start, but after picking ourselves up got quickly into the game. It’s a pretty classic point and click mechanic from herein. At the start, you’re presented with a map of the mansion you need to explore. This becomes your anchor point throughout the game, each time you find a new code you should return to the map and use it to unlock the next room. Although, player be warned – don’t forget to make a note of which code gets you into which room! You’ll need those codes again!
In terms of puzzles, there’s a good mix. You’ll need to do a bit of searching, for sure, but there are a lot of fun mechanics to get you there. Like clicking things in certain orders to reveal new parts of the environment. Or memorising routes through complex mazes. In this game too, are a few puzzles which rely on sound, and a further few more which rely on colour and spotting patterns too… So I’m trying not to give any spoilers, but as you see, there’s a fun mix. Each room hides something new to uncover and each a delight to click through.
I’d recommend this game for pretty much everyone – playing in the same house, or online via Zoom. Kids, adults, whatever the heck I am. It’s sweet- pun intended- and Escape Stations could do with the support right now! Having opened their first room *right* when the pandemic hit, I’m quietly raging that I haven’t yet been able to visit them in person. But this is a second best. PLUS I haven’t mentioned the best part. On successful completion of the game you’ll win a code for £15 off your real-life booking. Since the game only costs £15, it’s basically free. *shouting louder for the folks in the back* IT’S FREE.
You can purchase Humbug Hijinx on Escape Station’s website for £15.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.