Clockwork Escapes: The Legend of Foole’s Gold

By | May 16, 2024

Telford, Mar 2024

Rated 4 out of 5
Toby says:

Any visit to Clockwork Escapes is likely to leave you talking about the host. Becostumed and behatted, with an instant dry wit that could put Richard O’Brien to shame, with the presence and elocution of a circus ringmaster, he sets the tone of the venue and never fails to be memorable. I don’t actually know whether the company sometimes has other hosts; it seems likely that they do, but I struggle to imagine their rooms being run by someone else, or another person managing to bring an similar excess of personality to the job.
We came to play all three rooms at the venue, starting with Foole’s Gold. This is set in a mine, from which you not only need to get out but also gather as many valuables as possible. Most of the valuables consist of variable size nuggets of (actual) pyrite, and there are some more precious items too. A somewhat complex scoring system determines your final score based on what you get out with, which I won’t attempt to summarise here. I thought we’d been pretty thorough in cleaning out the many, many bits of gold and other things, so it was a shock to discover just how much there still was in the room; unless your search game is considerably better than ours, best to expect you’ll be quite some way off max points.
The actual game takes place in a rather dark but very atmospheric set of mine chambers, with some delightfully authentic-feeling mining equipment. Progress through the puzzles was punctuated by periodic pauses to sweep whichever area we’d entered for any nuggets of gold.
On balance I think the searching and the variable score nature of the game are a net positive – though you could entirely strip out those elements and you’d still have a very impressive escape room. As it is, it might be less suited to those who find searching a chore, or who are dissatisfied with getting any score lower than the maximum; but as long as that doesn’t sound off-putting, it adds extra challenge and makes sure everyone in the team always has something to do. 4 / 5