🗺️ Based In United Kingdom
⏲️ About 90-120 Minutes ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 N/A
📚 The Thames Tunnel at The Brunel Museum in London was the world’s first underwater tunnel, and Deadlocked Escape Rooms have collaborated with The Brunel Museum to create our most cinematic adventure yet: What starts as a simple task of helping contractor Joey Beamish with some network tests soon explodes into a time travelling romp through the true stories of the Thames Tunnel.
💭 OVERALL VERDICT: 😃
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Tunnelling Through Time | Deadlocked Escape Rooms & Brunel Museum
Tunnelling Through Time | Deadlocked Escape Rooms & Brunel Museum
A QUICK REVIEW
▪ "Tunnelling Through Time" is a collaboration online puzzle game created by Deadlocked Escape Rooms and Brunel Museum. Designed and brought to life by the creative minds behind "A Close Shave: The Movember Virtual Moscape Room", this time-traveling escape adventure is fun game night (or day, or anytime!) offering that will help raise fund for a charitable cause. 100% of the profit will help sustain vital running costs for UK's historical Brunel Museum, which has been harshly affected by the pandemic. To learn more on this urgent matter, see more info here.
▪ Note: This is a "quick" review. Though not as detailed as my regular in-depth publication (averaging at about 6 to 7 minutes of reading time), this informative, albeit slightly shorter review still packs quite an amount of useful materials to help guide your gaming and puzzling decisions. We got quite a lot of ground to cover, so let's get started!
▪ When I first learned this game was made specifically for the Brunel Museum, I thought it would surely be a semi-educational (and possibly semi-boring, heh!) history lesson under the guise of entertainment. My illogical aversion to the buzz word museum turned out to be misleading and flat out wrong, because "Tunnelling Through Time" wasn't only fun and amusing, it (technically) did not require any prior knowledge, historical or otherwise, to play! Anyone is welcome to just dive in.
▪ However, I do think it's fair to say, if you're a London local and are already familiar with the Brunel Museum, its missions, its exhibit contents, and its starring engineers, you would have a much easier time with the beginning puzzles, and will be able to appreciate the corresponding inspired plotline and characters on a different level. If interested, I would suggest reading briefly on the museum, the Brunel father-and-son engineers, and perhaps even the Thames Tunnel, just for kicks.
▪ The game title references the physical setting and the plot line of time traveling! The Brunels are alive and active during the 1700s to 1800s, so expect to be magically transported back a few centuries with protagonist Joey Beamish. And yes! This is the same Joey from previous Deadlocked games. Your favorite IT personnel is back, this time rocking her blond do, but just as ready for another round of exciting shenanigans. If you're a fan of Joey and the rest of Deadlocked universe, you're in for a treat.
▪ Compared to the last title, graphics and visual aesthetics greatly improved, impressing even the critic in me. Though the same programming platform (Unity) is used to run both games, the augmented-reality puzzle hunt approach was abandoned and instead, this new game felt more self-contained in its own tale, and made less attempt at blurring the line between fantasy and reality. The puzzles also felt more distinctively escape room-ish, making "Tunnelling" my preferred choice of the two.
▪ There was a lengthy amount of cinematic footage used for both story narration and transitional cut-scenes in between puzzle solving. Due to the dramatic increase of video inclusion, it isn't inaccurate to say this is a mini movie-puzzle game hybrid. With the screenplay decently well-written and the acting solidly well-acted, I once again found the actors arguably the best part of the product! However, the stronger puzzles in this game gave the characters a good run for their money--so let's just say both departments shone bright and proud, and came harmoniously together as one robust work.
▪ It's important to note once more that 100% of the proceeds will go into Brunel Museum directly to keep its operation alive, so future generations can continue to visit, learn, and appreciate a piece of London's architectural past. I have deep respect for the company (Deadlocked) responsible for producing the title, and yet not taking even a cent of profit for its hard work.
Escape the room in the 1800s! | Deadlocked Escape Rooms & Brunel Museum
▪ This wouldn't be an escape and puzzle game blog if we didn't dedicate a section for the puzzles--so let's focus on in!
▪ The game started off noticeably more difficult than I had initially expected, though that's most likely due to my being an American and had zero knowledge about the Brunels and their contributions to London prior to this game. (But not anymore! I really did learn a thing or two. Did you know... the Thames Tunnel is the first tunnel known to have been constructed successfully underneath a navigable river?) I would rate the overall game difficulty as a 5 to 6/10.
▪ The initial part of the game felt a bit similar to "A Close Shave", with Joey having to fiddle with a control panel of sort, to repair and calibrate tech or networking problems. (You know, her official job description!) So expect to face some familiar puzzle formats that require following directions and playing around with buttons and dials.
▪ Once the time-travelling went into full swing, however, the game switched gears with well-partitioned "stages", with a new set of challenges to enjoy with each temporal journey. Each individual level carried a different flavor: the first destination featured gen-1 escape room and more traditional puzzle elements, the second had an emphasis on action-based tasks, and the third was best described as a mixture of both. Some specific examples include: padlock combo, observe and find, and a bit of simple math.
▪ Because there was such a wide variety of puzzles available across all the stages, I can almost guarantee you will find something to your liking. For instance, while I was not a big fan of logic or Google map-based puzzle (a mere preference, really), I absolutely fancied the entire fairground-themed segment. The midway and arcade games-loving child in me had a field day!
▪ You may need and are allowed to use Google assistance. The embedded hint system was also amazingly well-scripted, with Joey explaining in small steps, guiding you through the problem in bite-size chunks and in the most logical sense possible, so you can try to work it out on your own once you have received just the right amount of assistance.
OVERALL VERDICT: 😃
▪ Part jovial escape game, part mesmerizing cinematic experience, all melded together in wholesome spirits and good heart, "Tunnelling Through Time" transcends the boundary of space and time, bridges the gap between the puzzle game and historical museum worlds, and offers a charitable option that you can feel great for doing good all the while having some fun.
Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. DLERTunnel.