Crawley is fast becoming an escape room hot spot in the UK and we think Hounds Escape Rooms have yet again proved why with the opening of their new room The Explorers Diary. It had only been only for 9 or 10 days before we popped along to experience this highly anticipated room after playing their Southern Discomfort and Questionable Ethics rooms.
We arrived quite early and were greeted by David, the wonderful owner. We had a nice long chat about other escape rooms we had done recently and just had a general chat before our host, Reginald Xavier Spencer Spencerson arrived to take us to our room. We were led straight into the room and were greeted by the inside of an explorers tent. The attention to detail on this is at the same elvel as the other two rooms and I was instantly immersed. Reginald explained our mission:-
"You've heard the stories of Sir Benjamin Diggit, famous archaeologist and collector of rare and magical finds. You may also of heard of the disappearance of him and his stash. Armed with just a single page of his ruined diary, maybe you can find his hidden treasures."
With that we were told to face the screen to watch a quick briefing. Then came the bit that I weirdly enjoy, the countdown. This is the only room i've experienced that actually gives you a countdown for starting the room and its weirdly exciting. Our game had begun!
Potential Spoilers Ahead
The game in a traditional hunt and gather for clues and puzzles in this one room. As you proceed to find the clues and solve the puzzles you begin to unlock more things and soon we had unlocked the next area. The puzzles in the first room wre really great for giving you the build up to the rest of the puzzles. It was the perfect starter for this room. The second room built on the story that had been built in the first room and you really become very immersed in trying to find out what happened to this treasure. The second room also shows how cleber Hounds are at making puzzles both feel unique but not out of place as a couple of them I had seen elsewhere bt not done in the way that Hounds do it. They give a very clever twist on puzzles that makes you appreciate the level of thought that had gone into them. I think this second area had my favourite puzzles throughout the room as they all felt very different but tricky enough to make you go "huh ok, that was clever". We had completed the puzzles in the second room and were ready to explode it (That's all youre getting on this as its really fuin) and it revealed the last room.
We entered the last room and I can honestly say that my brain took a few minutes to realise what we still had to do. Turns out this last room is by far the hardest room of the three and its full of puzzles. Again, none of them feel out of place, Its more as you play through you realise that Hounds have actually been a bit mean and made them quite a bit trickier than the other rooms. There is a magnet maze that is just horrific and I hated it, but it felt like it had the Hounds twist so it was fun, but hugely infuriating. There are a few surprises in the room and some really fun special effects too. We managed to find the treasure but then Hounds throw a curveball at you. I won't tell you what it is but its a fun little thing.
We managed to find the treasure and escape but how much time did we have left on the clock. It was very close. We had 1 minute and 7 seconds left on the clock and we were a team of two. Hounds are always really awesome at thinking of little details and like their other rooms you get a little note about your experience. This time however there is more than the little note. You also get scored out of 20 based on your decisions and actions in the room. We scored a 10/20. I just want to say a huge thank to everyone at Hounds for making our visit amazing, as always, and we are now very sad that we have done all your rooms. If you haven't visited Hounds Escape Rooms then you really must. Its such an awesome all round experience from start to finish.
For more information and to book tickets you can visit the Hounds Escape Game Experiences website.