London, Time Run

Time Run – The Game is Now

From https://www.thegameisnow.com/

Don your deerstalker and dive into an all-new mystery brought to you by series creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, in collaboration with Time Run, renowned escape room pioneers.

Enter into the world of Sherlock with immersive sets and environments from the show, as you work together as a team to solve mysteries and puzzles before time runs out.

 Play the detective in this brand new Sherlock case featuring original content from the stars of the show including Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and more.

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu, Ros

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Played – 13/1/19

(Reviewed by Ster)

Time Run

As we’ve come to expect from Time Run, the set up for this game was incredible! The opticians that we started in genuinely looked like a real shop and as we had our initial briefing we could see people outside peering in at the glasses on display. Our game hosts were also great, in character and entertaining as they took us through our briefings. The attention to detail and design of this place was absolutely brilliant, including a fantastically decorated bar at the end where we sat and had a drink after finishing.

The Room

The briefing process of this room is part of the game, so we were first led through a maze of black corridors for our initial ‘eye assessment’ which included a test of our skills as a team. This process was a little long, but it was also enjoyable and I’m sure will satisfy fans of the show with its content. The general set-up of the story was amazing and while we were all a little impatient to get started, it was brilliantly done and the hosts were fantastic.

Once we got into the room proper, the story fell down a bit and to be honest, I left without a clear idea of what the events in the story were. We were searching but we never really seemed to find what we were looking for, despite our mission being deemed as a success. I think it might have made a bit more sense if our debrief had also been conducted by the in-character Stamfords that we had been met with at the beginning to tie up the story, but instead we just walked out and were given our score card, which was a little disappointing given how impressive the briefings had been at the start.

The first set of puzzles, while not overly challenging, were still enjoyable to complete and this was definitely my favourite part of the game. I liked the story element and the way that the puzzles linked together. It was definitely the part of the room that delivered the most authentic ‘stepping into the shoes of the legendary detective’ that was promised. It was a fun combination of observations and deductions that took a bit of thought to complete, though our hosts seemed overly keen to get involved here, offering hints and tips when we didn’t need them and occasionally actually interrupting us as we were solving a puzzle, which we were a little frustrated by.

The second and third section of the game, felt a little bit style over substance. The whole place was fantastically decorated and the attention to detail was incredible, but we found the puzzles themselves a bit lacking. Because of the linear design of the game, we found ourselves standing around watching one member of the team complete a challenge which, while great fun for the team member involved, left the rest of us feeling slightly bored.

At one part, the most obvious task to complete in the room turned out to be the very last part required. This wouldn’t have been an issue if it hadn’t involved direct involvement from out host, but it led us to believe that no-one was watching our game at all as they were very confused when we contacted them and thought that we had solved several puzzles that we hadn’t even found yet!

This final part of the mission was less linear than the previous sections so we were at least all involved, but we ended up getting stuck on one puzzle which led to a great deal of frustration because we were told that our solution looked correct but we weren’t solving it. The clue system here was severely let down by the fact that our hosts clearly didn’t have a good view of the puzzle we were working on and so had no way of knowing what was wrong with our solution.

We took the puzzle apart and re-did it about 15 times, reaching the same solution on every attempt, and when we asked for help our host just told us how the puzzle worked a couple of times, something that we already knew, and then didn’t engage with us again in any way. I don’t know exactly how long we stood in that corner, but it felt like well over 10 minutes and actually got to the point where we asked to leave the room and still got no response.

Even without the mess of that puzzle, the game ended in a confusing and underwhelming fashion, with no conclusion to the story that had been so well crafted at the beginning. To be fair to the duty manager in charge that day, he did come out personally to speak to us before we were given our scorecard and apologised for us being held in one part of the game for a few minutes, something which had confused us a great deal at the time! He also assured us that the puzzle we had struggled with was being tested.

He returned after we were taken through our scorecard to explain that they had tested the puzzle and we actually managed to work out where we had gone wrong which, while I appreciated, left me feeling that they really should have been able to point us in the right direction while we were actually playing!

Simon – I was very excited by this game, I loved The Lance of Longinus and The Celestial Chain (although I think I was the only member of our team who did for this latter one), so it was inevitable that the production values of this game were going to be fantastic, and they didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, the game itself failed to live up to expectations, being very linear and involving puzzles that could only be solved by one or two people. At various points, one member of our team solved a puzzle without any input from the others, or ended up standing around doing nothing.

Ultimately, because of the puzzles, this was a mediocre game where the production values far outstripped the gameplay and the story (which I agree with Ster, was very difficult to follow). I would only recommend this to die-hard Sherlock fans.

Ni – I agree with the others, brilliant start, it does feel like you’ve walked onto the Sherlock set! Great in-character hosts and a good set-up for the story, but that then petered out to a hard to follow story and underwhelming puzzles.

2019 Sherlock 13th Ja

Escape time – 60+ minutes

Score

Our expectations for this game were pretty high considering that we all still count Celestial Chain as one of our all time favourites and the beginning of this escape was absolutely fantastic – the production value is incredible. However, the over attentiveness followed by the inattentiveness of our hosts was incredibly frustrating and there just didn’t seem to be enough for us to do. I’m sure will appeal to fans of the franchise who aren’t necessarily fans of escape rooms, but we left feeling a quite underwhelmed.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

3/5

 

 

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