Things to do at home – Escape rooms in a box – part 12

Escape from the Grand Hotel

Continuing our “travels” while isolated at home in London, we took a trip to a Grand Hotel. This is the first Professor Puzzle Escape Room in a box game we have tried. This is a 90 minutes escape game.

Escape from the Grand Hotel” arrived in a beautifully designed box with quality printed material. Bigger than most escape-room-in-a-box we have played (except Mystery At the Stargazers Manor) we were expecting great things.

Escape from the Grand Hotel - photo by Juliamaud

The Grand Hotel was once the place for the rich and famous to visit. After decades of disrepair, the mysterious and wealthy Blossom family had restored the hotel to its former glory. Kurt Blossom and his beautiful wife, Lauren had invited us to the hotel’s grand reopening.  We were ready for a night to remember – little did we suspect it would be for all the wrong reasons!

The box states it is for 2 to 8 players, but there were only two of us playing. So it was a surprise when we opened the box to find character invitations for 8 players. Maybe it is meant as a dinner party game where we all play different roles, we mused. But,  no. The characters seem to play no part in the game whatsoever!

As well as the invitations, we had 9 mystery envelopes – each representing a room of the Grand Hotel, plus the game introduction and a “Puzzle Solutions” envelope – to be opened in emergencies only. The game did not require any app download or internet connection, which was good.

Each puzzle leads to another room in the hotel. There are no answer checking mechanisms needed. Either your solution gives you the number of the next room to visit….or you need to solve the puzzle again.

Each room envelope unfolds to reveal a clue. Some rooms contain a puzzle to solve, but surprisingly, not each room holds a puzzle. Some just hold a puzzle piece or a continuation of the story. Yes, there’s a lot of reading.

As for the puzzles they were a mixture of  “too easy” and “too illogical.” We rattled through most of the game without any trouble until we hit the coded fax puzzle. The game provided duplicate copies of this puzzle, so we could both pore over it. We found it to be one of the most tedious puzzles we’ve ever done. It made absolutely no sense, even after reading the hint and seemed to solved purely by searching. (When we finished the game we read the supposed answer and it still made no sense!)

Hints were provided for each room in a concealed pocket. Only one hint per room and, in some cases, the hints themselves were puzzles without hints.

The end of the game just stops without a big final puzzle/reveal. There was no ‘ah-ha’ moment. A bit of a disappointment really.

Looking back, it was good there were only two of us playing. So much reading and easy puzzles at the start, it would have been difficult to keep 8 players entertained.

On the plus side, the game can be played again as you do not destroy any of the components. We took photos of each room so we could reset it, but there are reset instructions given in the Puzzle Solutions guide.

Cannot really recommend this escape game as although it looks beautiful, the puzzles are not great.

Escape the Grand Hotel - photo by Juliamaud

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