Present, in September 2021, were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger, Lioness, Parker, Amazing J
I have a bit of a mission to try out new, small or independent venues that don’t get much Escape Room enthusiast air-time. The South-East of England and the northern end of the Midlands get a lot of love, so it is good to seek hidden gems elsewhere. King’s Lynn is known for an ancient mystery, the lost treasure trove of King John, so it seemed as good a place as any to search for some Escape Room gold.
Our first mystery was deciphering the one-way system. The sat nav AND Google Maps were both kind of stumped and we did a few circuits before eventually ending up on Norfolk Street, the home of the titular murder. We’d teamed up with the Norfolk branch of GATAPAE and they were also lost (not just us for once!) but did mean we experienced real King’s Lynn friendliness as kindly passing locals stepped in to help with parking and directions.
Escape Rooms King’s Lynn has that same air of friendly, welcoming helpfulness. In a funkily decorated loft-style space above the family’s carpet shop, this is a mother/son/daughter-in-law team, juggling their own careers to design and run every aspect of this venue. Our GM was matriarch Linda, who hosted our game with brisk efficiency and evident pride.
Murder On Norfolk St is, as it sounds, a police procedural where the emphasis is on finding the culprit rather than the escape itself. A fairly standard household crime scene set was a little too cosy for so many of us, and we did start to trip over ourselves before the room opened out. We were a last minute team of 5, which was maybe a mistake. The room itself is actually advertised as 4-player max, which is far more sensible, so our stumbles were not the fault of the venue, who were just trying to be accommodating.
There were several nice touches in the design to ground this investigation with some local character. However, that didn’t translate hugely to the puzzles. There were some clever ideas, but also a fair amount of traditional searching and a serious amount of keys, which may infuriate some players. Clues and some of the gameplay were delivered via mobile phone, which was actually a legitimately interesting and realistic move, although did cause us some confusion at the end when we genuinely thought we had erroneously cold-called some random citizen…
Despite the murder, the game doesn’t include any gory horror, although the theming itself felt quite adult. The teenagers enjoyed it, especially some of the search and puzzle elements, although they maybe didn’t have quite enough to do. I don’t think this is especially a game that much younger ones would appreciate. For myself, it lacked some flow, and I’m not sure we would ever have made a couple of the connections without the help of a clue.
However, we got out. After our successful escape we were given a sneak peek of Escape Rooms King’s Lynn’s Time Travel room – the one we would have chosen if we could have rustled up an extra player to make the minimum of six. This looks an interesting and innovative game, that we were keen to return to play.
So, had we unearthed something valuable on our magical mystery tour? We did find some unexpected precious metal, in a good-value lunch at the Silver Spoon cafe, just across the way from the venue. Our game itself was maybe nothing special. But there was definitely enough there to keep us digging to see what is glimmering underneath. Hopefully the Time Travel game is the kind of Norfolk treasure worth hunting down.
- Storyline: Catch the murderer, following leads from your mysteriously missing chief detective.
- Theming and Set: Fairly standard domestic set, with a hidden surprise or two.
- Searching: Generally a search-heavy game.
- Puzzles: Mostly straightforward.
- Physicality: None except a tiny bit of gentle clambering.
- Scare factor: Zero, bar some adult themes and a small patch of lower lighting.
- Company Age Guidance: Not specified.
- Age suitability: I’d suggest 12+. Nothing to stop smaller ones being in the room though.
For anyone remotely interested in story of King John’s treasure, this is the latest news at time of writing