Headlock Escape Rooms: The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us | Review
Headlock Escape Rooms: The Keeper and the Fungus Among Us Review | The Keeper has awakened. This only happens every 1,000 years when the evil Paxillus is released from his mushroom prison. Your team, The Guardians, must help our hero defeat this dreaded Mushroom King and save the people of this land.
Date Played: 13th September 2021
Number of Players: 4
Time Taken: 80 minutes
One day, roughly 10 months ago, Joel (one of the creative geniuses behind Cracking Christmas and The Wizard’s Apothecary) was suddenly struck by the following pun:
I put the fun in fungi
Joel immediately turned to his partner and said, “OK we need to make a musical escape room out of this.“
The rest as they say, is history! Which is how our team consisting of Mairi, Al, Ash and Tasha came to be playing a remote avatar game curiously titled ‘The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us‘ one Monday evening. We had no idea what to expect, but within 5 minutes we were crying with laughter and within 10 minutes we were singing along to all the musical parts.
Keeper? Fungus? What’s Going On?
The Story of The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us is fairly simple…
In a mysterious land far, far away, the evil Mushroom King Paxillus awakes from a 1,000 year slumber and swears to turn every resident of the peaceful Toadstool Village into mushrooms. But not all is lost! To meet Paxillus’ challenge is a hero for all ages: The Keeper. This millennium, The Keeper is a curious, slightly sassy, five legged spider.
Through this puppet adventure, it was our job as players to guide The Keeper through the trials and tribulations, journeying across the land and solving puzzles.
Not ‘Mush Room’ For Error
In terms of game structure and puzzles, The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us follows the loose format of:
- Exciting video introducing what is happening
- An area of gameplay, with about 1-5 linear puzzles to solve
- Collect some cool and unique items which’ll be used later
- A (more often than not) musical outro
The types of puzzles players will encounter vary, but they’re also brilliantly creative and not something you’d encounter in a typical escape room style game. We found ourselves navigating puzzles which felt a lot more at home in an adventure RPG video game, such as rotating cubes in specific orders, or attacking a gang of street fighters in a very specific combination to ensure they could all be defeated in the right order and that you also wouldn’t run out of health.
It’s like the creators have taken a genre of video game, added puzzles, transposed the experience onto a miniature scene, and run the whole thing as a 90 minute escape room! And so many unique sets all built in a very small area no less! To call it creative would be the understatement of the year.
World’s Most Unique Digital Escape Room?
…Yeah, we’d say so.
There’s quite literally nothing quite like this on the market, and believe us – we’ve played a lot! It’s a cross between an adventure video game, a Dungeons and Dragons one shot campaign, a musical like Rocky Horror Picture Show, a hand puppet performance, and a kids TV show from the early 00s. If you like any of the aforementioned media, you’ve got to book this. Seriously, you won’t regret it. Go in with an open mind and an ambivalence towards mushrooms.
Joel and his partner have built the experience themselves from scratch and make use of several unique sets and a lot of wonderful video trickery to produce an all round fantastic immersive experience-come-show. At the end of our adventure, he took us behind the scenes showing us not only a few of the endings we didn’t unlock, but also exactly how much love and toil goes into setting up such an amazing set.
This is what good puzzle games are. They’re created by folks who love the escape room industry and put their absolute everything into making fun content for the rest of us to enjoy. Joel has nailed it, and The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us will go down in cult escape room history for may years to come. Make sure you book it while you still can, you’ll kick yourself some day, decades down the line when Joel has retired, if you don’t.
The Keeper & The Fungus Among Us can be booked by heading to Headlock Escape Rooms’ website here.