Escape Hunt Perth: Murder in the Tavern [Review]

Logos-for-website_0019_ESCAPE_HUNT_PERTH_LOGOLocation: Escape Hunt Perth, Fremantle (Perth), WA, Australia

Date completed:  January 2017 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 5; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 5.5; Fun: 7.5

Requirements:

  • Intermediate English
  • 2-5 players

Old man Bob used to go to Fremantle’s tavern every day and all his friends thought booze would kill him. Indeed, he found the end of his days holding his favourite cup. But it was not alcohol that killed him – he was murdered most foul! In Murder in the Tavern, you play a team of detectives instructed to find who committed this a horrible deed, and why. It’s a traditional Escape Hunt adventure and you have 60 minutes to solve the murder.

After the professional and concise briefing, we were taken into a room which was set inside an old tavern. The early part of the game will use many elements and objects that you would find in such a setting: menus, the bottles and music. There are no musical puzzles though, so tone-deaf people have nothing to fear. Actually, there is no requirement for external knowledge although knowledge about different types of guns becomes handy, but not mandatory, to one of the puzzles.

We also found that one of the key puzzles at the start of the room was well designed, combining a handful of elements in a layered fashion. This puzzle also paid attention to detail in having any foreign terms properly written!

The main skills you will need for Murder in the Tavern are search and association. This makes the game very accessible for first time players, that can have a lot of fun without being overwhelmed. “Search” is usually our weak point in a room, and we actually needed a hint on how to find an item. It was not even thaaaaaat hidden, but we just missed it completely!

When you advance in the game, you reach areas that are not as detailed in decoration, but where the puzzles will get harder and more complex. You also find more information surrounding the suspects of Bob’s murder – a common trait in many Escape Hunt franchise games. In Murder in the Tavern, there is a whiteboard on the wall for players to make notes and work on the puzzles. As our gamemaster stressed, please write only on the whiteboard. It is incredible the amount of rooms we’ve been where the GMs describe players writing on the walls, on props… Don’t be that person!

After approximately 40 minutes of an uncomplicated run, we found out who killed Bob and why.  This was a nice game in a well looked after venue. Even though we did not think the puzzles were extremely innovative or difficult, it was great to go to a place where you can feel the staff and owner care about the rooms and the customers. Players get free drinks after the game – which is specially refreshing when you play back-to-back rooms! We came to know it is a family-owned business, and the pride and joy is evident. Everything was well looked after and all props worked. While so many business let their props wear out completely, Escape Hunt Perth seems to be doing their job properly.

In Escape Hunt Perth we also played Poisoning in the Café and Escape from the Prison (now retired).

escapehuntperth-tavern

Out of the room

Service: The staff at Escape Hunt Perth were extremely friendly and engaging. We learned that the venue is run by a family and their enthusiasm was really noticeable. Hints were given promptly and the staff tracked our progress in the game well.

Communication: You use a walkie-talkie to communicate with the gamemaster, who can come into the room to give you a hint if necessary. Although the entrance may break he flow of the game, the rooms are not too big and our GM was very quick, trying to keep the interruption to a minimum.

Surroundings: Escape Hunt Perth is located in Fremantle, a 20-minute drive from Perth CBD or a slightly longer train ride. It is just a few meters from Cappuccino Strip, legendary for its many outdoor cafes and restaurants. Fremantle is a lovely area and the first British settlement in the western side of Australia, which still preserves many of its historical buildings. Take the time to walk around and visit the markets!

 

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