REVIEW: DRACULA'S CHAMBERS - CLEVER DILEMMA

FAVERSHAM, KENT

Draculas chambers review clever dilemma kent faversham

When planning our most recent escape route around Kent we stumbled upon Clever Dilemma, a reasonably new independent escape room company who have opened on the High Street in the quaint town of Faversham. 

Upon entering the venue we were warmly greeted by Taz and Nic, half of the team behind Clever Dilemma. We were also welcomed by Connor the pug - Clever Dilemma’s rather charming, four-legged CEO. Connor quickly undertook the rather important task of assessing us by demanding cuddles from each of our team members …to which we were more than happily to oblige! 

The waiting area of Clever Dilemma was well decorated and of a large size; both spacious enough to accommodate multiple teams awaiting their turn to escape, as well as being generous enough to comfortably host the local corporate market looking for a fun alternative to employee away days.  

After a relaxed chat with Taz and Nic about their business and future plans including the now opened Murder at the Wild Wild Quest Saloon game, we were ready for our next escape – Dracula’s Chambers:

Your visit to Transylvania has gone horribly wrong.  Your beloved has fallen ill to a strange unknown disease and Drs from around the world are baffled by the symptoms and have failed to find a cure.
You have heard rumours Professor Van Helsing has been asking questions and seek him out to ask why.

He has seen this before, they have been bitten by a vampire and it’s only a matter of hours before your beloved is lost forever.
As their condition worsens, there is no choice, you must travel throughout the night to Bran Castle, find the cure and escape before sunrise, or face an uncertain end at the hands of the Castles Master… Count Dracula!
   
After being led up to the rooms entrance we were given the background story to our escape and we entered the space.

We sometimes enter independent escape room companies a little dubious as to what we’ll find in relation to the quality of d├ęcor or props, but thankfully any doubt was immediately alleviated once we crossed the threshold of Dracula’s Chambers. The setting had been lovingly made and executed to a high standard, most notably decorated from floor to ceiling which can often be a rarity in escape rooms. Generic Armstrong ceiling tiles can be a real immersion breaker but no such dull/commercial fixings were visible here! Evidently a lot of thought had gone in to this escape games' room setting.   

The game started off relatively easy from a puzzle point of view and if we’re honest, we prematurely concluded that we were likely to fly through this game but quickly found out that our confidence was somewhat misplaced, as once the game opened up there was far more at stake than initially assumed!

Draculas chambers clever dilemma kent reviews

We soon found ourselves splitting off to investigate the busy chambers many nooks and crannies and came back together as a team to share our various finds. The puzzle flow was quite linear throughout, but unusually for us who generally prefer a less liner space, we felt this was never to the games detriment. 

The game was cleverly structured, with some excellently fiendish search elements that constantly drip-fed parts for later puzzles - small tokens that could be forgotten or even entirely overlooked, allowing team members to exercise their grey matter in readiness for their possible, potential use. A rewarding aspect which maintained our sense of achievement throughout and a consideration that's often omitted from the laborious search puzzles we’ve occasionally been presented with in the past.

In terms of puzzle variety, this is certainly a game for teams that enjoy logic puzzles in abundance, and although a little more variety in style would have been welcomed, we can’t say that it was particularly detrimental to the game as the quality of puzzles on offer was high with a good amount of originality. The difficulty of the puzzles escalated at a fair rate too and nothing ever felt illogical or out of place. 

The game also didn’t rely on too much fancy tech, which we feel was a wise choice given the games setting but still contained strong standout moments for all of the team to enjoy - right the way through to its fun finale. 

Our games master was faultless, delivering prompt clues through a well-placed screen that didn’t break the games immersion at all. Obtaining clues here was also achieved using a novel, theme-relevant prop - the use of which was incorporated in the room well. 

Dracula’s Chambers was curated all in-house and executed to an impressively high standard; both in its puzzle originality and meticulous set dressing. Whilst also proving that there is still very much a place for a largely, non-technological escape game that never once felt prototypical.


Clever Dilemma are an independent company that have entered the industry in a county that is already home to an excellent selection of established escape room venues - and given our sterling experience here we highly recommend adding a visit to the venue on your next escape jaunt across Kent. 

Dracula’s Chambers is Clever Dilemma's first escape room attempt and they’ve most certainly gone for the jugular.

NEW-REVIEW-SCORE-4-STAR-FIN-2019


Dracula's Chambers - Clever Dilemma. Faversham, Kent
Rating: 4

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