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Review: Wrong Turn - Compendium Escape Rooms, Bury

Room Story - from Compendium Escape Rooms

You and your friends are driving along route 66 when you notice your gas running low, a friend suggests to make a turn at the next set of crossroads to see if there is a gas station… you don’t find a gas station but decide to explore the one place you have discovered by taking that WRONG TURN…. Will you escape or will you spend your life regretting that wrong turn?


Key Stats

Room NameWrong Turn
VenueCompendium
LocationBury, UK
Date09/12/2018
Escape Time46:58
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5

Review

Compendium is a new venue in Bury that’s only been open for less than 2 months at the time of writing. The place is designed and run by a couple of real enthusiasts, and our game history tells us that this usually results in excellent games. Bury is only a small town, but it’s strangely become a place with 3 different escape room companies (the others being Time Race and Trapped In). From our first visit, I can safely say that Compendium is an excellent addition to the town.

Compendium is hidden away on a side street not far from the main Bury high street behind a rather unassuming entrance. But head upstairs and enter the waiting area and you already start to see the effort they’ve put into the venue with the theming and props in the waiting area. After receiving a standard safety briefing, an introduction to the story of the room and a choice of how many torches we wanted to take in with us (we chose one each), we headed to a shack in rural Alabama to attempt to find fuel for our broken down vehicle.

Before I talk anymore about the room, I want to emphasise that this game is a creepy game, but it’s not a scary game. There aren’t any live actors or jump scares in the room, there’s just a creepy storyline and lots of creepy props (think severed limbs, chainsaws, etc.). My two team mates are complete wimps and they loved it. If you’ve seen the trailer for this game on the Compendium website, it’s a great trailer, but I think they’ve made the game look scarier than it is. I actually messaged them to check that there weren’t any live actors or jump scares after seeing the trailer as it seems to imply that there might be. Truth be told, they’ve actually done an excellent job of creating a horror themed room but not making it scary or inaccessible.

The game starts outside the creepy door to an abandoned looking shack, you’re first task is finding your way in which should be something most teams complete within seconds. Once you’re inside, you find yourself in a dimly lit, damp smelling and dirty kitchen with lots of spaces to explore. There’s a great backing track of creepy country music that really adds to the atmosphere. This part of the room required lots of searching to unlock a few obvious padlocks in the room. We did quite well in our search and only required one hint for a cleverly obscured code. This is allowed us to progress beyond the room and explore deeper. A word of warning, there is some crawling required but they’ve put some decent padding down to make it as comfortable as possible.

Now I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but beyond the initial room there are several spaces you get to explore with each taking a more sinister turn. Again, the level of theming and immersion in these further spaces is excellent and there are a few really good on theme puzzles. Your primary goal becomes very clear when you see several canisters of “gas” locked away behind several padlocks. There is a slightly creepy sound you can hear in one of the rooms that left my team mates feeling a little apprehensive on the few occasions I had to leave the room – this was because the clue TV was in the first room so it required some crawling backwards and forwards to get clues. The room does have 2 clue TVs, but it probably could benefit from a 3rd to reduce the amount of crawling time.

As you progress towards the end of the game, the tempo of the game increases with a few quick fire puzzles that draw on things you’ve learned about the inhabitants of the creepy abode. I really like it when rooms strongly tie the story together with the clues. The increase in tempo gives you a real growing sense of unease and makes you want to escape the room quickly. There’s a great puzzle at the end of the game that slows you right down and throws you into a panicked frenzy (think of the classic horror film sequences where somebody is fumbling for their keys but just can’t reach them quickly).

After solving the final puzzle, we flew through the door with a jerry can in hand to find our freedom once again. We were absolutely amazed by the immersion and intricacy of the room – even more so because it’s the venue’s first room. They’ve done an amazing job at creating a creepy, atmospheric and exciting room with a great storyline that develops as you progress. The flow of the game is excellent, with lots of clear signposting of clues and well-structured puzzles. We really enjoyed this game and highly recommend it. And even more importantly, for only the second time we’ve ended up on a leaderboard in a satisfying 2nd place! We’ll see how long that lasts….

The team were Daniel, Beth and Becky.

Ratings


Overall An atmospheric and incredibly immersive game that keeps you gripped for your whole time in the room. The creepy theming keeps you on edge for the whole game as you explore many different spaces.
Difficulty It’s a very logically constructed game with good flow between the puzzles. There’s a lot to get through, but there’s good sign posting within the game.
Fun The game has a great storyline and this is key to the fun you have playing this game. More and more of the story reveals itself as you explore deeper and deeper.
Puzzles The puzzles in this game are primarily padlock based, but there’s lots of clever ways the codes are hidden and uncovered throughout the game. All the puzzles were well suited to the theme of the game.
Immersion The use of music, smells, props and quality of the sets themselves are amazing in this game. The attention to detail really is fantastic.
Surprises This room is packed full of surprises and gives you a real sense of exploration and discovery.

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