Hounds – Questionable Ethics – 8/10
Crawley, West Sussex
1967, Location: [CLASSIFIED]
Civilians are going missing. Rumour has it that they are being experimented on at an abandoned soviet facility. Anyone who points the blame on the higher ups vanishes the next day, now you’re next up to disappear from society. Lucky for you though, your captor has other plans. Go along with it, and help them expose the facility before you become just another disappearance.
Played May 2023
Another excellent intro by Hounds. Our host Nikolai told us all about the suspicions he had with the Government facility we were about to enter, very accurately identified our weaknesses and explained why we wouldn’t be missed, and sent us off to our impending doom.
To me, the bright white lab you find yourself in at first, with the sarcastic AI system, felt a bit like that computer game Portal, so whilst you don’t get the wow factor that you might have upon entering a room with a huge waterfall for example, it did feel very true to the game and was still pretty cool.
As a team of 5, we were immediately able to split up, which is great. Nobody wants to be the one standing on the side-lines watching your team mates solve everything. To me, the best designed rooms amalgamate in the final puzzle, but are not structured in such a way that you can only do one thing at a time. It really helps the flow of the game if you can leave something, solve a different puzzle, and then get that lightbulb moment and go back to solve the original puzzle you were looking at. Hounds have more or less managed this in all their rooms, with only a couple of pinch points, and I love this about their rooms.
The puzzles are a lot of fun. Because of the theme, although you may have seen similar puzzles before they did feel quite different. There was a reasonable variety and a fair amount of teamwork involved, which you probably could do as a 2, but 3-5 would be the sweet spot in my opinion.
As you progress through the game, further rooms lead to further laughs, and everything eventually culminates with a grand sense of urgency (as if 60 mins ever feels less than urgent anyway).
Our debrief with Nikolai was just as good as our first meeting with him, he stayed in character throughout our experience and was a joy to interact with.
All in all, another highly recommended game from Hounds.
Theme/Immersion – 8
Puzzles – 7
Fun Factor – 8.5
Difficulty – 7
Reviewed by A