Escape Authority

In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Sherlock Holmes

RATING: 3 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 18:20

Sherlock has been kidnapped, and it’s our job to solve the mystery and pay his ransom.

Story

You are Scotland Yard’s top investigators sent to Sherlock Holmes’ apartment to investigate his disappearance! Sherlock has been kidnapped after probing into the theft of the ‘Jewel of the Thames’.  So, to recap the sequence of events: The Star of the Thames was stolen, Sherlock was investigating, got himself kidnapped, and now it is up to you to save him. Dr. Watson is unfortunately being trailed and cannot help you with this investigation, although he did mention something on his way out about your first clue resting on the mantel in Sherlock’s library. 
 
Once you enter Sherlock’s apartment, you’ll realize that the door has been booby-trapped by Sherlock Holmes himself and now you need the key to get out. There are two things to complete in this room: first, you need to find a physical object inside the room that will negotiate Sherlock’s release from the kidnapper, and second, the actual key to get out!
This story seemed a little convoluted as we read it on the website.  When we arrived to play the game, it was summarized down to the basics: we needed to find a jewel, and then find a key to get out.  I did appreciate a small clue in the written storyline for anyone who actually pays attention.  Don’t let the over-written story keep you from playing because this is a fun game overall.

Scenic

Psych Escape does a decent job of creating a feel for what Sherlock’s apartment could be.  The wall coverings, the standard furniture of a study, and a fireplace fit the theme.  However, the harsh overhead lighting detracted from the idea that we were standing in a real home.

Because the story is set in Sherlock’s apartment, I think there is more potential to distinguish this room from any other “apartment” setting.  Sherlock was known for his brilliance and deduction.  He was an outlier, and one would think his apartment would reflect that a bit more.  This isn’t a huge issue, but it is worth reviewing and tweaking in order to make a good room a great one.

In the future, the addition of a few small props such as books, notebooks and other research materials as well as a change in lighting would add so much for so little.  Sometimes the smallest touches can make the biggest impact.

Puzzles

 

Sherlock’s apartment had a nice flow of puzzles that allowed for multiple players to engage in different areas at the same time. The teamwork required during different steps brought our group together in a single focus to complete everything.

We were told at the beginning that Sherlock had booby-trapped his apartment, and so, the steps to finding the jewel and the key to get out aligned with this idea.  There was a handful of tasks to complete that could’ve come from the mind of Sherlock Holmes.

While experienced players might not find everything as challenging as some other games, it was still a fun ride with a few surprises.  Yes, there were a few things that would be known to the more accomplished player, but, if done right, that’s not a bad thing.

Overall

This is a family run business.  The owner, Mary, was enthusiastic about suggestions for her brand new rooms.  It is clear she wants to deliver the best product she can.  We believe she did well, especially for a new escape room business owner.
We had fun with this room, and while we were able to escape with over 18 minutes left, we didn’t feel cheated of a challenge.  This would be a terrific room for so many newer players to the games.  We feel it’s so important to have games like this that new players could enjoy without feeling overwhelmed, leaving them satisfied and enthusiastic to try another.
 
We spent some time talking to the owner about the rooms and the business.  It was gratifying to hear that the small suggestions we made were the very things she was already working on.  In the huge Chicago market, Psych Escape can definitely hold its own.  We look forward to seeing this new brand reach its full potential.

Venue Details

Venue:  Psych Escape

Location: Orland Park, Illinois

Number of Games: 2

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: $29 per person

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Psych Escape - Sherlock Holmes
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