Posted in Hatton Escape Rooms

The Outfitters – Hatton Escape Rooms

Game 11

As part of our escape room double header, we played the second game to makes its move from Tulley’s, The Outfitters.

THE STORY

It’s 1926 here in Chicago, and depression is still rife. Jobs are few and far between and the Prohibition has been in force for six years now. Everyone still drinks, nothin’ has changed. But now the mob control the streets, the supply and the money. The influence of the Outfit is far reaching. Most of the cops are even under their control. Who can put them in the joint? You can, that’s who.

The Commissioner has put together a special task force of straight, trusted cops and you’re on the team. You’ve spent the last few months infiltrating their network and now tonight is the night to get the evidence you need to put them away forever. But it won’t be easy, your cover might be blown!

Do you have what it takes?

THE GAMEPLAY

There seems to be a similar format to the way that Hatton (Tulley’s) rooms work. You begin in the first room of the game for your intro and then you can begin to search as soon as the time begins. I previously mentioned in my Mutiny review that this can bring some issues with members of the group wanting to search before the intro video ends, here can be a similar issue. But, the advantage is that you can get straight on having already surveyed the land as soon as that timer starts. The game gives you some very quick wins and because of this, you feel like you are making immediate progress. The first section can be a little cramped for large groups and we found we did fall over each other as a 6 to begin with but the idea is to move out of the first area fairly swiftly into a much more expansive game. The game can be tackled by 2 people but as with other Tulley’s games, this could be a big ask. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 or 4 for this room.

The gameplay here is less frantic than Mutiny. There is more thinking to do in this space and it requires less physical activity. There is still a a lot to do and it takes place over a pretty vast area which resulted in us having to assign tasks to team members in different rooms while other worked on different puzzles. One of the nice elements to the game is that there is a need for searching that will result in collecting a number of items that really don’t come together until the end of the game. It’s very much a case of remembering where you put them all and a less organised group can easily lose one somewhere on the way.

Puzzles were varied. Some of them were your standard escape room faire but it also offered some alternatives to the norm. There was a really nice pub themed puzzle which required team members to work together. It was superbly themed and created a real moment of interaction between the team. There isn’t a single puzzle in the room that makes you think it’s there to bridge a gap, everything fits its surrounding and doesn’t make you question why it might be there.

As for a clue system, the room employs a voice over. Kudos to our host Karin who, not only allowed us to play the room trial and error, only helping when we really needed it, but she did it in a perfect Chicago gangster voice!

DECOR

No expensive has been spared on the design of this room (like we should be suprised!) I think the shop front at the start of the game has the plushest carpet I’ve ever seen in an escape room. Once the game expands, the attention to details is extraordinary. You feel that you’ve really stepped into 1920s Chicago. The sourcing of the props they have in here must have been a nightmare as every details was exact. I don’t want to give away too much detail but you can see the real passion for these rooms in the way that they have been built as well as the painstaking work that has gone into the recreation of the era.

OVERALL

Although maybe not as exciting to play as the venue’s other game Mutiny, this is still a very solid experience and ranks up there as one of the top games we have played. It’s puzzles, theme and decor marry together perfectly to create a seamless experience. There is no doubt that these guys are at the top of their game and are one of the companies to look up to in the industry.

Escaped: 38:27 minutes

DISCLAIMER: We did not pay to play this room but this in no way affects our opinion of the room.

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****

Posted in Hatton Escape Rooms

Mutiny – Hatton Escape Rooms

Game 10

Having only been open a week, we were invited to take on both the Tulley’s rooms at Hatton Adventure World. First off for us was their pirate theme game, Mutiny.

THE STORY

It’s the year of our lord 1672, and you be right in the height o’ the golden age o’ piracy…

After years of sailin’ the high seas, you and your crew have succeeded in your fair share of ambushes, and as a result – your ship is teamin’ with bounty.

Yet you’re still suffering beneath the cruel wrath o’ Captain Starling – a notoriously bloodthirsty buccaneer, and your shipmates have decided you all shall take matters into your own hands. After all… you fought for the gold, so the gold is yours for the taking, aye?

Once the old seadog has retreated to his berth for the night, you make your move. Get in, get the treasure and get out. You won’t have long before he starts to stir – and Starling shows no mercy to ANY soul…

THE GAMEPLAY

Where do I begin? There is a lot to play here. The room is full of puzzles and there are a huge variety of them. This room is very physical and requires you to visit a pretty big space. Not only that, it requires you to visit each one more than once and at times, this meant having to remember which part of which room we still had to complete. There is a huge variety of puzzles in Mutiny and each of them will cater for at least one person in your group. Some of the puzzles in the game wouldn’t look out of place in the Crystal Maze and their co-operative style means really working together as a team to make progress. We found communication to be key. There are several multi step puzzles that require you to keep tabs on your team mates to make sure you’ve not been over something someone has already done and there are times where you really could end up a long way from each other. Now, the rooms website does state that it’s a room that can be done with a minimum of 2. While there is no doubt a fit and agile couple could complete this, there is a serious amount to get through for two people. I would suggest a minimum of 4 people would certainly make this room more feasible. We played as a 6 and I can say that I only really saw part of the room. In fact, I’d go as far to say that I could go back and play again, avoid the puzzles I solved this time and enjoy it just as much by completing something different. There is at least one puzzle in here that would certainly be easier with more than one pair of hands. Our clue system, a very friendly parrot named Polly, squawked a couple of times to keep us on track but we managed to complete the room with very few clues.

With regards to this review, the room is still being worked on and I’m sure there are things that will be tweaked over time. We did nearly reach the outcome of one vital puzzle quite early on only for Polly to tell us to leave it until later. I guess, this didn’t cause us an issues but putting these items early on in the game may result in this being a regular issue.

The quality and size of the puzzles were phenomenal. It meant that they felt pretty epic and gave a real sense of satisfaction. The beauty of the game is that you do feel a sense of achievement almost immediately. With some rooms you can be stood around for 5 minutes without really feeling you’ve got anywhere. Not here. In Mutiny your progress is almost immediate and there wasn’t a single point that we felt we were clueless in how to proceed. It did mean an element of self control though, something we lack a little of. Your intro briefing happens in the room itself. Our wonderful host, Anna, made it very clear to us that we couldn’t start until the intro video has stopped and the timer has appeared on the screen. This is so hard when you can see some much around you that you know you need to grab. It can mean that you don’t always concentrate on the story being told and means that the point of what you are doing gets lost a little.

DECOR

This is hands down the most stunning room we’ve ever played. It’s clear that no expense has been spared in its creation. Immersive doesn’t seem to do it justice. I forgotten how may times one of our group squealed in excitement or shouted ‘wow’ in amazement. You genuinely feel like you are in the world of pirates and not in a building in the middle of the Warwickshire countryside. Every inch of this room is themed and to the highest spec possible. Many rooms try to claim of “movie quality” set but this really is. Every prop is appropriate and ever puzzle is in keeping with its environment. It is going to take a lot to find a better themed pirate room in the UK in my opinion. Just wow!

OVERALL

Potentially our favourite game to date. The level of details, the gameplay and the puzzle content is the perfect marriage and creates a fully immersive, enjoyable environment. This is what as escape room should be about. Fun and engaging and a feeling of value for money even if you escape well under the time. It’ll provide a challenge for beginners but a really fun ride for enthusiasts. Today, we’ve been spoiled!

Escaped: 37 minutes

DISCLAIMER: We did not pay to play this room but this in no way affects our opinion of the room.

Theme *****

Decor *****

Gameplay *****

Difficulty *****

Overall *****