Room Name: Sherlock Holmes: Parliament Games
Business: The Exit Game Escape Room
Date of Visit: May 19, 2019
Number of Players: 4-8
Our Group Size: 4, we recommend no more than 6
Official Description: Sherlock Holmes is on the trail of a member of Parliament determined to continue the work of Guy Fawkes. You are now Sherlock’s only hope to stop England from falling and save the queen. Sherlock has left you to finish his investigation and stop destruction of Parliament. Are you ready? Do you have what it takes? What’s the point in being clever if you can’t prove it? -SH
Difficulty (official): The Exit Game’s difficulty scale rated this game as a 4 out of 5.
Difficulty (experience): Medium
Time to Escape: About 43 minutes.
Review: We had plenty of time to spare after finishing Trapped Below, and our group decided to try out a different room at the nearby Exit Game Escape Room in San Antonio. The staff was very accommodating to our last minute booking, and we quickly found the business on the second floor of a nearby shopping center. Our gamemaster escorted us to the room almost immediately after we arrived, and, after a brief overview, began the game.
We were really excited to give a Sherlock Holmes themed room another go, especially after our experience at Escape Haus left us wanting. Unfortunately for our group, the decor was quite lacking. This was another room where removing the UK flag and a painting would render its design into a generic ‘escape the home office.’ Nothing in the room really screamed ‘Parliament’ to us. But to its credit, most of the furniture was integrated into the room design and puzzles, which we appreciated. The space did do a good job of eliminating red herrings, but then suffers from being a little empty.
This room had a really fun reveal with a delivery we hadn’t seen before, and we enjoyed the creativity. This is also the first room we’ve been in that had a locker combination lock, but this addition broke the theme a bit. It didn’t really feel like it fit into the space properly. In my opinion, this kind of lock doesn’t really work well in an escape room unless it’s school-themed—and it felt very out of place in a Sherlock room.
The puzzles themselves were fairly standard for an escape room; there were a couple that we thought had a unique solution and kept us puzzling for a bit. However, we skipped one lock designed to open up fairly early into our experience and we didn’t figure out the solution for it until much later. This unfortunately rendered the clues provided behind the lock useless. This was the one puzzle for which we required a hint. Our group searched for some indication for a clue to the lock’s solution but none existed. As a result, we spent too much time trying to figure it out.
The answer to the aforementioned puzzle also required outside information; our group saw no reference material that another party could use to solve this puzzle without possessing this outside knowledge. However trivial this information may seem to a game designer, it should never be assumed that everyone will carry this knowledge into the room with them. This just leads to lots of frustration.
Our group discussed the room’s plotline after the game, and we all agreed the dissonance between the trailer and the actual room was a let-down. We just played yet another room where our resolution came sooner than we expected. Again, after solving the final puzzle we had another ‘that’s it?’ moment. We’re seeing this a lot in rooms in Texas, and I’m hoping that as these businesses grow, they give a more satisfying end to the experience. These rooms often feel more like scavenger hunts and less like puzzle or escape rooms. We enjoyed our time in the room, but felt this was on the easier end of experiences and not as challenging as we had hoped.
Hints Used: Exit Game only allows a limited number of hints. We asked for one and also received an unprompted hint.
Clue Quality : Some of the clues bordered on the vague side, but overall they were easy to understand in the end.
Puzzle Creativity: We enjoyed the endgame puzzle, but the rest of the puzzles were pretty standard for an escape.
Rating: 3 / 5.
Fear Factor: None
Things to note: The Exit Game Escape Rooms is located in a shopping center with plenty of available parking. The room is on the second floor with available elevator access near the stairs. They offer discounts if at least four people book at the same time on certain days of the week. This room requires at least one person to be able to crawl a short distance.