About Rebecca

Rebecca writes about Board Games and Escape Rooms covering Scotland.

Escape Room Geeks: The Gilded Carcanet | Review

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The Gilded Carcanet Review | An ancient treasure has been said to be buried on a small island outside the coast of Turkey. Little is known about it and its existence has been heavily debated in the archeology community. Professor in archeology, Bartholomew Wilson, has always dismissed the idea as a myth. Until now.

Rating: Quite challenging and thoroughly enjoyable
Completion Time: 45 minutes
Date Played: 22nd June 2022
Party Size: 2
Recommended For: Graphic novel and treasure hunt fans

I’m currently sitting on a train from Edinburgh to London having just played The Gilded Carcanet, the newest printable escape room kit created by Escape Room Geeks. My partner and I decided to pack up the sheets of A4 so we could enjoy some puzzling on the journey, and we weren’t disappointed!

On turning the first page, we were thrilled to discover a comic book style introduction. As massive graphic novel fans, this was the perfect way to get us engaged with the story and excited to see the puzzle designs that lay ahead. The illustrations were beautiful, and the muted colour scheme really set the tone for the mysterious world we were about to enter.

 

 

First, game mechanics

The Gilded Carcanet is split into chapters, each containing a puzzle you have to solve before continuing the adventure. But this isn’t simply a “do a puzzle, turn the page” sort of game. You’ll have to refer back to previous pages and discovered items to progress in your search for the ancient treasure, which I love as it’s almost like you’ve got a trusty backpack filled with maps and journals ready to be investigated at any point.

You’re given a handy key which lets you know when you can discard certain pages, and when to continue turning. There are also icons which let you know when to fold and cut the paper, which luckily I read before we set off so I packed a pair of scissors for the road (train track?).

We were really impressed by the answer checker. You simply cross off letters in a grid you have used in your answer, and see if it matches a specified pattern. If it does, you’re right! The pattern could appear in many places in the grid though, so it’s not easy to simply guess the answer which could have been tempting if we were really stuck.

 

Puzzle Selection

A lot of the puzzles are logic based, requiring your skills of deduction to find the correct answer. What was great though was that these puzzles often linked with codes, maps and even some jigsaw style conundrums so you’re always kept on your feet. My love for cyphers was also satisfied, with the secrets of many mysterious symbols needing to be cracked.

I particularly enjoyed the plan of the tomb and having to use your navigation and deduction skills to find a particular chamber. As well as tapping into various brain skills, you had to use several pages to get to where you wanted to be and it felt like a real achievement once you discovered the answer.

 

The Mystery Unfolds

This is a very typical treasure hunt story, but honestly that’s all that’s needed here. The illustrations let your imagination flow and the quality of the puzzles shone through. I loved how we were placed in the shoes of protagonist Bartholomew, meaning we had some great interactions with our companion, Oscar and received praise throughout the game for solving puzzles. A fictional pat on the back is always appreciated!

 

 

The Verdict

We thoroughly enjoyed this game. I think the age suggestion of 13+ is accurate as the puzzles can get quite complex, but they were actually the perfect level of difficulty for a train journey. Not too easy that we fly through it, but not so hard that we bang our heads against the teeny tiny lap tables. At $29, this is on the higher end of the scale for print at home games, but there are some great multi buy offers on their website if you want to treat yourself to a bundle. All in all, a brilliant game which I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

The Gilded Carcanet can be played by heading to Escape Room Geeks website here.

Unsolved Science: Case 01 The Object | Review

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Case 01: The Object Review | Unsolved Science is a challenging cooperative tabletop mystery game for 1-4 players. But instead of locks and puzzles, in this mystery, science IS the game mechanic.
Perform real experiments. Analyze weird data. Become the scientist to figure out why a mysterious object could spell disaster for the world.

Completion Time: 2hr
Date Played: 20th January 2022
Party Size: 2
Difficulty: Medium

I was so exited when this game arrived on my doorstep. I’m by no means a science expert, but the idea of performing experiments and analysing data is completely my jam. Then mix that with solving a mystery?! Hand me a white coat and goggles because I’m ready to play.

The Unboxing

This game has clearly been made with a passion for making science fun at it’s heart. The materials are of a really high quality, and allow you to become immersed in the story as though you are receiving components directly from the Planetary Protection Strategy Service. We get a letter, name badges (with space for achievement stickers), a progress tracker, an evidence board, 3 yellow investigation envelopes, an answer envelope and most excitingly, a mysterious object!

