Reviewed – 30th January 2020
“superb if a little bit daunting initially, with puzzles that really kick your brain into gear and feel rewarding to solve”
We all love a good conspiracy theory, don’t we? The idea that there’s some puppet master pulling strings we never knew about in the service of some ulterior purpose that sounds a little bit ludicrous always has a certain allure, and The Guild taps into that right from the off.
As the six audience members in the Lookout, a corner of the upper level of the Underbar in the Vaults, get handed a complimentary drink each, the members of Mostly Harmless inform us that we are potential recruits for The Guild, a secret society that inconspicuously controls every aspect of life as we know it. To join The Guild, we have to solve a series of puzzles, which will unveil the antidote to the poison that it’s revealed our complimentary drinks were laced with. And we’ve only got 30 minutes to do it.
The dynamic will feel familiar to anyone who’s done an escape room before, as you’ll have to work together with the other audience members – total strangers, most likely – to find the solutions to a host of riddles, puzzles, and games. It can feel a bit overwhelming at first as you initially have to find six different answers at once, although there’s a superb level of variety that allows for each audience member to come into their own – ranging from learning a song on a recorder to navigating the Vaults with a compass for hidden clues. The wild card element is of course the people you’re playing with, as the frenzy of having to establish a group dynamic amongst the puzzles can be a bit intimidating. A member of Mostly Harmless is on hand to help you along should you need it, so you’re never hitting a brick wall, but unless you’re a particularly outgoing individual, The Guild is probably best experienced with a group of friends.
That said, the content of The Guild is superb if a little bit daunting initially, with puzzles that really kick your brain into gear and feel rewarding to solve. And you definitely will want to solve them – the antidote is delicious.
Reviewed by Ethan Doyle