The incredibly exciting new game by the Cipher Room team has raised the bar on local escape room challenges. It’s the first room in the new Cipher Room premises, a warehouse space in St Peters down the road from their three-game Newtown location, and the concept is an old toy shop whose owner has vanished. Yes, you guessed it: there are creepy dolls and clowns galore.
Pediophobes may stay well away, but they’ll be missing out on quite an experience. Game designer Marise Watson collected the vintage dolls and toys over a period of years and has put them to inventive and macabre use. Props include beloved childhood books, cars, trains, toy soldiers and teddybears, all of them seemingly quaint at first but gradually taking on a more sinister dimension. The storyline builds in intensity as players progress through the puzzles, ending in a demonic event that is an extraordinary coup de theatre.
The host warns us not to overthink things, but of course we do as we try to discover the code words and combinations to open locks and reveal more keys and clues. The room suddenly being plunged into darkness only to have everything changed when the lights come back on gives us the willies, as do the toys that somehow move – not to mention the chilling, whispery soundtrack.
Creativity of puzzles: ✮✮✮✮✮
Best quote: “I’m not putting my hand in there!”
Our tip: What's outside the window?