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Review: Crux Codicillus - The Escaporium, Halifax

Room Story - from The Escaporium

The King of the Illuminati has been murdered! Solve the case or it is curtains for us all!


Key Stats

Room NameCrux Codicillus
VenueThe Escaporium
LocationHalifax, UK
Date17/02/2019
Escape Time54:07
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5

Review

We’ve played both of The Escaporium’s other games and really loved them. We’ve wanted to go and play Crux Codicillus for quite some time and one quiet Sunday afternoon we decided to make an impromptu last minute booking. Given our love for their other games, we went with very high expectations…

As always, the game started with an outline of the story. At a meeting of the Illuminati, the leader Plato has been murdered. We (also members of the Illuminati) were given the task to investigate his murder and find the murder weapon, the murderer and country they’re from. Lots to do for a Sunday afternoon!

This game has one of the more unusual starts. Enrobed in our Illuminati garb, we each took a seat around the polished dark wood boardroom table and received a video briefing from an Illuminati member about what had happened. It’s a great start that makes you feel very much part of the story. After the introduction, we set about our investigation.

The room we were in had lots of dark wood furniture and various ornamental decorations around the room befitting an Illuminati boardroom. There’s lot of searching to do in this room with some clever hiding spaces and some obvious hiding spaces we were too daft to spot. Almost every element in the room is used in a puzzle at some point, but it’s all disguised in a way that doesn’t make you feel immediately overwhelmed. It’s only as you explore that it becomes obvious what you need to do. We needed a few hints via the TV screen to draw our attention occasionally to things we’d missed!

The Escaporium are great at making clever puzzles and this room is no exception. Most of the puzzles involve finding something, arranging or decoding it and then unlocking. It’s this arranging and decoding that they manage to make feel so different between every puzzle. We were astounded by some of the clever ways they’ve managed to weave clues and puzzles into the room.

After we’d completed the boardroom, we found the key to a 2nd room where the game began to feel quite different. At this point we’d eliminated a lot of things from our investigation and began to narrow in on a suspect. This is when it feels like the suspect begins to fight back. The game becomes increasingly word driven with lots of messages from the killer, taunting us and cajoling us. It all becomes increasingly amusing, with a particular highlight of mine searching for information on “Illumipedia”. We needed a few hints again to help with our rubbish searching skills.

After you’ve discovered the killers identity, the game has a great ending with a sudden surprise that leads to a fast pace series of puzzles that allow you to escape the room. We were also running very short on time so this added to the tension. We managed to get through the puzzles quickly and escape to freedom.

The Escaporium have done it again with another great room full of character, storyline and great puzzles. We really enjoyed the excellent flow and variety of puzzles that kept us fully entertained. Even though the room is simply furnished, it feels like a very immersive game. The way it’s put together, it all feels very plausible and I must admit I’ve been doing in depth research to try and find out more about the Illuminati underbelly of West Yorkshire. Thanks to The Escaporium for giving us our way in.

The team were Beth, Daniel and Becky.

Ratings

Overall Another fantastic room from The Escaporium. Great theming, brilliant storyline and an array of really fun puzzles. Not to mention we got to wear robes.
Difficulty This is a puzzle packed room that will test all of your puzzling skills – expect to be challenged!
Fun It’s an extremely well executed game of “real life” Cluedo with lots of humour and great puzzles – a really fun game!
Puzzles Every Escaporium game we’ve played has been really strong on puzzles – this game is no exception. They always seem to create puzzles that feel very original.
Immersion The Piece Hall is the perfect setting for a dark wood Illuminati board room. It all feels weirdly real.
Surprises This is a game that keeps surprising you as you uncover more and more to solve the mystery.

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