Very Clue HQy – Quarantined @ Clue HQ Blackpool

This review of Quarantined is based on a visit in November 2015.

Quarantined photo

James was right at home in his lab coat, while mine was causing me to unnecessarily crouch down

Where am I? How did I get here? Maybe this room introduction will help me:

With the growing threat of a radiation leak due to the increase in nuclear power, the government seek a solution to radiation poisoning within humans. Deep within a high security facility, a group of scientists work to develop a vaccine to ensure immunity, but to run tests they need subjects. You regain consciousness to find yourself quarantined within the facility. You don’t know who got you here or how you got here but you know you need to escape before everything gets incinerated, including you!

No, that didn’t help at all. The Government are kidnapping people to experiment on them but now the facility is being burned down? That seems needlessly convoluted. If I’d been abducted I’m pretty sure I’d want to get away anyway.

Wait, it’s coming back to me. I was driving for quite a while. I ended up on a farm in the middle of nowhere. A short time later I was handcuffed, blindfolded and locked in a cell with Paul. No, it’s not a nightmare; I’m playing Quarantined at Clue HQ Blackpool.

The slightly confusing brief aside, the setup for this game is perhaps its strongest point. It takes two of the most common themes – jail break and evil science – and combines them into something reasonably original (thankfully avoiding the all too common zombies). For this immurement your team will be split into three cells, and getting out certainly requires more than opening a cupboard and finding the key (yes that has happened to me in a game). I guess this is why the room is rated 5/5 difficulty because this would be a brutally difficult start for a new player, but is a fun challenge for an experienced group.

After that it all gets very ‘Clue HQy’. It’s nicely presented (though it’s pretty hard to get a lab wrong). There are a lot of puzzles. Most of them are on theme (apart from the fact they almost always end in a padlock). And at least one of them you definitely won’t have seen before. So Clue HQness isn’t a bad thing. You can be pretty sure you’ll have a very-good-but-not-quite-great time.

We got out with about three minutes remaining, making it one of our closest calls and further emphasising this is a 5/5 difficulty room. Although I don’t remember any of the individual puzzles being that hard. Odd. But anyway, if you’re looking for a tough but enjoyable game get locked up near Blackpool.

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