Once all the materials have been laid out and we’ve found 4 small clear containers from the cupboard (finally a use for our leftover Gu indulgences), we open the letter to reveal our mission. A mysterious object has fallen into the hands of a questionable intelligence organisation, and they believe it could change the world. But can they be trusted? It’s up to us to uncover the secrets of their puzzling discovery.

Let the Experiments Begin

Using both the instructions and the progress board, the order in which you need to perform the experiments and analyse the data is made really clear which I appreciated. Within each envelope are several experiments, designed to gradually reveal information and test your ever growing knowledge as you progress. You track your findings on the evidence board, which is really useful for remembering the wave of new facts you’re learning, and to refer back to later in the game.

The experiments are a mix of physical tasks and observations as well as analysing a range of photos, charts and various media found online. There’s no need to navigate away from any of the online materials provided, Unsolved Science have created an online portal of information where you can search for key words to help as part of your investigation. I’d really encourage you to use this regardless of your scientific knowledge, as it’s essential in discovering the true nature of the mysterious object.

We really enjoyed the wide range of experiments provided, and found it was a lot closer to solving puzzles than we expected. Asking ourselves why certain patterns or differences were occurring required logic and reason, and discovering the answer was just as satisfying as unlocking a padlock!

Dig Deep

The key to solving the mystery of the game is to answer a number of important questions correctly to unlock the best ending online. These questions ask you to dig deep, and take a good look at the evidence you’ve acquired to find the right solution. They are each assigned a difficulty level which gives you a good indication of how much information you need to answer it. We found we didn’t answer the hardest difficulty questions until the very end of the game, so don’t worry if you feel behind at any point, the a-ha moments will come!

If you’re feeling stuck, there is an excellent clue system provided with three levels of hints to help you on your way. There is also an answers envelope, which you can compare your findings to but which will not reveal the answers to the dig deep questions.

But what is the Mysterious Object?!

Obviously, I’m not going to tell you. But I really enjoyed the story behind this game, and I’d like to know what happens next! I don’t know if any follow up games will be a continuation of this story, but the ending certainly left me wanting more.

The Verdict

We absolutely loved playing The Object and found it to be the perfect balance of scientific discovery, fun and mystery. Don’t be fooled into thinking science experiment kits are just for kids, this game is designed primarily for adults and we had an absolute blast while discovering facts we didn’t know before. Unsolved Science have created a unique, exciting new addition to add to the tabletop mystery game community and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. We’ve also chosen to award it the special “Wow Award” for being an especially innovative game!

The Unsolved Science Kickstarter

If you’re interested in playing Unsolved Science’s Case 01, the game will be available in early 2022 via Kickstarter. You can sign up for news and updates by heading to Unsolved Science’s website here.

The Detective Society: Trouble in Folklore Falls 1 | Review

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Trouble in Folklore Falls Review | Discover the darker side to your favourite folklore characters as you work with the ‘big bad’ wolf to crack the case, in this interactive boxed mystery. A story filled with twists, turns and some laughs thrown in for good measure. A play-at-home mystery adventure, perfect for date-nights, team building, board gamers, crime solvers, mystery fans and everyone in who loves a good mystery story!

Completion Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Date Played: 18/03/2022
Party Size: 2
Difficulty: Medium

 

 

I think I was one of the only play at home mystery game fans who hadn’t experienced The Detective Society, so when Trouble at Folklore Falls landed on my doorstep I was excited to rip it (gently) open. First impressions were positive, the envelope itself was really high quality and the materials provided have been successfully designed to immerse you in the story. We’re talking flyers, newspapers, notes, food packaging – all of which are so professionally made. Please see the photo below, but note – I haven’t included all of the contents in photos to ensure no spoilers!

 

 

The story itself is based on characters from folklore, with favourites such as Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and Humpty Dumpty all under suspicion of kidnapping the community’s beloved pets. Here at The Escape Roomer, we love our pets very, very much. How could they?!

It’s our job to use the evidence provided to compile a suspect list, and deduct who is behind the crimes in Folklore Falls.

 

A trustworthy narrator?

Our guide through the investigation is none other than the Big Bad Wolf, who keeps in regular contact via SMS, email, radio and telephone calls. In fact, this is the best example of using automated communication I’ve experienced. It’s been really cleverly designed so we can speak to suspects, and the most impressive part came in a phone call where what we specifically said dictated different responses from the character.

