Pursue the Clues – Lenny Thompkins sold his soul to play the blues [Review]

Poor Lenny Thompkins sold his soul in a decade where few care about the blues.

Location: Torrington, Connecticut

Date played: July 9, 2017

Team size: 4-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per ticket

Story & setting

Mediocre guitarist Lenny Thompkins went down to the crossroads and sold his soul for talent. With his contract nearly up, we had to find and dispel it to save his life.

Lenny Thompkins sold his soul to play the blues was loosely based on the old legend from the Mississippi Delta of Robert Johnson, one of the fathers of the blues. Johnson recorded one staggering record and then died at the age of 27. His work became legendary and inspired the later icons such as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and Fleetwood Mac. Johnson immortalized his own legend in the song Cross Roads Blues:

Which was later reimagined by Cream / Clapton as the blues rock classic Crossroads:

Yes… I’m a little bit passionate about the blues. Thank you for asking. 

The set of Lenny Thompkins had an old music room feel about it. Lined with guitars, keyboards, metronomes, and instrument cases, it had that rugged “a broke musician who spends everything he has on gear” feel. It wasn’t a particularly beautiful set, but it felt reasonably authentic.

Puzzles

Lenny Thompkins was built around music puzzles, but composed in a way that didn’t require a musical background. It also had a mixture of more common escape room puzzles, most of which were a fair bit more challenging than in your average escape room.

Standouts

Lenny Thompkins had a great intro video.

Music puzzles are very tough to create. Frequently, they either don’t provide enough information for folks who have no music background or they give so much away that the puzzles lose their souls. Pursue the Clues nailed their music puzzles, which really mattered in an escape room themed around music.

In-game: A guitar in the foreground in a crappy old apartment. Another guitar rests in the background.

The musical prop selection in Lenny Thompkins was on point.

I loved the theme and story. Can you tell that I loved the theme and story?

Shortcomings

The interactions that were built around search and discovery were underwhelming.

While the musical prop selection was great, there was a lot of room for improvement in terms of set design.

The story’s setup was fantastic and the conclusion certainly escalated, but the ending didn’t work. It felt jarring and unsatisfying. This was one of the rare escape rooms where our entire team (not just the blues lover) wanted more story and better gameplay integration.

Should I play Pursue the Clues’ Lenny Thompkins sold his soul to play the blues?

Lenny Thompkins sold his soul to play the blues was a challenging room escape, especially by 2017 standards. Whereas most escape rooms have gotten easier, this one was a bit of a demon. It was absolutely winnable, but newbies might have to sell their soul to complete it.

I highly recommend Lenny Thompkins for players who have won at least a few games, are in the region, and are looking for a challenging and creative escape room with a fun setup. It was a little gritty and far from flawless… but it left an impression.

Book your hour with Pursue the Clues’ Lenny Thompkins sold his soul to play the blues, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Pursue the Clues provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

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