The Fourth Samurai (Escape Hunt Manchester)

Game Date: 09th May 2019
Game Number: 28
Price for Two: £50
Website: https://escapehunt.com/uk/manchester/

Game Overview
Step into ancient Japan, where the imperial emperor has ordered you, his most trusted samurai warriors, to defeat the evil warlord Tanaka Masamune. But be warned, Tanaka is no ordinary enemy; he is protected by a powerful curse that makes him invincible to even the strongest warrior. The only way to beat him is to steal the magic stone from the handle of his sword – but first you must escape from the dungeon his henchmen have thrown you into. You have one hour to break free and complete your mission; any longer and you pay – with a fate worse than death.

Arrival and Introduction
A warm welcome as we had come to expect from Escape Hunt greeted us when we arrived. Yet again we had chosen a week day game slot so the reception area was very small but we were greeted by Stephanie who had greeted us on our previous visit and recognised us which is always a good thing! We had played most of their games previously so we sat and chatted through how we found them and what we liked about each of them. It is always nice to chat to staff who are clearly invested in their own games and who enjoy escape rooms as much as we do! Stephanie eventually led us towards the room and gave us the back story to the room and we were off.

Gameplay
The nature of theme meant that the room we entered was very sparsely furnished and uncluttered but it actually fit the theme really well – anything more than what was present would have felt out of touch with the theme. Some people might be disappointed with the lack of decoration and this is understandable but personally we enjoyed what we saw. We entered into a small room with our next steps made very obvious from the outset and made good progress into the next area. This next room had a number of different puzzles in ranging from observation, physical to logic and after a major observation error (which we needed help to see!) we continued on. The rest of the game was quite linear compared to the more open room we had just left but the puzzles needed more than just one player to complete which certainly helped make sure that both of us felt included during the game. There were a couple of fun puzzles that we had seen before but had been adapted to fit the theme well and we enjoyed completing all of them. We struggled on one of the puzzles which was a little bit ambiguous in our eyes however thankfully it did not keep us for long. One thing I always enjoy with Escape Hunt is the way they think about the escape from their rooms. It is never just as simple as entering in a code on a pad but there is often an action needed that is tied to the theme and the game story and this is no different. Games that end like this add to the feeling of immersion and add a greater level of achievement when you complete a room.

Outcome
We managed to complete our quest with 13.37 left on the clock which put us 5 place on the monthly leader board. We need 3 clues during the game and these were requested by banging a gong located in the room. After the game we spent some time chatting about other games we have played and getting some more recommendations from Stephanie and we also found out that if you tag your game photo in Instagram they will print it off for you which is a great addition.

Overall
Another really solid game from Escape Hunt. It was a little too linear at points for us but that is just a personal preference. We still really enjoyed the puzzles within the room and they were linked to the theme really well. There was only one code lock and even that was linked well within the theme and not just there to make things difficult. A good soundtrack, solid puzzles and themeing makes it a worthwhile trip for anyone. I would say that a pair is ideal for this game the puzzle difficulty is not too high and at points the puzzles led to a bottleneck which may frustrate bigger teams.

Customer Experience – 4 out of 5
Theming – 3.5 out of 5
Gameplay – 4 out of 5
Enjoyment – 4.5 out of 5
Overall – 4 out of 5

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