 

A Puzzling Mystery

The main puzzles you will experience in Trouble in Folklore Falls are logic based. Who was where at what time, and could they have committed a crime? That’s not all though, there are word searches, hidden messages to decipher, fold and cut style puzzles, passwords to hack and podcast episodes to analyse. A little bit of everything to suit all different types of puzzlers, held together with a strong logic puzzle.

This feels like it might be the first Detective Society game where you could get your kids involved. Previous mysteries have been based on more adult themes, and although there may be references for the grown ups only I can see a young adult audience enjoying the puzzles, hearing from familiar characters and really appreciating the experience.

 

A game to keep you guessing until the last moment…

The storyline is brilliant, and keeps you guessing the entire time. You’re never quite sure who to trust, but you’re provided with a great evidence form for note taking. What I particularly enjoyed was that once you’d figured out the suspect, the game wasn’t over. You are directed towards more puzzles to solve and an exciting ending which of course, leads you towards episode two.

The jokes are a particular strong point, though be warned you’ll be cringing!

 

 

The Verdict

This is one of the best play at home mysteries I’ve ever played. The attention to detail is incredible, the mix of media and physical evidence means you’re constantly entertained, the storyline is the perfect mix of crime and humour – I could go on and on.

At the time of writing there are currently 4 available mysteries to solve and the reviews have been brilliant across the board. Trouble in Folklore Falls has done it again, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to finish this case and try the others.

If you want to get started with Trouble in Folklore Falls yourself, head to The Detective Society’s website here.

 

Escape Reality Edinburgh: Machina | Review

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Machina Review | A team of high-tech scientists and programmers have assembled to perform ground breaking experiments in developing the first instance of true artificial intelligence known to man. You have just been accepted onto the team of scientists and have arrived at their headquarters. After a few days you realise that scientists are suddenly leaving and that these robots are showing scarily human-like emotions. You decide that you need to leave as quickly as possible as something peculiar is happening, but all of the doors have been locked trapping you and the rest of the team inside. Can you all escape before you reluctantly become a part of the experiment?

 

Date Played: 20th March 2022
Time Taken: 48 Minutes 39 Seconds
Number of Players: 4
Difficulty: Medium
Recommended For: Mathematics Enthusiasts

 

Located at the start of the Union Canal in Edinburgh, the location of Escape Reality Edinburgh is perfect for a sunny Sunday. We took a calming stroll along the water, preparing ourselves for one of the more difficult rooms on offer, Machina.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by hands down the most enthusiastic Games Master I’ve ever met, DJ. His passion for escape rooms shone through, and we were impressed by his storytelling and brief explanation of the rules for our group of more experienced escape room players.

The room was very dark, and we were provided with two torches. The darkness did slow us down at points as we waited for a torch to be free, but it was a successful in increasing the sense of time sensitivity in the room as we yelled for light. The room has recently received a lick of paint with some new features added, so it felt up to date and well maintained.

 

Wake up!

I’m not sure whether our walk was too relaxing, because we were very slow off the mark to begin with. We tried to solve the first combination locks as a team, which was likely our downfall as the design of the room has changed recently to allow players to separate and solve multiple puzzles at once rather than a previous linear approach. This is a great move, and as soon as we split up, the padlocks started opening and we found our groove.

This isn’t to say we weren’t initially frustrated, and in sheer desperation we accidently took apart a prop which we thought we had justification for but it turns out we became the dreaded escape room vandals who left a trail of destruction in their path. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve been superglued together by now…

 

 

Do you know any mathematicians?

A lot of the puzzles require calculations, so make sure you’ve got someone who loves numbers on your team! Our phones were locked away, so calculators were sadly not an option. I’m awful with dates, so I found some of the puzzles extremely difficult but I was able to excel at the sequence spotting elements of the room. The experience has been upgraded to include a laptop, so there’s some password hacking to do as well as essential information to discover allowing you to progress.

As well as padlocks, there were puzzles which required keypads and also some more physical tasks to complete to find solutions. Some of these triggered some exciting reveals, which is always one of my escape room highlights.

 

Need a hint?

