Every year, Santa practices his “chimney falling technique”. Last night, he ate too many mince pies and it threw him off balance, making him hit his head inside the fireplace. So now, Santa cannot remember where he has hidden the naughty or nice list for this year! Mrs. Claus decided to hire the top rated festive detectives in all the world to help him find it (that’s you)!
Completion Time: ~45 minutes
Date Played: 12th December 2020
Party Size: 5
Recommended For: Christmas Parties & Get-Togethers in December
Fabulously festive and a wonderful hour spent over Zoom with friends I may not have otherwise seen this Christmas. Headlock Escape Rooms have perfected the art of puzzlebox escape rooms via Zoom! Although this game was originally designed to be posted to players, the online / digital format still works beautifully and makes an all round fantastic game. Cracking Christmas is not to be missed!
The Cracking Christmas story goes: You and your team travel to the North Pole in order to help Bob Christmas (our hilarious host) find and retrieve Santa’s Naughty and Nice list. Boy, does Santa take his security very seriously – but it makes sense! You wouldn’t want such an important document falling into the wrong hands.
In true Christmas spirit, you must then search the scene – there’s a chimney, an advent calendar, paintings on the wall, stockings, snow-globes, cookies – well, pretty much everything you’d expect to find at the North Pole, or the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie. Except unlike a Hallmark Christmas movie, each item has an intriguing puzzle to be solved that will slowly crack the Christmas case. Each puzzle as surprising and charming as the last!
Underpinning the story is the ever-present threat of whether you and your team will find themselves on the Naughty, or the Nice list. In fact, at at least one point in the game you get to make choices about whether an action you’ll do is naughty or nice. Play, and make your choices at your peril! * (I’m kidding, there’s absolutely no peril in this game)
Woven throughout the game are also a series of surprising tasks which we loved! Sing a Christmas song? Shout HO HO HO the best? Sit on Santa’s lap? (Yes, really!). It really elevates the game from a regular escape room, to an all round fun Christmas experience. If you’re still looking for an office Christmas activity, or something for the family to do remotely – honestly, look no further. Cracking Christmas will have the whole team in fits of laughter and walking away with a warm fuzzy glow.
In terms of puzzles, I would personally put this on the easy/medium end of the difficulty scale – but I’d preface this by saying that level is ‘just right’ for a game like this. Of course I may also have found it a little bit easier after the success of playing Headlock’s earlier game, The Wizard’s Apothecary. But regardless, this one is a great game for introducing a friend to the genre and it’s absolutely packed with things to do and fun to be had.
Overall, a real hidden gem of a game. I can’t recommend it enough! Be sure to book it before it finishes!
Cracking Christmas can be booked for £35 per team on Headlock Escape Rooms’ website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.