I can let you do that, Dave
Location: Brighton, England
Date Played: January 8, 2023
Team size: 2-7; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: £60-£154 per group
Accessibility Consideration: The game is on the second floor of the building, but there aren’t stairs within the game itself.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
The Bewilder Box Initiative was a collection of nifty, modular interactions, glued together by a commitment to the game’s world. This was a prime example of a classic-style escape room done well.
The 3D printing and lighting gave the set its futuristic look. These objects each stood alone, but they were enticing. Sometimes they really surprised us. The Bewilder Box Initiative was perfect for those who like hands-on puzzles and tangible reveals.
While this could have come off disjointed – the puzzles were a bit of a random assortment – it worked because our gamemaster sold us the fiction when introducing the game. They were committed to the world, its characters, and our mission. They created the stakes, and made us believe in them.
The game did a good job of supporting this world-building with audio and video components. Given this structure, we didn’t always feel like we’d earned our wins. As the disparate bits were pulled together, we were spoon-fed solutions when we could have had more dramatic ahas. That said, more often than not escape rooms remain a collection of random puzzles, and The Bewilder Box Initiative attained something more.
Brighton is an adorable seaside town about 2 hours from London by train. If you’ve traveled to Brighton, we recommend you stop in to Bewilder Box. Judgement Dave is a must-play game in Brighton, but while you’re there, pick this one up too. It will put a smile on your face.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Puzzle box aficionados
- Any experience level
- For a fun, classic puzzle game
- It’s the best kind of old school escape room
- Novel, fiddly puzzle interactions
As the latest recruits to The Bewilderbox Initiative, we had been administered a test and given a challenge learn the fate of its founder, Dr. Wilder Sr.
The set was minimalist and futuristic. It included some well constructed 3D-printed components. However, it was mostly a compact box to hold the puzzles.
Bewilder Box’s The Bewilder Box Initiative was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.
➕ There was an AI named Dave. Enough said. (Ok, one of us might be biased.)
➕ Our gamemaster was stellar. His funny, sarcastic tone was the perfect introduction to The Bewilder Box Initiative. The escape game didn’t take itself too seriously.
➕ The 3D printing gave the main set pieces a sci-fi aesthetic. Bewilder Box 3D printed some pretty nifty devices. We especially enjoyed one that appeared conventional at a glance, but was not so straight forward.
➖ One self-contained puzzle was crammed into a corner such that it was hard to collaborate to solve it.
➕ The gameplay flowed well. It was primarily a series of separate puzzle and interactions. But each one was well clued, and the props were fun to play with and satisfying to solve.
➖ The Bewilder Box Initiative didn’t rely too heavily on searching, so when one object was hidden exceptionally well in plain sight, everything ground to a halt. This positioning added difficulty, but not in a fun way.
➕ Bewilder Box justified why were in a room solving a collection of (pretty random) puzzles. To do this they augmented a pretty standard early puzzle game with audio and video elements.
➖ The set up hyped that we were looking for 3 passwords, but then they were practically served up to us. We wanted them to feel more earned.
Tips For Visiting
- The escape room is located about The Brunswick pub, which we also recommend.
Book your hour with Bewilder Box’s The Bewilder Box Initiative, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Bewilder Box comped our tickets for this game.