REVIEW: TOMMY - UNESCAPABLE

DERBY, DERBYSHIRE EAST MIDLANDS
Tommy Escape Room Review
During our recent trip to Nottingham, we made a d-tour to visit Unescapable in Derby to play the two games currently on offer at the venue: Tommy and Edith (with Mary, a new room that’s coming soon) 

Offering a quirkier reasoning to the room's background than most, Tommy is a World War I escape game that you enter via Unescapables' time travel portal - an initiation that cleverly runs throughout all of their rooms. 

We needed to test that this portal works properly. Tommy has landed somewhere in the midst of the Western Front in 1917 and that was where we were headed. There is a very significant chance that the portal could break when we go through ...and if it does our team are just going to have to fix it before the bridge collapses and we’re trapped in the past forever!

It’s no spoiler to inform you that the portal does break! …and this then forms the premise of the game. Met by our GMs in lab coats on our arrival, we were escorted to the game area and invited to access the portal to begin our escape. 

We were extremely impressed by Tommy’s strong opening. Whilst dimly lit so difficult to critique its decor, the sound and lighting effects here did well to believably transport us inside an immersive time-machine.

Unescapable Escape Room Reviews Tommy Edith Mary
Sadly once across the threshold of the main game space, our experience quickly declined. Whilst reasonably decorated to depict a scene from WW1 with its military paraphernalia, there wasn’t actually that much in the room for our team of four to explore.

There was also a disappointing lack of puzzles to be found in the space, with one of the main puzzles being particularly time consuming and tedious to complete. The remaining tasks were generic in nature, offered very little mental challenge, and the search aspect of one was particularly unimaginative in finding its obvious resolve. We felt this was a great shame as the space available could have been better utilised with trickier, less-linear puzzles. 

Another irritant for us is having two separate puzzles that completes the same outcome. We’re not fans of having multiple locks concealing one solution as it slightly revokes any sense of achievement or progress for teams - and if we’re completely honest, feels a lazy inclusion in any escape game design.

Overall there were approximately just 10 puzzles in total in Tommy, and had we not made an admitted hash of the aforementioned tedious task - we would have completed this room in sub-30 minutes.

We also understand from other enthusiasts the walkie-talkie based clue system here is usually portrayed by your GM in full character. We never had this experience perhaps owing to our early morning, mid-week booking at 10am - which our GM did comment on somewhat disdainfully, despite us being fully paying customers! We also felt upon chatting between games and exchanging recommendations of other local escapes (a conversation that's usually positively received by the community at other venues), that their air of elitism based on our experience was somewhat misplaced!

We had high hopes to play Tommy, purposely travelling out of our way to experience this room - but for all of its war escape room efforts, sadly for us it just tanked.

NEW-REVIEW-SCORE-2-STAR-FIN-2019

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