The hint system at Escape Reality is one of my favourites.  You are given an iPad which you use as your timer, but you can also scan various QR codes throughout the room to receive a hint. We used one hint, after which you are locked out of using another for 10 minutes. This feels like a really fair way of getting a nudge in the right direction without receiving time penalties, and you also have the option of pressing a button to summon your games master if required.

 

 

The Verdict

The games at Escape Reality are always guaranteed to be great quality, and I’m so pleased that customer feedback has been taken on board to improve Machina. A non-linear approach is great for teams who prefer to separate, and some upgraded features succeed in increasing the immersion of the room. I didn’t quite experience my beloved frantic attempt at solving the final puzzle as it was a lot easier than most of the previous solutions, so it was all over quite fast – but all in all this is a great room, perfect for teams who have a bit of experience and know what to expect.

Machina can be booked at Escape Reality Edinburgh on their website here.

clueQuest: PLAN52 | Review

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PLAN52 Review | PLAN52 is a top secret location and a fortress for highly classified archives and data. However, something terrible has happened: four agents who were stationed there have vanished without a trace. We have proof that this was the work of Professor BlackSheep who had help from a clueQuest insider. It is up to you and your team to discover the identity of the double agent. You will have just 60 Minutes to learn who the double agent was and deactivate the security device before the entire facility detonates.

Completion Time: 59:02
Date Played: 5th November 2021
Party Size: 2
Difficulty: Medium

There’s nothing quite like back to back escape rooms to satisfy your puzzling needs, so after the nail biting finale of Revenge of the Sheep, we were suitably warmed up (especially after directions to the local coffee shop from the clueQuest team!) and ready to defeat Professor BlackSheep once more.

Not a lock in sight…

PLAN52 was the first escape room offering from clueQuest and although exciting at the time, an office space full of padlocks has now become an all too familiar sight in the escape room world. We were delighted to be informed by our Game Master, Esther that the experience has been lovingly and technically upgraded to be almost fully digitalized.

This made the game feel so much more immersive. When you’re playing a spy, you want your surroundings to pull you in and convince you that you’re genuinely about to save the world. Typing codes into neon red number locks, hacking into computers and automatically triggering big reveals with puzzle solves made the theming of this room so much better than manual puzzles and locks could have offered.

Pay close attention to everything

One of my favourite moments during this game was realising something we had questioned at the very beginning turned out to be a massive clue. Obviously I won’t reveal the answer, but after this point we decided to trust our gut instincts and keep our eyes extra peeled.

It’s a good job, because you’ll have some red herrings to contend with as you make your way through some sneaky puzzles. Frustrating they may be, but they provide a nice nod to the history of the room as well as a chuckle.

You’ll also need to keep an eye out for plenty of hidden objects, which is great for families to ensure everyone can contribute. They all satisfyingly combined for some big puzzle solves towards the end of the game.

No I in Team

One of the trickier puzzles in PLAN52 was one where we were practically in different rooms having to communicate to operate a nifty device. It’s a real test of observation and keeping calm under pressure where the other person can’t see what’s right in front of you, but the reveal is completely worth the potential fall outs!

There were plenty of other cooperative tasks, as well as puzzles which can be solved individually for those who like to separate to cover all bases. There’s something for everyone, from books to mathematics to map reading to building blocks, all your puzzle solving abilities are tested. I especially enjoyed the codebreaking which fitted the theme perfectly.

Another close call

We escaped with less than a minute to spare, and just like Revenge of the Sheep it was a nerve-wracking experience. Our frantically high pitched voices were trying to figure out the final piece of the puzzle as the clock counted down, and it was brilliant to have such an epic end to the game.

The Verdict

I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and even if you’ve played it before I’d recommend popping back to see the enhanced version. You won’t be disappointed! The staff at clueQuest are all incredible and will ensure you are completely immersed in your surroundings as well as providing some laughs along the way.

PLAN52 can be booked at clueQuest by heading to their website here.

clueQuest: Revenge of the Sheep | Review

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Revenge of the Sheep Review | Professor BlackSheep is back again to destroy mankind as we know it, and this time he is not alone – he’s got an evil side-kick and together they have built a dangerous device: the SheepMutator. By mutating the human genome, the SheepMutator can turn anyone who is in the range of its evil rays into a placid sheep!

To make matters worse, the Professor has managed to set up several such devices in key locations around the planet – and one of them is here in London! You have 60 Minutes to locate and deactivate them all before they go online and it’s too late for mankind!

