A missing actress, a deserted theatre and whispers of a secret conspiracy dating back centuries. Renowned actress Rita Vasconcellos is missing, vanished in the middle of an acclaimed run of performances at the Palm Street Theatre in London’s West End. Where has she gone? What does she know? Will the understudy finally get a chance to perform?
Rating: Creepy Fun!
Completion Time: 51 minutes
Date Played: 28th March 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: Teams of 3+ missing escape rooms in lockdown
This game requires a minimum of 3 players… Oooh! I know just the team! Living in London and being in lockdown for over a year is difficult because this city is usually so vibrant and packed with theatres, restaurants and fun things to do! Rita’s Cult Following is set at the Palm Street Theatre – a fictional theatre in the West End of London where I used to live… Ahh, good memories! So it was a no brainer to play this with two of my best friends here in London and relive a time when we were allowed to leave our flats and walk around vibrant places like this.
The game starts, “Obviously, we’d have to ask some of the smartest, most cunning and adventurous people to try and crack a mystery like this . . . unfortunately they were all busy, but we’re so grateful you were able to make it!” HAH! Okay, okay.
A renowned actor, Rita Vasconcellos is due to play at the Palm Street Theatre when suddenly she goes mysteriously missing from her dresser room. Thankfully, she’s left behind some clues hidden in locked cases, boxes, and compartments around her room. You, the players, have two goals:
- Find out where Rita has disappeared to
- Escape the dressing room before your time runs out!
Rita’s Cult Following is all played in browser and it’s a classic point and click escape room. By now, you probably know the drill: everyone can see everyone else’s cursor on the screen, you can click on objects to interact with them, and there’s a pretty cool inventory system to boot. With two starting locations to explore in Rita’s dressing room, there’s also plenty to get stuck into. Oh! And don’t forget about that collaboration – at several points in the game more than one player will be required to work on a puzzle and in some cases three of you at once.
One of the real stand outs for me with this game though is the look and feel of it. I couldn’t tell if I were interacting with photographs, CGI or some clever artwork but wow this game is so pretty. Exploring the environment was a genuine joy and at each point in the game I couldn’t wait to see what was behind the next door.
Overall, the puzzles in this game were great! A lot of them require you to physically manipulate things in the room which is a stand out for me in the escape room world. To balance there are also plenty of red herrings- and not the annoying kind the “oh that’s so funny!” sort.
Players can expect to do a lot of working together, but you’ll also be faced with listening puzzles, UV light puzzles, cipher/runic puzzles and simple maths puzzles. In short – a really good mix and plenty for a team of 3/4 or more to keep busy with. We used Google (which is allowed… Encouraged even!) to solve one puzzle, and the history buff on our team solved another with a bit of memory too!
Throughout the game there was only one puzzle gave us problems, but boy where they problems!! Early at the start of our experience we got very stuck. Watching the clock slide down from 60 minutes to about 35 minutes and worrying if we’d finish in time was a little nerve-wracking, but it turned out we’d been overthinking the puzzle and it was a lot simpler than we thought! Typical!
Overall, a fun game and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. The game was beautiful and had delightful moments of humour, with great puzzles too. Almost like doing a real life escape room… Whatever those are! It’s been so long I’ve forgotten! But until the day we can enjoy them again, this is a great play at home alternative.
Rita’s Cult Following can be booked for £29.99 on Dave Escape Room’s website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.