Escape Quest – Henry Fortune’s House of Illusion. Game Date: 30/07/2018. Team: Amy & Ian.
We had been patiently awaiting the opening date for House of Illusion for what felt like forever! Elaine and Mike were making sure that HOI was absoloutely perfect, as they have a reputation of fantastic games and I know they wouldn’t open a game that they weren’t 100% happy with, so we were happy to wait until it was absoloutely perfect!
We were lucky enough to be invited down to play on the same day as Lock Us Up, there review can be found here…Would HOI live up to our expectations and Escape Quest’s high standard…?
“For 30 years his parents toured the world with their famous House of illusion magic show.
Henry would wait patiently backstage during the shows, wishing for the day he’d be allowed to take his place in the limelight, and maybe one day he might even be the star of the show. Unfortunately Henry’s parents didn’t think he was good enough to be included in the act.
Henry grew up bitter and disillusioned with the world, the anger he felt at his parents slowly turned to hatred, and then…..they suddenly disappeared never to be seen again! Henry’s girlfriend and his Aunt and Uncle have also disappeared. Henry claims they have all gone abroad to continue the show without him, but Henry’s Grandfather suspects something terrible has happened to the missing family members.
Henry has built his own private theatre. The shows he put on have not gone well, and ticket sales have dried up entirely, so Henry’s decided to hold auditions for some new performers. He’ll show the world that Henry Fortune has what it takes to put on a show just as good as his parents. Maybe even better!
Henry’s Grandfather has hired a firm of private investigators, and this is the ideal opportunity to send them in as undercover performers to try to find out if Henry knows more than he’s letting on. That’s where you come in!
Will your performance be good enough to fool Henry whilst you secretly gather evidence and If not, will Henry let you leave if your cover is blown? Henry is short tempered and impatient, an hour of his time is all you’ll get so make sure you work fast. As the final minutes tick by and the stage lights go out, it really could be the end of the show for you all……”
Escape Quest always provied the most detailed backstory, and this carries over into the brief and the room.
The room… WOW. To say we were transported to another world the second we crossed the threshold is an understatement. Thrown straight into the world of Henry Fortune we set foot upon the stage, looking out at the auditorium, balcony seats included!
The finish and attention to detail in the decor is second to none, with luxurious touches only serving to add to the immersion and quality of this build. It truley is maginficent! It’s amazing to think that Elaine and Mike built all of it themselves, you can feel the utter love and passion that has gone into creating this room.
The immersion is heightened by an appropriate sound track, with occasional interjections from Henry himself… You’re really put into the story, in a “starring role” never the less!
The room is spacious and well lit, and there are plenty of opportunities to sit down throughout the game (it is a theatre after all!)
A beautiful and fully realised room, with layers of theme, backstory and narrative.
An open game that becomes linear at crucial moments, only serving to further the narrative.. This is one of the most story driven games we have played, and the puzzles only serve to carry the story and narrative through the hour.
The puzzles were delightful, and varied with word, observation, logic, maths, physical, searching and room interaction.
Yes, room interaction, the puzzles are so well woven into the story and room that the room becomes a living place, with interaction with the props and at times even Henry pushing the story and driving you forward into the game.
Every puzzle was perfectly in theme, and in that, they were perfect in their logic and never had a moment of ambiguity. The ah-ha moments were clear, and pleasing.
A highlight of the room was the aforementioned “audition” for Henry, having the sense of this maudelin magician critiquing your magic act was something so unique, challenging and fun at the same time, something we’ve never had to do before, and if we have to do it again I think I’ll know where the room got its inspiration!
The flow was exceptional, with clear yet subtle signposting leading us from puzzle to puzzles, we did not stop for the entire hour.
Another interesting device (and one I hope more rooms adopt in the future) was scalability. HOI had 3 different levels, 3* 4* and 5* with the room becoming for difficult with each star added. We chose the 5* difficulty and felt it was pitched perfectly for our group of 2. – a perfect addition which means every single group plays to their ability for maximum enjoyement in the room.
An all round excellent game… a MUST DO, no questions… just, get it booked!
Clues were delivered via a screen
Elaine & Mike were our hosts, with Elaine taking the reins of the briefing and story (and doing so with perfection) and Mike hosting the games and delivering clues, again, with precision timing and dilligence. Perfect hosting skills from 2 of the best hosts in the industy!
Did we escape?
Yes, in 55 minutes
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90
7 Players £105