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Review: Curious Encounters - Escape Quest, Macclesfield

Room Story - from Escape Quest

Mr Copplestone aka “The Professor” is an inventor. His greatest invention is the world’s first time machine, built so he could travel through space and time to find interesting objects and life saving potions to sell in his curiosity shoppe.

Trials of the time machine have been taking place for many years and thanks to the brave testers, some who were unfortunately lost along the way, Mr Copplestone has a fully working and reliable time machine. Until…

Today something went wrong!

show more.... Mr Copplestone stepped into the time machine and set it to his required destination, all seemed to be working as usual. He pulled the switch to activate it and with a loud bang and a puff of smoke he was gone. The time machine’s vital equipment exploded and scattered into pieces around the shoppe.

As a failsafe measure Mr Copplestone had set an emergency portal to open in the future, which would allow rescuers to enter through it and into his Shoppe. The portal should have opened inside the institute of quantum mechanics Moscow. Clearly this also went wrong, as the portal has opened here in Escape Quest!

Enter through the portal and into 1873, find out where the professor went, fix and then programme the time machine correctly and bring him back. The time entry vortex looks weak and I’d say you only have about an hour before it closes. If that happens Mr Copplestone will be lost in space and time. This would mean that time machines will never be invented and cause the portal and everything inside it to be instantly vaporised.

Can you save him?

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Key Stats

Room NameCurious Encounters
VenueEscape Quest
LocationMacclesfield, UK
Date25/03/2018
Escape Time57:55
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5

Review

We’ve heard and read lots of good things about Escape Quest in Macclesfield so we decided to choose a game there to try it out for ourselves. The game that seemed to leave the greatest impression on most people was Curious Encounters. Reading the storyline on the website, it definitely intrigued us.

Escape Quest is based in an old mill building, a great setting for escape rooms. There was a perfect parking space right outside the door when we arrived. We were welcomed into the waiting area and given a thorough and enthusiastic briefing on the room. The owners of Escape Quest are clearly very passionate about what they do. We were given the option of playing competitively or playing just for fun (where you’re given plentiful clues and guaranteed to escape). There was only one answer for us, but we’ve never been given that option before which I think is a great idea for beginners.

Upon entering the room, we were immediately struck by the quality of the room and the many props that felt very fitting for a room set in 1873. Some of the furniture looked like genuine antiques, which gave the room a really authentic feel. We started with an initial search of the room, finding a few clues and hints that indicated puzzles we’d need to solve later in the game.

There were a number of puzzles based on riddles, observation and ordering that were each quite different and utilised many different elements of the room. These were really fun and got you to fully explore the room. All of these puzzles were a step towards a mini-finale in the first game area that we really enjoyed, involving lots of things we’d found in the room and all of the team. There are quite a number of padlocks in the room, but strangely, you don’t really feel like you’re simply going around unlocking padlocks as the puzzles you solve to obtain codes are very well integrated into the room.

In some rooms, there are puzzles that you prefer to others. There are usually at least one or two puzzles that annoy you. However, we all felt that Curious Encounters was incredibly consistent throughout with each puzzle offering an equal amount of enjoyment. There are a huge quantity of puzzles in this room, so there is an awful lot to get through in the 60 minutes.

After completing the first game area, we unlocked subsequent game areas and eventually discovered the time machine. We really enjoyed the look and feel of the time machine, it had all the pre-requisite knobs and levers with very appropriate theming for a room set in the 1800s. There are quite a number of things you have to find to get the time machine flying. There was a particularly amusing and different way of finding some of these things that we really enjoyed – you’ll know what I mean if you play the room.

One thing that really stood out in this room was the quality of the hosting. Escape Quest only run one room at a time so you get the full undivided attention of the host. The host knew exactly where we were in the room, providing us with the few clues we took via a screen at exactly the right moments. Everything in this room is operated manually by the host, but it really was seamless.

When we got to 5 minutes remaining, we still had a couple of things left to solve so I had a horrible feeling that we weren’t going to escape. Amazingly, everything came together before the final two minutes, leaving us with a mad dash for the exit.

We were all full of praise for this game. It’s one of our favourite games we’ve played. The theming, quantity of puzzles and overall quality of the room are exceptional. We had such a great time and we’ll definitely be back at Escape Quest to take on the rest of their rooms.

The team were Becky, Daniel and Beth.


Ratings



Overall A puzzle packed and well themed room that keeps you challenged from beginning to end.
Difficulty There are a lot of puzzles in this room to get through. It certainly wouldn’t be an easy game for beginners.
Fun It’s a really fun room with lots to see and a few different areas to explore.
Puzzles It’s one of the most puzzle packed games I’ve played and there’s a real mix of physical puzzles, riddles and searching to progress through the game.
Immersion The room is well themed, with lots of props suited to the time period the room is set in. It’s got a really authentic feel.
Surprises There are a few nice surprises in the game, but no massive “wow” moments. It’s a game that’s very consistently good throughout.

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