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Review: The Invitation - Time Race, Bury

Room Story - from Time Race

Professor Curtis Lockwood, adventurer extraordinaire, that was how he used to introduce himself to everyone. You remember stories he would tell of his adventures around the world, all the treasure he brought back, the damsels he saved. He was a hero to you.

It had been months since you last heard from him which is why it surprised you when his butler called you and told you to meet him at the mansion.

You arrive to find the place empty, no sign or Curtis or the butler. As you look around you remember about the secret gallery he used to take you as a kid. Quickly you head inside and find a letter addressed to you.

What secrets could this letter contain? What happened to Professor Curtis Lockwood?

Key Stats

Room NameThe Invitation
VenueTime Race
LocationBury, UK
Escape Time48:47
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5


After the new owners of Time Race have taken over, they’ve reworked both of their games. We previously played Vault 17 and really enjoyed it so we were excited to go back and play their reworked game: “The Invitation”.

The game is centred around a mysterious invitation to the home of an adventurous Professor you haven’t heard from for quite some time. However, there’s not a great deal throughout the game that particularly progresses or elaborates the story further. When you first enter the game, it looks the part though with ornate carpets, light fixtures and decoration.

There’s a unique feature in this room that has been modified in usage from the original game. This feature leads to quite an unusually designed room with a very sparsely furnished space and the majority of the action centred around 2 walls within the room. This sparse furnishing makes the space feel less immersive than it could do.

As we started to search the room, we uncovered many hidden objects that allowed us to start work on the various puzzles we’d noticed. We required several clues to find one of the hiding places and this held up our progress for a while, but once we found this we entered a steady flow of puzzle solving.

This room’s strength is its puzzles. There were quite a variety of different puzzles from “jigsaw” style, decryption, sound and mazes. We had great fun solving them and we were kept enjoyably busy throughout the game. We felt that everything in the room flowed well, with all puzzles logical, unambiguous and satisfying to solve. A word of warning: if you’re sensitive to flashing lights this definitely isn’t a room for you as there’s a puzzle that uses strobe lighting extensively!

There’s a nice ending sequence to the game that cleverly reveals further puzzles before revealing the exit. We escaped with a pleasing time of over 10 minutes remaining.

The Invitation was a fun game with a strong emphasis on puzzling, however, it wasn’t strong on storyline or immersion. The space feels a little bit sparse and the action concentrated around a small part of the room. But, if you’re a fan of varied and well-constructed puzzles, it’s worth a play.

The team were Beth, Daniel and Becky.


Overall A game with a unique element we’ve never seen before and some fun puzzles.
Difficulty The puzzles flow well and we found them all very logical. There are a few tricky things to find in the room that tripped us up.
Fun This game's strength is its puzzles and we enjoyed searching and solving things in the room. It also has a rather fun and different ending sequence.
Puzzles There are a nice variety of puzzles in the room that kept us entertained.
Immersion Although the room is quite well decorated, it’s a very sparse space and not strong on story.
Surprises The room doesn’t have any big surprises; it largely takes place in the same space.