The City Adventurers had such a great time at “Robin of Lockskey” that a couple of us returned to Escapologic to play their Curio room the following week. We should have heeded the description “Be careful what you wish for” as we were bitterly disappointed.
I know a lot of escape room bloggers think this a a fantastic room, but in all honesty I cannot recommend it.
“An Englishman’s home is his castle. Or his curio if he’s a treasure hunter who’s spent a lifetime collecting trinkets from all four corners of the globe. Alexander Curio was a true eccentric. A legendary explorer who left no stone unturned in his search for gems and gimcracks. To him, life was a gamble, with fate to be decided on a whim or a flip of a coin. A mysterious loner who loved to raise the stakes until they could be raised no higher.
Alexander’s life was one big puzzle. Only a select few ever got beyond his front door. You’re about to join their exclusive ranks. At first glance, Curio looks like the home of an explorer whose passion for chasing treasures has taken him from the Thames to Timbuktu. But the clue lies in the name. Secrets lie within her seemingly innocent walls and trinkets hold the key to untold riches. Fortune favours the brave but riches come at a price.“
How we got on
It turned out that Alexander Curio’s house was opposite the Escapologic main building. Our Games Master, Sam, led us across the road and into a strangely shaped room brimming with treasures. The set decoration was impressive with old-fashioned wallpaper, antique-like furniture, wooden decorations and artefacts. Plus intriguing things with levers and buttons. We were excited.
After a briefing about finding Alexander Curio’s most prized treasure, we were told to keep a look out for a green light and asked about motion sickness. Then Sam left us free to explore the room.
As with Robin of Lockskey, the game play is linear. Solve the puzzle and it should be obvious what you’re meant to do next. We started by examining everything, and found things that would be useful later in the game. Putting them somewhere safe, we struggled to find the first puzzle that would kick everything off…….
Then we spotted it. (hooray)
Or did we?
I won’t say what, but something was signposting to what we confidently took to be the first puzzle. Not only was there a sign post, but it linked to something else within the room. Seemed obvious to us.
We then spent ages trying to complete the task, calling instructions across the room to each other…..
Unfortunately, it turned out that this “task” was unsolvable until later in the game!
No, it was not the first puzzle at all.
And there was nothing as obvious that would have led us to the first puzzle.
(Aside – In another company’s room there was a hidden message directing you to a prominent prop and the first puzzle. In Curio there was a prominent prop that did the opposite!)
Eventually the hint system clicked in and a clue was delivered through a wireless radio shipping forecast.
Once we had that, we were off and running. But, unfortunately, by then, we had wasted around a quarter or more of our time.
I say around a quarter of our time as we can’t be certain how much time was wasted. As before, there was no timer in this room. The only indication you get that you are running out of time is the change in music – and by then it’s too late to do anything about it.
The puzzles themselves were an interesting mix. A lot of physical tasks without resorting to padlocks. Again we needed to use our phones as torches as some things were difficult to read.
When our time was up we asked how far we had made it through the game. Apparently we’d only made it into the second half.
Yes, this is a challenging room with no shortage of tasks. And we were a team of only two players. But wasting so much time trying to find what should have been an easy starting point didn’t help.
Telling us the success rate for the room is only 10% did nothing to help us feel less frustrated. The whole experience was demoralising. As such I cannot recommend Curio.