Sherlocked – Gulliver’s Travels [Review]

A Swift escape

Location: Rishon Lezion, Israel

Date Played: May 23, 2022

Team Size: 3-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 120 NIS per player for 3 players to 95 NIS per player for 8+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Climbing and crawling required for all players (there is a way around), quiet audio

Emergency Exit Rating: We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Gulliver’s Travels is one of the most popular escape rooms for families in Israel, and the reasons for this were immediately apparent. Building off of Jonathan Swift’s novel of the same name, Gulliver’s Travels transported us by boat to a land of tiny people where we felt like giants, and to the land of the giants where we felt minuscule. Especially for newer escape room players, the set provided a swashbuckling adventure to some wondrous worlds.

We thoroughly enjoyed this journey, and we experienced many joyous moments along the way.

As a puzzle-loving enthusiasts, though, it was hard not to feel as though some elements of the room were a shadow of their former self, and we indeed confirmed with local escape room enthusiasts that some of the original puzzles in the version they’d played years ago had been simplified over time into more straightforward interactions. This is not necessarily a bad thing; many escape rooms adapt over time to fit their target audience. In the case of Gulliver’s Travels, we were not always that audience.

Model of a city.

For families and newer escape room players, Gulliver’s Travels provides a delightful experience that would likely make teams eager to experience more escape rooms. For escape room enthusiasts, Gulliver’s Travels was a fun but particularly light experience that provided a unique take on a nonstandard theme.

Who is this for?

  • Families
  • Scenery snobs
  • Adventure seekers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Family-friendly adventure
  • Large set pieces

Story

Gulliver had returned from his adventures to the land of the lilliputs (6-inch-tall people) and the land of the giants β€” but he had forgotten to bring home a souvenir. We were tasked with retracing his steps in order to steal a diamond from the giants.

The bow of a ship, viewed just over the wheel.

Setting

In Gulliver’s Travels, the set paralleled the story. We began on the front half of a beautiful wood-paneled ship that dominated a full room. Our adventures took us to an adorably tiny town, then a room in a giant’s house filled with massive furniture.

A small desk with strange art around it.

Gameplay

Sherlocked’s Gulliver’s Travels was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, solving puzzles, and making connections.

Analysis

βž• Gulliver’s Travels presented a novel set that felt reminiscent of some Alice in Wonderland themes. We ventured first to a far-off land where the people were tiny and we were comparatively giants, then to the land of the giants where we felt minuscule. The contrast between spaces was exciting and adorable. The set clearly communicated the story.

βž– While the set pieces and general ambience were detailed and delightful, parts of some rooms and the transitions between spaces looked comparatively sparse and under-decorated.

βž• The gameplay was simple, straightforward, and fit the theme well. With a focus on silly, fun tasks and games over puzzles, this style of gameplay would be especially enjoyed by families.

βž– Certain interactions had narrative justifications that were only clear in retrospect. Presenting a reason to take these actions could have made them feel intentional rather than random, especially for one puzzle that had multiple valid solutions without knowing a particular constraint. We were unsure whether some of this lack of signposting had become an issue only in the translation between the Hebrew and English versions of the game.

βž• As we sailed between lands, we appreciated the diegetic interactions with the ship, and some special effects that enhanced our journey.

βž• The oversized portion of the set was well designed around how a normal-sized human would interact with the various props. We appreciated solid foot- and handholds and clear markings of which areas we shouldn’t climb over for safety reasons.

βž– A human-sized combination lock felt notably out of place in the land of the giants, especially since such attention was paid to making other locks appropriately sized. While I suspect that this was the consequence of room maintenance at some point, it was an unfortunate break in immersion. Furthermore, the chest that this lock was on was in a nook that was hard to see into or access.

❓ Our entire objective was to steal a giant-sized diamond from the giants. Everything in the world of the giants felt absolutely massive… except for that diamond, which was large but not necessarily any more so than a diamond you’d recover from, say, a heist-themed escape room. Though technically justified by the narrative, we ended the game with a feeling of “wait, was that it?”

Tips For Visiting

  • English playability: The game was fully translated except for an audio recording and a printed piece of text that were necessary for puzzles.

Book your hour with Sherlocked’s Gulliver’s Travels, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Update November 15, 2022: To hear more from designer Gai Bosco, check out this interview on The Reality Escape Pod.

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