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Review: The Curse of The Golden Lion - Wirral Escape Rooms, Wallasey

Room Story - from Wirral Escape Rooms

Famous adventurer Hathaway Brown has mysteriously contacted you. Being past his prime he has picked you and your team for a very important mission....Hathaway once spent some time in the Jungles of South America, where he claims he found the Golden Lion. The only problem is, he left it in his jungle shack, which was padlocked up in a way that only Hathaway could execute... with puzzles & riddles!

Only someone of outstanding wit, with an adventurer’s heart and a keen brain could solve the puzzles, reclaim the Golden Lion and escape the curse... Are you brave enough to answer the call of adventure?


Key Stats

Room NameThe Curse of the Golden Lion
VenueWirral Escape Rooms
LocationWallasey, UK
Date17/11/2018
Escape Time58:52
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 4

Review

After completing Christmas Confusion, we went to play Curse of the Golden Lion straight after. We were warned that this was a very different type of room and the level of difficulty would be massively ramped up. The warnings weren’t wrong! After receiving our briefing, we ventured into the rainforest to find the shack, break the curse and bring back the Golden Lion – and a few of Hathaway’s personal belongings if we managed it.

As soon as we entered, we were blown away by the impressive theming. We loved the rainforest setting and enjoyed the first few puzzles searching the space and finding our way into the shack beside us. They’ve done a great job of making the room feel like an adventure. The journey through the rainforest is a really nice touch to start the game.

Once we entered the shack, the impressive theming continued. The shack felt realistic in its proportions and the materials used in its “construction”. The shack is full of lots of props and items with an adventure theme. They’ve managed to include a really large number of props without making the game feel cluttered or overwhelming.

We noticed several puzzles straightaway and separated to begin solving them. In a first for us, there was a smell-based puzzle that was nicely put together and very clear – it’s always exciting to find a style of puzzle you haven’t encountered before. The majority of the puzzles were padlock based, but clever and varied methods were used to discover the codes. There was one puzzle that stood out as particularly different that involved a little bit of ancient magic and communication with the gods – this was a really nice interactive puzzle that we enjoyed.

We’d managed to work through quite a number of puzzles at speed and had made excellent progress in the game, however, we started to slow down. And once we slowed down, we didn’t really speed back up again with a series of silly mistakes that left us a little bit disappointed with our performance.

Firstly, there’s a book in the room with a series of extra challenges that allow you to unlock Hathaway’s four personal belongings. These are bonus challenges and aren’t necessary to escape the room, but obviously there’s a great sense of satisfaction if you manage to collect some of these as well. We thought this was a great idea to make the room suitable for all. Completing the main challenge in the allotted time is completely achievable, but unlocking the additional items ensures you’re not rushing out of the room with tonnes of time to spare. One of the team had briefly glanced at the book and then set it to one side half-open. As a result, the rest of us didn’t even look at it. We were therefore more than half-way through the game before we even looked at the book – a major faux pas.

We then naturally split up with the other 2 working on finding the Golden Lion and our escape, and me solely focusing on the extra challenges. This was our second mistake. The other 2 got really stuck on the final puzzle in the game, spending over 15 minutes trying to solve it. We’ve found in the past that when somebody is immersed in solving a problem, including somebody else and trying to explain it just slows the team down so I stayed out of it. This turned out to be a bit of a tactical error because the puzzle really would have benefited from another brain with a different perspective.

Whilst the other 2 struggled with the final puzzle, I also struggled with the extra items. I 90% solved one of the puzzles but then gave up far too easily and moved onto a different one I felt was easy to solve. I didn’t read the instructions properly and wasted a load of time. Doing it on my own meant I had to write everything down and transit backwards and forwards across the room reading the board and trying combinations at the other side. As soon as the other 2 had finished the final puzzle, they instantly spotted the error I’d made and we solved one of the additional puzzles really quickly with the benefit of 3 people multi-tasking.

However, we didn’t get much further as our time had run out. We completed a very quick and satisfying final task to escape the room with The Golden Lion and 1 out of 4 of Hathaway’s personal items (his compass).

Despite the fact we felt very disappointed in our dopey mistakes and tactical errors, we really enjoyed everything about the room. It had great music, brilliant props, challenging puzzles, immersive theming and a good story – everything we love about an escape room. It really is a must play room that we highly recommend.

The team were Beth, Daniel and Becky.

Ratings


Overall A room that delivers an epic sense of exploration with great theming and tonnes of puzzles – a must play room for all enthusiasts. 
Difficulty There’s a lot to do in the allocated time, so there aren’t going to be many teams that escape with lots of time to spare. The room cleverly uses extra challenges to ensure you’ve constantly got something to work towards. 
Fun We really enjoyed the game and it kept us fully entertained and immersed for the full hour. 
Puzzles The puzzles in this game are cleverly woven together and varied throughout. There are quite a number of padlock-based puzzles, but there’s a few different and mystical style puzzles to keep things varied. 
Immersion This was one of the most impressively themed games we’ve played. It genuinely feels like you’re on a journey through a rainforest. When you enter the shack, it feels very real and correctly proportioned. Great theming. 
Surprises The game had a real wow factor, that kept us surprised from the beginning until the end. 

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