During our holiday we managed to make it to Co Decode in Swindon – a place that is highly recommend by many enthusiasts. Tucked away in a quiet industrial estate, I knew we had found something special purely by the DOOR! The decor on such small, seemingly irrelevant details such as this really excite me as a player, because it tells me a lot about the makers of the game. We were met by our game host Alex, who was really friendly.
With this game, there were 6 levels of difficulty which we were able to choose. The levels of difficulty are based on the amount of puzzles in the game. Alex was very good at judging which level we should work at, and he suggested level 2. At first, I must admit I was really unsure about this because I like to solve as much as possible, but I am surprisingly terrible at escape rooms despite having done a fair few! Whilst setting up the room he let us play a mini 5 minute game that was in the reception area. Let’s just say my faith in Alex’s judgements were restored because I was useless at it. Anyway.. the room…
[Setting Description] Early 20th-century study belonging to your friend, Professor Oldervik Dunstan – a renowned archaeologist who works for the Ministry for Antiquities and Curiosities.
Despite travelling the world over to lead excavations, Oldervik usually finds time to keep in touch. This time, however, it has been almost six months since you received his last letter. Strangely, after enquiring at the Ministry it appears that nobody knows of Oldervik’s current whereabouts. All you can find out is that he had been tasked with locating and excavating the tomb of an ancient ruler. According to legend, the burial chamber contains priceless artefacts including a mysterious statuette, which the Ministry is keen to acquire.
When a letter from Oldervik finally arrives it is unusually short and to the point, requesting that you attend his study to look after his cats. As far as you know, Oldervik does not have any cats; something is definitely wrong.
And so it is that you venture to Oldervik’s private residence in search of answers…
The room, as described, did look just as you would imagine an Archaeologist’s study. I’m acting on the presumption that all of the collected items were genuine, as everything was really interesting to look at! I wanted to keep exploring.
As a pair, we always worked together in this room, and the flow of each puzzle was seamless. It was exciting to see what was going to happen next, and there were so many padlocks that I hadn’t seen before in an escape room. Likewise, the game was completely original and unique, requiring a wide range of logical and lateral thinking. Perhaps this is our downfall as a pair. Ian is just into finding and searching, leaving me drowning in a flood of paper! It was a great learning experience as you just can’t rush around in this game. The final part of the game was tense, exciting and it felt like there was a real build up. We could see the end in sight, but we just needed to figure it out!
We were absolutely down to the last minute, but we escaped with a few seconds left!
Highlight of the game
Without giving anything away, the original use of locks was so simple yet really intriguing. I’ve never seen it before and will assume other enthusiasts haven’t either.
There was quite a lot of reading to do, which I found quite difficult by myself (Ian reads the first word and goes off in a mad dash). I needed someone else there, which is where I missed my Steff!
This is definitely a must do room for enthusiasts. If you’re really good then do a higher level of challenge. Level 2 is probably quite embarrassing for someone who has done as many rooms as I have, but I still thought it was a challenge!
Want to know more about Professor Dunstan?