The 150-year-old house that belonged to the most famous illusionist Houdini is now a museum. You decide to go there and learn some of his greatest tricks and illusions. Walking around, your curiosity leads you to a secret room, one in which no one has set foot for over a century…
Rating: Mysterious & Quirky!
Completion Time: 35 minutes
Date Played: 23rd of July 2020
Party Size: 2
Houdini’s Secret Room is visually INCREDIBLE. It was the first thing I noticed, those illustrations. It’s quite rare to experience a fully illustrated play at home escape game that does so in such an immersive and high quality way. But does the game play live up to the gorgeous designs? Absolutely! In all ways I found Houdini’s Secret Room quirky and fun. How on Earth is this game not as popular as it should be? It’s going right to the top of my list of games I’ll be recommending to my friends.
One big thing I should pause to mention before I continue however: Houdini’s Secret Room is an ‘Escape Room Kit’, meaning ultimately it’s designed to be set up by one player and played by others. In our game, we didn’t quite have that luxury – there’s only two of us. I did the ‘setting up’, then where a spoiler came up I quietly stepped back and let player 2 solve the rest. It worked well though, so don’t let that stop you from giving it a go if you’re a smaller group like us.
Illustrations aside, the game play is straightforward! Houdini’s Secret Room comes in 3 distinct parts that are well written and give helpful directions of what to do. You find yourself locked in Houdini’s mysterious room. The notes he has left behind first point you to a box, then to a window, then to a final lock to escape (I’m probably over-simplifying it here but it works!). The game will have you cut bits, staple things, glue sections, and assemble 3D puzzles in a logical and exciting way.
In particular, Houdini’s Secret Room has a puzzle that forces you to answer the correct way first time. Unlike a real life escape room, where you’d probably attempt everything before finding the correct way, the curious way of phrasing the question really causes you to pause. I’m trying to explain a puzzle without giving away any spoilers here – it’s tricky! The point being, this game does some very cool things with the ‘play at home’ format which wouldn’t work in the real world. I appreciate the creativity.
Overall, Houdini’s Secret Room was great fun! About as close as an escape room experience you can play from the comfort of your own home. I’m super excited to see if this company makes any more play at home games in the future.
Houdini’s Secret Room can be purchased for $29 USD on the Houdini’s Secret Room website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.