Clue HQ Manchester – Detonation

Clue HQ Manchester – Detonation. Game Date 01/12/2016. Team: Amy & Ian

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Clue HQ are one of the biggest UK brands of Escape Rooms, They have 9 sites all across the UK, with a total of 11 games to play over these sites… for some reason we have really dragged our toes getting over to Clue HQ (considering we’re not too far from Warrington or Blackpool, we should have slapped wrists for not going sooner!)

When they announced via Facebook that there was a flash sale on, I bagged us a bargain and booked in for the newly opened Manchester site, playing the only game on offer there at the moment, Detonation!

The waiting area is spacious, with many comfy couches to sit on, and a rather large TV screen playing promo videos until it was time for the briefing.

Theme:
“You and the rest of your detective team have been on the case of Danny Badd. Badd has been wanted for 7 years and is a known criminal all over Europe. He’s wanted by many different countries for various crimes. After 1 year of gathering information, 24 hour surveillance, and even capturing Badd’s brother, you’ve finally got the best lead that any intelligence unit has ever received with regards to his location. You’re going in, but not without a plan. Badd is notorious for blowing up anyone who attempts to track him down. Watch your step.”

Clue HQ did a good job with theming, with it being kept simple, but purposeful. The real stand out with Clue HQ though is their lighting and sound, all throughout the game these were both used to fantastic effect, really driving the story along.
Story is clearly very important to their games with every prop, audio cue, lighting cue and integral moment in the game relating to the overarching story, including many messages from the delightfully evil Danny Badd. A solid room, with an immersive story in a room with a “video game” vibe.

Game Play:
A fairly linear game with branching moments, with an excellent variety of puzzles and a great flow! The only time we were stalled was our own fault. This room had 1 of almost every type of escape room puzzle you could find, a very solid room with a lot to do in the hour.
Not every puzzle was strictly in theme, but every single puzzle was very enjoyable and the “Ah-ha” moments were logical and exciting!
There was some nice use of technology for some puzzles, which lead to one of the most evil things I’ve ever experienced in a room (I will say no more) but it lead to a very exciting moment in the game, and will be something I will remember for a long time!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a well themed screen with an alert sound

Game Host:
Sam was our game host, and you would not know she had only been hosting for less than a week, her clue delivery and timing was very, very good. Clearly she was paying full attention to our game, as at one point we asked a question and she responded almost instantly! She was chatty & friendly and made us feel very welcome at Clue HQ!

Normally this is where I would mention the briefing, but Clue HQ take a more “American” approach, delivering their briefing on the TV screen in the waiting area. This was a very well produced video and would leave a new player feeling ready to go into the room and try to escape!

Did we escape?
Yes! With about 10 minutes to spare!

Website: http://cluehqmanchester.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Clue HQ also do a loyalty card, which on each visit gets a little “perk” culminating in your 5th game costing £19.99, a great incentive to play all of their games! We will be visiting the other sites soon so look out for the reviews!

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