Completion Time: 55:23
Date Played: 5th November 2021
Party Size: 2
Difficulty: Medium

From the moment you step into clueQuest HQ you’re greeted with a large, open seating area with an impressive mural as the centrepiece. Gender neutral toilets are at the bottom of the stairs, and all areas are fully accessible with a stair lift. This inclusive, welcoming space set us up wonderfully for our first game – Revenge of the Sheep.

Everything Could be a Clue…

Our Game Master, Georgie, enthusiastically introduced us to the story behind the room. You don’t have to have played any other rooms in the series to understand and enjoy this experience, all the information you need is there for you to dive straight in.

The room itself is cleverly designed, with every inch requiring a meticulous search to find hidden clues. Don’t let the initial small space fool you, it’s jam packed with puzzles which will lead to an exciting reveal once solved. The props and artwork ensure you are immersed in your surroundings, with plenty of sheep related elements to keep you amused.

One of the things I loved about Revenge of the Sheep was that clues we discovered at the very beginning became relevant as the game progressed. It meant you were always thinking about the bigger picture rather than just tunneling in on one puzzle at a time which noticeably increased the difficulty level for us.

These clues lead to a lot of multi-step puzzles, meaning a lot of “Yes, we’ve solved it!” moments are followed by “Ohhh we now need to use this answer somewhere else” I personally love these puzzles because it feels like a huge achievement when you finally reach the end.

There was a great mix of puzzles you could go off and explore individually and some where teamwork was essential. I particularly loved the postbox puzzles for this reason, they required a mix of different skills along with good communication and I’ve not come across anything quite like it before.

Similarly, the use of a tablet for actual puzzle solving was a completely new experience for me. To be honest, I think the team at Clue HQ could tell as I required some technical pointers to fully appreciate what I was doing. Once I figured it out, it was a brilliant addition to the traditional lock route.

The hint system was flawless, using a TV screen with text when they felt you perhaps needed a bit of guidance, and a walkie talkie for anything you wanted to talk through. Josiah was our help at the end of the radio, and gave helpful, reassuring hints when required.

Time is Running Out!

The end of the game was exhilarating. We didn’t have much time left, and the lighting and dramatic music really heightened the mood in the room. Our frantic brains kept getting it wrong, and it took a few seconds of stepping back to realise the solution.

I have to say that this really is a special ending. When we initially walked into the room, we didn’t know what to expect but it certainly wasn’t what transpired! Feel free to jump around with excitement like us, but don’t forget what could happen if the clock reaches zero…

Revenge of the Sheep can be booked at clueQuest’s website here.

Ratings

E-Scape Rooms: The Alp | Review

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The Alp Review | The Alp is here. He won’t leave and you can’t run away. He waits for the night to fall. When you lay your head to rest, he will be there.

Completion Time: 1 hour
Date Played: March 2021
Party Size: 2
Difficulty: Medium

I absolutely love the horror genre, and with that comes the excitement of horror escape rooms. The unsettling feeling of fear combined with time sensitive puzzle solving gives me such an adrenaline rush, so I was eager to play E-Scape Room Games’ The Alp.

An unsettling horror themed game with brilliant puzzles and an excellent eerie narrative

We played as a group of three over Zoom and were each invited to join the game on our separate devices. Our narrator is introduced through some mysterious black and white footage, and he begins to describe a house with a dark past. On moving into the house, his wife started to experience horrific nightmares until one morning, she didn’t wake up. Soon enough, the narrator starts to experience these nightmares for himself. It’s up to us to figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.

The game begins and we’re free to explore the first room. We’re all able to explore separate areas of the room at the same time by dragging and clicking, and if anything of significance happens we’re all redirected to a video simultaneously to ensure we don’t miss a thing. Many of the puzzles require teamwork and communication from different areas of the room, and the game makes it really easy to co-ordinate this.

The puzzles are a mix of cyphers, deduction, pattern spotting and some algebra thrown in to test our school day memories. They fit in with the theme perfectly, and are supplemented by an eerie soundtrack which allow the puzzles to flow nicely with the story. Game design means it’s always clear what the task in hand is, and progress is marked with several sinister videos deepening the feeling of immersion.

The hint system is simple, and you can select which area of the room you need help with along with step by step clues designed to not give too much away.

Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this room. Although one addition to the ending of the story took us away from the immersion slightly**, we were suitably spooked and relieved with our decision to play in daylight.

