The old… – Prison Cell @ Gamescape, Liverpool

This review of Prison Cell is based on a review from January 2017.

Gamescape photo

Appropriately, here’s an old photo

The most exciting part of this game came after we’d escaped. We asked the owner of Gamescape if they had any plans for new rooms and they said Prison Cell would be swapped out later this year. I think this would be a wise move. But for now:

You have been locked up for a crime you did not commit! You are in lockdown, where many prisoners of the inescapable prison have tried, and ultimately FAILED to escape, there is a rumour that one inmate has successfully escaped.

They left many clues, use the clues, solve the puzzles and become the first (officially) to escape before the warden comes back and shuts you in FOREVER.

Breaking out of prison is probably the oldest escape room theme, and this is matched here by some ‘very old’ design ideas, and equally old components.

First the design. I’ve spoken before about the lack of thought that goes into ‘key for a key’, which thankfully rarely happens these days. I’ve also said that singing a song about it can bring a smile to your face. But when it happens for the fourth time in a single game it’s not a smile that it brings. Speaking of things happening multiple times in the same room, should we talk about different uses for black lights? No, let’s not. Searching for jigsaw pieces? This isn’t a list of clichés, this really happened.

Then we’ve got the presentation. It kinda looks like a prison but you don’t get any achievement points for pulling that off. You lose points if some of your padlocks are so well worn that they look like they might fall off if you ask them nicely. And the abundant paper work (a staple of prison life) wasn’t in much better shape.

Puzzle-wise… I could get the thesaurus out and find new ways of saying old, tired, boring (‘enervated’ anyone?) but I think you’ve got the gist. Despite the relative youth of our industry, this game felt like a relic of a bygone time. I recommend waiting for the replacement.

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