Hounds – The Explorer’s Diary – 8.5/10
Crawley, West Sussex
1946, Location: Peru
You’ve heard the stories of Sir Benjamin Diggit, famous archaeologist and collector of rare and magical finds. You may also of heard of the disappearance of him and his stash. Armed with just a single page of his ruined diary, maybe you can find his hidden treasures. Pack your bags and get ready for an adventure! You don’t have long though, you’re not the only ones on the trail…
Played May 2023
For our third room of the day at Hounds, we were greeted by Beatrice. Three wildly different rooms call for three (well, four actually) wildly different hosts, but what do they all have in common? They are here to take the right micky out of you, that’s what. In a hilarious way of course. We loved Beatrice, she was no nonsense, with a thirst for treasure (did she work for the British Museum?), and we were going to get it for her!
You start the game in Sir Benjamin’s tent. The set design here is very well done, with everything feeling as much like a 1946 explorers tent in Peru as you can make a room in Crawley feel. I say that with love, it was cool. As usual with Hounds’ rooms, we split up from the get go and soon had the first door unlocked.
The puzzles were varied with a little something to suit every type of player. They are beautifully designed and on theme throughout, with multiple paths to follow so that you don’t get stuck all staring at the same thing. The game flowed nicely. Despite splitting up for the most part, there are puzzles that require teamwork and good communication so listen to your buddies. There are a lot of puzzles, not too many of course (is that a thing?), but teams of 2 should get there brains prepared in advance… you’ll be busy!
Something I didn’t mention in my previous review was the storyline. Many escape rooms have a premise that you quickly forget about. At Hounds, however, the storyline truly continues throughout the game. It doesn’t detract from the puzzles in any way and it keeps you immersed while you crack codes. They’ve put so much effort into it, I figured it was worth a shut out.
A Hounds room wouldn’t be a Hounds room without an exciting plot twisting finale to the game, and the Explorer’s Diary was no different.
Upon commencing debrief with Beatrice, she took us through our amazing successes, our abject failures, and the things she’ll be laughing with her colleagues about later.
In conclusion, another awesome adventure. Anyone with a soft spot for Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider style rooms is in for a treat and should absolutely play this game.
The rooms I think is suitable for 2-6 people, with 3-4 being the sweet spot.
As with all Hounds games, the style is more aimed at adults than children. I’m sure they can tone down the swearing if you did want to take the young’uns, but it is worth checking. Their website suggests 14 and older.
Theme/Immersion – 8
Puzzles – 7
Fun Factor – 9.5
Difficulty – 7
Reviewed by A