Note: This review was originally published on March 7th 2021 on Borderline Puzzler. ** the ending has since changed.

E-Scape Rooms are currently offering The Alp for just £5.49 with the discount code ALPINTRO666, which is an absolute bargain for this game.

Ratings

Puzzled Escape Games: Professor of the Occult | Review

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Puzzled Escape Games: Professor of the Occult Review | A professor from the local collage who is the prime suspect in the murder of three of his colleagues has gone missing. It is rumoured that they were involved in occult research that has led to their disappearance. Head to the professor’s house and see if you can uncover anything about his whereabouts but be careful, I have an uneasy feeling about this one.

Date Played: 5th September 2021
Number of Players: 4
Difficulty: Medium
Time Taken: 50 minutes

There’s nothing better than winding down on a Sunday evening to investigate some disturbing supernatural practices with your friends, and lucky for our team (Mairi, Al, Ash and I) this is exactly what we were tasked to do by Puzzled Escape Games.

With the promise of jump scares sat securely in our minds, we enter the professor’s study and I notice I’m gripping my mouse ever so slightly too tight.

It’s just a normal study, right?

What transpires is a realistic representation of the in-person escape room based in Easthampton, Massachusetts which you are free to explore using a simple click and drag method with the ability to take a closer look at certain items. You can interact with most objects, which allows you to perform tasks as though you were in the real room (and we all agreed, this would be an incredible in person experience).

The browser-based game does not update based on other players movements, which could have been frustrating but the way the game flows means that players can still go their separate ways to solve puzzles, then reunite to provide the final solutions.

The Puzzles

The puzzles range from straight forward to rather complex, and I must admit I struggled with one geography-based conundrum in particular. People always regret being landed on my Articulate team when we get stuck attempting the ‘world’ category for five rounds though, so I might be an outlier on this one.

There’s a good mix of puzzles to suit various specialities, with riddles, crosswords, map reading, logic puzzles and plenty of hidden objects to test those observation skills. For some of the more difficult tasks we came together as a team, once again learning that communication is the key to escaping!

A link to the clues was provided at the start of the game but be warned, the solutions are in the same paragraph as any hints so you may accidently see the answer.

The puzzles have been cleverly designed to compliment the narration, and we experience a slow story reveal through puzzles, letters, video messages and audio to discover the mystery behind what the professor has been up to. There are some surprises which I’ve purposefully avoided sharing, but they ensured we all had a good (nervous) laugh.

A Confession

I love the horror genre, but you couldn’t pay me enough to say Candyman in the mirror five times. When it came to the finale, I absolutely bottled it. The loudening sound made it feel so immersive, so if you’re into it I’d recommend gathering some candles, dimming the lights, and popping on your headphones to find out what happens!

The Verdict

The Professor of the Occult is a game leaning towards the more difficult side, so if you are a group of seasoned puzzle solvers this would be a great challenge.

Fans of the supernatural will love the theming, and mystery solvers will be delighted to discover the hidden secrets that lie within the room.

Don’t get too comfortable in the familiarity of the study though, things might take a sinister turn…


The game can be booked directly on their website here.

Ratings

Escape The Past Edinburgh: The Anatomist | Review

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Escape the Past Edinburgh The Anatomist Review | The year is 1829, and the City of Edinburgh is shaken after the grim discovery of the Burke and Hare murders. Demand for corpses to aid medical research remains high, and questions are starting to surface about how distinguished anatomist Dr Malcolm has been acquiring his bodies for dissection.

We’ve heard a whisper of a terrible incident occurring in Edinburgh’s old surgical district, and it’s up to us to infiltrate Dr. Malcolm’s study to find his journal and discover what is really going on. Time is short, his lecture in the nearby Surgeon’s Hall finishes in one hour and if the rumours are true, we don’t want to be caught sneaking around!

Rating: A must visit!
Completion Time: 32 minutes
Date Played: 3rd August 2021
Party Size: 5
Recommended For: Immersive experience seekers

Travel back in time…

Escape The Past have created an incredible game combining Edinburgh’s dark history with an exhilarating escape room. Our team of five were completely immersed in our surroundings, and I wasn’t surprised to learn that the room was designed by Chris Wood, an Edinburgh University History graduate and Zahra Chaudhri, a doctor. The attention to detail is seriously impressive and offers a full sensory experience, which is a rare find.

