#27: ClueQuest – cQ Origenes

Easily ClueQuest’s best game, and hence the best extant game in London for me at the time of writing, I highly recommend this to anyone in or visiting London.

Rating:★★★★☆
Location:London
Team:Rhubarb Rhubarb Rhubarb
Date:9 March 2019
Hints taken:0
Time:48m28
URL:ClueQuest

Front & Briefing

It’d been over two years since I’d last been to ClueQuest, so it was exciting to hear they had a new room to try. ClueQuest were extremely busy when we arrived, and it took a while for the staff to get to us, but the brief was delivered with the usual mix of plot and practicalities from an enthusiastic GM. The foyer hasn’t changed since last time we were there.

Theme

The props and furniture are all hand-constructed to a high quality and ClueQuest has quite a distinctive style across all its rooms. This has played against them in the past because it can be difficult to distinguish between them, but this room felt significantly different, to its credit. ClueQuest have also extended the loose plot forwards: teams now get to use Professor Blacksheep’s Shrink’o’Mat, and Origenes doesn’t disappoint on the results of this!

Puzzles

There’s a mix of pleasantly low-tech yet inventive puzzles, all the way through to fully electronic ones which were exciting and visually impressive. There was the usual element of searching but in this room it felt more like an exciting interaction with the set rather than the usual poking around. Most of the team came away with a different favourite puzzle, demonstrating the variety here. We unwittingly solved one of the puzzles in a way the designers hadn’t expected, but even then the deductive work for it felt satisfying.

Hint system

There’s a mixture of walkie talkie and screen, which also displays the time, though in a first for this particular team, having let the GM know we’d prefer fewer clues, we took no clues at all! That’s not to say this was an easy room – it’s definitely a game where having more players is useful; there were five of us and we didn’t find ourselves sitting idle at any point. Apparently the escape rate is the lowest of the ClueQuest games.

Finale

By the end of the game the team was all working together (and, indeed, having to work together), which is great, and the game really finished on a high.

Debriefing

The GM was very happy to run through the puzzles and answer questions we had about possible red herrings, and to show us the intended way to solve the puzzle we accidentally inferred the solution to! She also apologised for one sound effect that had apparently gone missing, which we hadn’t even noticed, but it’s nice to know the GMs are really paying attention to the room. New since I last visited we were given a certificate of sorts stating the team’s name and time, which I think is a nice touch on top of the business cards.

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