Having survived the Butcher’s lair it was straight to our second game of the evening, Curio. Having heard it contains twists and turns, I was very much looking forward to finding out what made this game stand out from all the others.
Be careful what you wish for
An Englishman’s home is his castle. Or his curio if he’s a treasure hunter who’s spent a lifetime collecting trinkets from all four corners of the globe. Alexander Curio was a true eccentric. A legendary explorer who left no stone unturned in his search for gems and gimcracks. To him, life was a gamble, with fate to be decided on a whim or a flip of a coin. A mysterious loner who loved to raise the stakes until they could be raised no higher.
Alexander’s life was one big puzzle. Only a select few ever got beyond his front door. You’re about to join their exclusive ranks. At first glance, Curio looks like the home of an explorer whose passion for chasing treasures has taken him from the Thames to Timbuktu. But the clue lies in the name. Secrets lie within her seemingly innocent walls and trinkets hold the key to untold riches. Fortune favours the brave but riches come at a price.
Who is the man behind the enigma? Was his death the result of some cruel, cosmic irony? And does he really want to share the treasures hidden away within the labyrinth he calls home?
This is no ordinary home. Alexander is anything but an ordinary man. Now he’s inviting you into his world. But once you enter, there’s no going back
So here goes! How to write a review of a room without giving away any of the magic of the room and therefore spoiling its secrets for those who haven’t played it!
Curio is unlike any other room I’ve played. It’s both compact and vast, linear yet complex and disorientates in the most pleasing of ways. The game plays out like a real adventure just as Alexander Curio intended and the way you interact with the room is nothing but amazing. Again, Escapologic have come up with a room that contains no combination locks and your actions simply cause a butterfly effect as you make your way through the game. It really is a joy to behold. Deemed to be Escapologic’s hardest game, Curio really does challenge you with a great mix of physical, logic and observation puzzles and, unlike so many linear games, requires every member of your team to be fully involved in solving the riddles you are presented with. With our team of 5, we found everyone had something to do and, although at times in a smaller space, there was enough room for us all. Be aware that this would be a tricky room for a smaller group as some puzzles require you to span across several spaces with a doorway in between. Teams of two could certainly find this a struggle but if they were able to make progress quickly it is more than manageable. Another word of warning to some that may suffer from motion sickness. The room can disorientate at times and if you suffer from motion sickness, there may be times when you feel a little queasy. It’ll pass soon enough and the pay off really is remarkable. The twist to this room is ingenious and so unique, unlike anything we’ve played.Some say this twist is a gimmick and doesn’t need it. I couldn’t disagree more and for me, makes this game stand out. Plaudits to Escapologic’s designers for something so ingenious and inventive. If I have a minor complaint to the room it is that sometimes we felt a little like we weren’t sure we had completed everything for us to make progress, it was a little like we’d done it by accident. It left us baffled a couple of times as to what exactly we had done in order to trigger something. It didn’t detract from the room at all,just confused our poor brains.
The in room hints come via the radio in the style of a shipping forecast. It’s a very different system that works really well.
Curio gives you the feeling of an eccentric man who has clearly been collecting for sometime. As soon as you walk into the room, there is an eclectic mix of many things and at first glance who knows what they are there for! The great thing about the room is that almost everything in it is interactive with the game in some way. There is nothing in there that could come across as a red herring or is superfluous to the game. The theming is to the highest levels and really does immerse you in the world they’ve created. Escapologic’s passion for escape rooms is very evident from the design of the game. It’s the first time I’ve played in a non-square style room but this is important for the overall game. The styling of the room is first rate and how they have used props and decor in order to keep you in the world of Alexander Curio and also make sure the props fit the puzzle are incredible. There are some very ingenious ways of using everyday items to solve puzzles. How they even thought they would work before building them is beyond me!
This is such a unique room and going into it now little about it just makes it all the more special. Escapologic have created a fully immersive experience that is full of twists and turns. It is their hardest game to date so expect to spend some time having to really think about what comes next but it’s worth it for the pay off of what you get to experience. To really stand a chance of completing the room, you really need a minimum of three people.
Escaped: 48 minutes