Clue Adventures – Book of Secrets

Summary
Chock-full of puzzles, a room where if it isn’t nailed down (and maybe if it is) it’s a clue. Great build, wonderful host, and originality of theme. Just a little over-stuffed.

Review
This venue had been quite a while coming, and it seemed like months ago that I signed up to a mailing list which promised a reduction in price when they opened. The email jogged the memory and I put it onto Team Amaze’s list.

As the story goes, a legendary magician’s apartment in London is being demolished in an hour, and you are tasked with extracting his legendary book of secrets from the apartment before it was demolished.

Arriving we were greeted by our host, the owner, who was very interested in making small talk whilst we waited for everyone to be ready. Before long we were in and underway, with the message that everything is a clue – and it is! There was a wide range of puzzles, most being combination-lock based. Several puzzles were quite ingenious and not anything like I’d seen before.

It was clear when we were making progress, even though the progress was not necessarily fast, and the game mixed puzzles that you could immediately solve once you knew what to do with ones that required a bit more effort, and with ones where we had several false starts even though the answer was right in front of us.

One minor slip in that the hard hats — part of the experience as there was a demolition site theme — were abruptly handed in by the host part way through because he’d forgotten to give them to us.

You really needed to look everywhere and at everything, and watch every little detail, in order to succeed in this. We also had the chance to perform a real life magic trick. Some items were consumable; everything made sense.

Outcome
We escaped in 54 minutes having been given about 16 hints — which are supplied by the game master via a screen. Almost all of the hints were necessary. We were all appropriately challenged and rarely left with nothing to do.

In numbers
Overall: 8/10
Difficulty: 10/10
Theming: 7/10
Host: 8/10
Wow: 7/10

Can there be too much of a good thing? In this case, I think so: the sheer volume of puzzles meant that a pretty substantial stream of hints was needed to steer us through. I think extending the time to 75 minutes would allow people to complete it at a less than completely breakneck pace; alternatively, stripping down a few of the puzzles would help.

Other details
Accessibility: Fully accessible, yay! You will need a couple of members who are ambulant and can see normally.

Alerts: UV, one (well-flagged) section where you can fail the room by messing up

Capacity: The sole room takes 2-6 players. The owner advises that a new couples-only room is under construction. Open Thursday-Sunday.

Cost: We had an opening discount and paid a very reasonable £80 for five players. It looks like the price has now been increased modestly to £28 per player for 2 up to £24 per player for 6, with the price per player decreasing by a quid each time you add someone else.

Photo: Taken at the start and printed whilst we were playing so we could take a copy each home.

Getting there: 10 minutes or so on foot from Mile End (District and Central lines). Also walkable from Limehouse (National Rail and DLR) and Westferry (DLR).

Website: http://clueadventures.com/

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