Early in our days as reviewers we played a game that was built in a space that was previously a medical doctor’s office. It had a lot of built-in furniture that is common in doctor’s offices.
Our team really hit its stride and we were on a record-breaking pace for the first time ever (back when we cared deeply about such things). We were puzzling hard and searching even harder… too hard. I pulled some of the drawers out of the built-in furniture and underneath the bottom drawer was some paperwork and a sealed test tube with yellow liquid in it.
Now, you have to understand that I was in a serious flow state and I had never encountered an object in an escape room that didn’t belong. Additionally, the room had a doctor’s office theme going… I didn’t question it. I immediately started inspecting the vial and reading the paperwork, desperately trying to decipher its hidden meaning. Then a voice came over the hint system frantically saying, “THAT’S NOT OURS! PUT IT DOWN!.”
It was a urine sample lost by the doctor’s office that had previously occupied the space. The paperwork was the corresponding test request forms.
Upon escape, I washed my hands more thoroughly than I ever had in my life. I’m so glad I didn’t open it.
I’m not kidding and I’m not being hyperbolic. That really happened.
The moral of the story?
When setting up a new game, search it as thoroughly as possible. Your players will. Take built-in furniture apart. Make sure that you know exactly what’s in your room escape.
You never know what gets left behind.