The Zen Room is one of the oldest escape rooms in London. It is operated by Hint Hunt who run their franchise around the world. The game is what we would call a “classical room”, with a mixture of deduction and physical puzzles, set indoors, in a house where players have to solve something similar to a murder mystery. We had fun playing the game and really enjoyed the surprises although we felt like having or not having a particular skill could make the difference between escaping or not escaping.
This is the place where Hint Hunt lacks the most. Unfortunately, they only have a small room where you meet the staff so there isn’t a good place to wait for other players. The briefing happens in front of the room as well so we were eager to start as we didn’t enjoy they waiting before. We haven’t visited them since we played but we do hope they improved the beginning of the experience
A journey to the heart of Tokyo, Miss Miharu has contacted you and your team alongside private investigator James Murdock about a robbery that has taken place in one of her many properties. A cruel and spiteful uncle that has torn her family apart is at the center of the mystery. Locked inside, you will have to home into all of your investigational skills to unfold the secrets, solve the crime and escape out of the locked room all in one hour! A recently orphaned Japanese girl has requested your help in retrieving her priceless family heirlooms. Latest intel suggests that the heirlooms are hidden within one of the culprit’s safe houses. you don’t have much time till they are sold in the black market and completely lost forever. This mission will require your teams cooperation and fine eye for detail if you intend to succeed in the recovery of the heirlooms. Act now, you don’t have much time!
The Zen Room is set in a Japanese house, with asian motifs everywhere. There are a lot of things to investigate and objects to find, which contributes to the initial excitement. We did feel like some of the puzzles did not fit in the room (or in a house). Moreover, delivering clues through a tablet on the wall contributed to the lack of immersion we felt some times. Having said this, we understand that rooms have evolved quite a lot in the meantime and it is more difficult to apply upgrades retroactively. Overall, we enjoyed the asian theme but it felt artificial and that the designers can do a bit more.
We liked that we saw a good mixture of observation, deduction, logic and physical puzzles. Although some were very enjoyable, we felt that the room required a particular set of logic and observation skills. Without them, the players cannot advance and no amount of clues can help. We also didn’t like that much that the solution to some puzzles needed a few explanations from the Game Master. We really liked the fact that the room is not linear so a larger team has higher chances of escaping.
The Game Masters paid close attention to the game and they tried to help us as much as they could. Although the clues were helpful most of the time, sometimes we couldn’t decipher the puzzles. Even with the Game Master’s help, they had to explain the actual solution so that we can advance. The good part is that the clue delivery mechanism is a tablet where pictures or text can appear.
Overall we enjoyed parts of the games but there are definitely better rooms in London at this time.