Clue HQ – Cell Block C

Clue HQ – Cell Block C.
Location: Manchester
Game Date 26/01/2017.
Team: Amy, Ian, Eddie & Julie

So, a last minute decision last night took us to Manchester to play Cell Block C. We had a completed Clue HQ card, so we decided to drag my parents along for the ride (their 3rd escape room!) We drove up to Manchester this time and were pleased to find a large car park right outside for only £3.00… not bad, and worth considering if you’re debating about whether to take the train or drive.

“You’ve been framed for a crime you didn’t commit, and you’re about to be sentenced to a lifetime in prison. You know that notorious criminal Danny Badd is responsible but with only 60 minutes before you face the barrister, you don’t have the resources to prove your innocence. Can you escape top security CELL BLOCK C and buy yourself some time or will you be locked away forever?”

The theming in Cell Block C was excellent, one of the most immersive Clue HQ games we’ve played. Finished to a high standard and fairly detailed with great use of technology!
One of the best decorated Clue HQ rooms we’ve seen, they’ve clearly upped their game for this. I think at the time of writing it is their “newest” – (in terms of opening, not the actual game as it can be found at other sites) All in all a very good, immersive room (with locks in the right places to serve the theme) The storytelling through the in game monitor and pre-game video were excellent and the effects throughout the game were good, and kept the immersion.
The lighting was atmospheric, but throughout the first half of the game was a little bit dark, but it did lighten up a little later on in the game!

Game Play:
A very linear game, with some great physical puzzles to start off with. The flow was good up until we hit one maths puzzle and were just stumped…
We must have spent at least 10 minutes on it, trying every iteration of it. I usually try and seek out the best of rooms when I review, but I personally HATED this puzzle, I don’t enjoy math in rooms to begin with, but with such a convoluted way of getting to the answer (which was like doing math homework) it was not fun. Compounded by the fact that we were given some confusing clues (a bit too late as they came after I had got incredibly stressed and frustrated over the puzzle. I feel a Game Host should never let a player get to the point I got to last night!)
We also had a problem where 2 of the padlocks were set to the same code, which confused both us and our game host as he thought we’d used code where we hadn’t and it slowed us down a deal until we realised something was amiss!
However. Aside from that one puzzle & the padlock mischief, this was a solid, enjoyable room with some good puzzles. Especially in the first half of the room, the team work and practical puzzles were a lot of fun and I felt like we were truly breaking out of jail!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen in the room.

Game Host:
George was our game host. He was friendly and delivered our pre-game story very well. I feel he was maybe slightly inexperienced… Clue HQ Manchester hasn’t been open all that long!
Some of the clues we were sent were confusing and made things worse (for me at least) especially with that puzzle, and the padlock confusion didn’t help as the clues were being sent for a code we’d not used, but George thought we had used it!
A little more attention to the game and reading the players may be needed. George has all the qualities of a good game host, friendly and personable it’s just a shame the game didn’t run as smoothly as it could have done!

Did we escape?
Yes. Thankfully we made it out just in time!

Website: http://cluehqmanchester.co.uk/
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Clue HQ also do a loyalty card, which on each visit gets a little “perk” culminating in your 5th game costing £19.99, a great incentive to play all of their games!

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