A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Sherlock, The Official Game

Sherlock, The Official Game
24 June 2023
Doyle’s Opticians
3.0 out of 5.0 stars

I have been wanting to try out the official Sherlock escape room for a while, and finally jumped on it recently! Probably the best part about the experience is the shop front you head to before the game. It’s set up like an opticians, with a large “by appointment only” sign on the door. Once inside, our team was sent to the bar before fully inducted into the story. I personally felt this was a little immersion breaking, as the bar is set up with a ton of Sherlock memorabilia and small escape games. So while the entrance was a fully themed secret society type thing, the bar was so obviously a TV show themed space that it did take us out of the mindset of joining a secret branch of the intelligence network.

The theme of this experience is all set up around a covert recruitment scheme by Mycroft Holmes to find new agents for his secret service type outfit. And the induction into this theme is fantastic, with an intro video by a very reluctant Watson, and disparaging comments by Sherlock himself. But quickly the whole organisation falls into a manipulation scheme by none other than Moriarty himself, so us as newly recruited agents have to race to solve all the puzzles set by the master criminal to save The Network.

Again, there’s a little immersion breaking moment when we are lead into Sherlock’s office to take gimmicky photos on the sofa (more on this later…) before the scheme gets uncovered and we are thrown into our actual escape room experience. This whole thing could have been set up a lot more immersive with just a few tweaks, and leaving 221b Baker Street and the bar for the end of the experience.

The three room escape experience itself was very fun though, with interesting puzzles and fun theming. Though throughout the game, there were sometimes several videos and voice messages playing at the same time, which made it a bit difficult to figure out what was happening at times. Clues also came in as video messages with a notification sound, so it was a bit much simultaneously here and there.

Puzzles tested many different skills and it felt like all five of us were continuously busy without getting in each other’s way, sometimes working together, sometimes separately.

For fans of the show, this is definitely a great experience. As an escape room alone, I would have liked a better clue system, less video/sound playing at the same time, and more logical puzzles. Not that they were illogical, but it’s the whole thing of displays and puzzles being built in for the escape experience not necessarily making sense for the setting in and of itself. It’s clever and fun, but not the most immersive and logical escape room I’ve ever played.

So in summary, it’s expensive for a decent but unremarkable escape room. But a great treat for super-fans who want to see and hear some of the actors and themes of the show again. I’d say overall it’s a middle-range escape experience for a top-range price.

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