Clue HQ & the infamous Dungeon of Doom

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After we had completed all 4 of the rooms at Breakout Manchester, we needed a new challenge. We had a good discussion, and we ended up deciding on Clue HQ. There were several reasons for this. Firstly is the location, in Warrington, which is basically right between Manchester and Chester, which for a Saturday night game, which we had decided on, is pretty important. The other main reason is that we wanted a step up in challenge and difficulty. Clue HQ are known well for having tough games, and they actually post their escaped/failed statistics. We also had word from Breakout Manchester that one of the 2 rooms, the Dungeon of Doom, was the toughest room they had actually played.

Clue HQ is actually based directly under Warrington Central train station, and the staff at Clue HQ have used this look and feel to help decide on their rooms and it all adds up to a wonderful look and a “spot on” atmosphere.

Current stats as of 15/02/15:

Bunker 38: 106 escaped/670 failed

Dungeon of Doom: 10 escaped/123 failed

The ideal situation would have been for us to play Bunker 38 first, but due to availability, we had to play Dungeon of Doom first. We also had 2 immediate issues. Firstly, Leese was unavailable so we were down to 3. Just as bad is that on the Friday night, Julie had a Xmas party, and even for the start of our game on the Saturday night, at 7pm, was still severely hungover.

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Your friend has been sentenced (wrongly) to death. It’s up to you and your team to break in, break them out and then all get out together before the guard patrols the area again. 1 person is chosen at the start of the game to be ‘locked up’. This person will need to crawl (5 meters) at the start of the game. This person is still an integral part of the game.

We had the usual briefing at the start of the game, and then the locked up person is chosen. Now, we had decided who was to go in if we were to choose who it was going to be, but it’s a random process. Julie drew the short straw, so off she crawled to her fate….

The format is quite simple. The friend sentenced to death is the one who crawls through to their “prison”. The cracking thing is that all members of the group, even the one locked up, all need to work together. It certainly enhances the need for clear ( and loud) communication.

We again had issues. Mainly as Julie either couldn’t see straight, or she was seeing double. Which made things a tad difficult! We did take quite a bit of time getting through to Julie and helping her get out of her cell. Then we had the enormous challenge of actually breaking out. I don’t think I even imagined how much there would be to solve or how locks we’d have to get rid of! Added to that, the sheer variety of the puzzles all added to the difficulty.With the Dungeon of Doom, you really do need your thinking caps on.

With 10 minutes remaining, we were still quite a way off, and had missed a fairly vital clue. We then absolutely clicked into gear.We went at such a rapid rate from that point on that I think even the Clue HQ staff were surprised! With 2 minutes remaining it was going to be close… oh so close… If we say anything else from here, we will actually give away the ending of the room.. but we ended up on the final clue as time ran out, with all 3 of us sprinting from clue to clue in an effort to get to the end.

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All of the efforts were therefore in vain. After a quick chat, we found out that we had been by far the closest group of 3 to escaping.. which was obviously nice to hear but still didn’t take away from the disappointment of failure.

The Dungeon of Doom was simply fantastic. There’s no other word for it. The set up, lay out and premise of the game are all spot on. Even the so called easier clues and puzzles were food for thought and the harder clues, well, were bloody tough!! I urge everyone to play this room!!

The Bunker 38 review ( as we played it an hour later), will be coming along in the next few days, as well as the overall thoughts of Clue HQ themselves.

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