The host really pulls this experience together and makes a good room great. Lots to do with no linearity in a very small space.
To get the minor grumble out of the way first, this place is pretty out of the way in London terms. It’s about 15 minutes on foot from South Wimbledon station. You can also walk from Morden, but you shouldn’t. Especially in winter. Nevertheless, Team Ninty trekked out to the outer limits of Zone 3 on a bright Sunday afternoon.
Professor QB met us at the entrance and we were asked to wait just inside the door for him; he asked us to wait and came back about 10 minutes later. (I suspect he was resetting the room.) He took us upstairs to a briefing room and explained the premise of the Mystery Cube, and our goal.
We were asked to lock up all our possessions and put on white lab coats and name badges before proceeding. (I was given the key to the lock to take with me.)
We were presented on entry with a pretty compact space. A couple of simple “gimme” puzzles are on show to start with, whilst some more involved ones take a bit more work. We fanned out across the room and each were attracted to different puzzles. There were four very unique “wow” puzzles; the rest were pretty run of the mill.
As it was our team’s first outing (and I was the only person with more than one room under my belt) we were a little rough. I had enjoined everyone on the way in to “say what you see, and say what you do”, but in the excitement it was all too easy not to do that and to instead just plough into things. This team dynamic made for a lot of “have you looked at this?” and “yeah we’ve used that code already”. It wasn’t too injurious to our performance and it wasn’t the most taxing of rooms.
The timer was particularly beautiful in this room, and I only noticed it when we were nearly done.
Hints were very low-tech. There was a time schedule (not revealed in advance) on which we would be offered hints if needed, though as it ran, Professor QB delayed our first hint until 6 minutes later than usual.
Special mention to our host, Professor QB, who was wonderfully laconic and humorous throughout, slipping in and out of character at just the right times. He noted down as “best quotes” some of the things we said during the game and played them back to us when we got out – in return, a couple from him:
- nintendomad [by phone]: “I might be bringing 5 other people, I know the website says maximum 5 people in the cube though. What can I do?”
QB: “Unfriend someone?”
- Me: I’m just going to put all the stuff we’ve used over here.
QB: [telepathically] “No please really don’t do that, it’s going to be hell to reset the room!”
We escaped with 18 minutes to spare having used two clues; the first was definitely needed because we’d missed something that was completely non-obvious. We would probably have worked out the final puzzle without a clue, I think, but would have taken a load more time faffing about.
Uniquely (to date) amongst the rooms I’ve played, our host gave us a feedback and debrief as we left. He had a worksheet with each of the codes and keys which was marked off as we found/used it. He had taken a lot of notes on our progress and told us how we had been doing compared to other players. As mentioned above, he also read back some of the best quotes of things we’d said whilst playing, which was quite hilarious.
Accessibility: On the first floor, no lift. Wheelchair users have been accommodated on a number of occasions but may struggle in the limited space. At least one party member will need to be able to hear.
Capacity: Professor QB wasn’t kidding when he said we’d need to defriend someone rather than attempt to play with 6. You would end up falling over one another. 5 was fine. The Cube takes bookings of as few as 2 people, and I think a 2-person team could do all right.
Cost: We paid £90 for a group of 5.
Photo: A bit batty this one, lots of brightly-coloured wigs, hats, glasses and other daft accessories to wear. Photo was not sent to us and I have not found it on their site. (Edit: The Professor did warn at the time that they were heavily backlogged but based on an email, they say they will get to it soon.)
Getting there: As mentioned, 15 minutes on foot from South Wimbledon station. Free parking in the area – good if you’re coming from south or east.
After a request from Mystery Cube staff and in line with our policies on editing reviews, we edited this review on 12 August to:
- Update the Accessibility section
- Remove references to a couple of parts of the experience which we didn’t consider to be spoilers but they do – all I can say is our “spoiler radars” are calibrated differently!