Cryptology Barnsley – Insanctuary. Game Date 18/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian
“A number of criminals have disappeared from the ‘Insanctuary Criminal Rehabilitation Unit’, it is feared they have escaped.
As first responders you need to gather all the information you can to help find them!
However, there have been strange reports coming out of ICRU in recent weeks….thing’s may not be what they first seem!”
Insanctuary’s story is two fold, and things are definitely not what they seem, which you’re told when you arrive. For the sake of spoilers I won’t post what it is (As I really feel this is a layer added onto the story that is best left to discover when you play the game – which you should)
The amount of detail in the story is excellent, and creates a fully realised world that comes to life when you step through the doors. Whilst not as clinical or sterile as the picture shows, Insanctuary takes on more of a “residential home” feel to it, with a main corridor being home to several self contained rooms, all of which are perfectly in keeping with the theme and world of the story.
Immersion was excellent, and it was a nice touch that Cryptology kept the original rooms of the building and space Insanctuary used, this just created a more lived in and immersive experience.
The atmosphere was suitable creepy with a strong “stranger things” vibe, set decoration was detailed and finished to a high standard.
The rooms themselves aren’t large, but overall the space is more than ample to accommodate the maximum number of players.
A game that was quite unusual in its game play, as there were several different rooms to explore, each room had its own self contained game play. But getting into those rooms was linear, a unique way of play and one that was enjoyable!
Puzzles covered every base, with word, logic, observation, code breaking, physical, maths and a bit of tech. There was a LOT to do and there is bound to be a puzzle to suite every taste and intelligence.
The puzzles all had wonderful ah-ha moments, and quite often subverted your knowledge of the puzzle and brought about an unexpected yet wholly logical conclusion. Intelligent puzzle design that didn’t rely on cheap gimmicks or standardised answers.
A couple of meta-puzzles were thrown into the mix to keep things moving along. The sense of achievement from solving each puzzle was so satisfying due to the complexity of the puzzles.
A very busy room with excellent flow, smooth, logical and faultless. A really well designed room.
I would suggest that beginners take an extra brain or 2, to cover all bases. Experienced players will find their regular team fine.
Clues were delivered via a screen
Simon was our game host (and owner of Cryptology Barnsley) and it was lovely seeing him again, he was welcoming and delivered a very humorous and in depth brief. He delivered clues at the perfect time, we never felt any frustration in the room thanks to his excellent cluing!
Did we escape?
Yes, in 54 minutes!
2 Players £40
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £65
6 Players £72