Plenty of hidden surprises await if you book The Anatomist. I’m sure our games master, Sophie, was relieved to hear the squeals emerging from the room were that of excitement rather than our team succumbing to the perils that lie within.

A 19th Century Crystal Maze

A few times during the game we commented that we’d stumbled upon a 19th Century Crystal Maze. The puzzles were a great mix of observation, riddles, cyphers, maths, and physical challenges, all of which used the props around us cleverly. They flowed seamlessly to slowly reveal the story, concluding with a brilliant finale. One of the puzzles was unavailable due to COVID restrictions, but an alternative way to solve it was offered and didn’t take away from our enjoyment at all.

Clues were available if requested by ringing a bell, but our team were on a roll and completed the game in 32 minutes and 13 seconds so we didn’t end up asking for any help. The team were extremely approachable though and would have provided instant support with some dark humour for good measure.

The Verdict

Whether you are new to escape rooms or a puzzle enthusiast, Escape the Past is a must visit. Immerse yourself in the history of Edinburgh and discover the secrets of Dr. Malcolm before it’s too late! We’re top of the leaderboard this month, so why not try take on the challenge and beat our time?!


The Anatomist can be booked at Escape The Past in Edinburgh.

Welcome Rebecca, Our New Escape Room Writer in Scotland!

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In today’s super exciting news, our little team at The Escape Roomer is growing! We are very excited to welcome Rebecca as the latest contributing writer! 👋

You may also know Rebecca as the brilliant blogger extraordinaire, Borderline Puzzler (also on Twitter and Instagram here). Rebecca joins us from Edinburgh, Scotland and will be a regular contributor on all things escape room and immersive entertainment in Scotland.

As one of the fastest growing regions for escape rooms in the UK, we’re so excited to be able to share even more content from the North of the UK!

Without further adieu, here is Rebecca to introduce herself…

About Rebecca

Hello! I’m Rebecca (she/her), a geordie living in the beautiful city of Edinburgh. I love the outdoors, and am an avid runner, netballer, Geocacher and paddle board enthusiast. You’ll also find me sipping a cup of tea in a bookshop or curled under a blanket binging horror films.

I’ll be writing about my escape attempts from rooms around Scotland, as well as chatting about my latest board game discoveries, play-at-home escape rooms and puzzle books.

What got you interested in escape rooms and puzzle games?

When I was young I used to play 5s and 3s dominoes with my grandparents, as well as classic board games like Scrabble and Cluedo. Although I took a break from gaming as I was growing up, I rediscovered my passion for puzzles whilst learning how to manage my mental health. I have Borderline Personality Disorder, and a huge part of my recovery is learning how to tolerate distress using temporary distraction. When I’m playing escape rooms or games my mind is 100% focused on the task in hand, and it helps my brain to reset.

What was your first escape room?

My first room was called the Amnesia Room by The Room, Glasgow. The premise was that we’d just woken up in a hospital with no memory of how we got there, so we had to figure out what was happening in order to escape. I remember we got given lab coats to wear to really immerse ourselves in the story, and as soon as we finished I was hooked.

What has been your favourite escape room type experience?

This one is such an easy answer for me. Punchdrunk created a two person adventure called Kabeiroi which took place over six hours around London. We had to follow clues which took us to a secret entrance at the British Museum, find secret items in a storage unit, frantically learn chants on the tube to infiltrate a cult and run through a metal cage maze with a motorbike chasing us.

Honestly the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had and I hope they do something similar in the future.

Photo (c) Punchdrunk

Now that lockdown is slowly easing across the UK, what are you most excited about?

I can’t wait to be able to jump on a train to visit my friends and family, and I’m really excited to see live music and theatre again. I’ve already been to a few in person escape rooms, and was probably the first one through the door!

You go into a new room – what’s the first thing you do?

I get really excited and frantically search the room top to bottom. I like to think I’m level headed and organised in my approach to escaping, but realistically but as soon as I get in there it all goes out the window and the room ends up in chaos. 

If you were given a blank cheque to create your dream escape room, what would it be like?

It would definitely be horror based! There would be so many secret passages. I absolutely love the thrill of finding a hidden entrance to another room. I’d also like to mix up the rules a little, like one person in the party is told they have to try and sabotage the group but no-one knows who.


A huge shout out to Rebecca of Borderline Puzzler! Rebecca can be found on Instagram and Twitter, and you’ll be able to read all of her reviews and articles here.