The When, The Where… And The Why
Location: Brighton, England
Date Played: January 8, 2023
Team size: 4-9; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: from £32 per player for teams of 2 to £26 per player for teams of 6 or more
Accessibility Consideration: There are stairs down to the game, but no stairs within the experience.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
I was jazzed to play Modrophenia. I grew up on The Who. (Quadrophenia is my dad’s favorite album.) I truly enjoyed Loot The Lanes and Pier Pressure’s commitment to Brighton’s local history and culture. With that in mind, Modrophenia fell flat for me.
I recognize that Pier Pressure went out on a limb with Modrophenia. It was an unusual story to tell in an escape room and they coupled it was a novel game structure. I respect that they tried something different, but I don’t think that Pier Pressure landed this leap.
Throughout most of the experience, I found myself consciously noting that the puzzles either felt half-baked or dull… and the solution mechanism/ overarching mystery under-delivered.
The most intriguing part came late in the game, and I have to imagine that a significant portion of players don’t get to see this twist… which is a shame.
Overall, Modrophenia was a game that I wanted to like. I loved the subject and I respect the attempt, but if you’re visiting Pier Pressure, prioritize Loot The Lanes; it won’t disappoint.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Music and mod culture fans
- Best for players with at least some experience
- Late game twist (which smaller teams likely won’t experience)
Our gang member Jimmy had been murdered and we needed to know who was behind it. We’d broken into his apartment to look for clues and piece together the events that led up to his demise.
Aesthetically, Modrophenia was an homage to something in between the movie Quadrophenia and The Who as a band. It had the color palette of The Who and the aesthetic and props of Quadrophenia. It was an odd marriage. The set felt a bit empty. It lacked the finer detailed work on display in Loot the Lanes.
Pier Pressure’s Modrophenia was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, solving puzzles, communicating, and marking our progress with magnets on a whiteboard.
➕ Modrophenia was locally themed, inspired by The Who’s Quadrophenia, which was set in London and Brighton.
➕ The set up seemed straight forward to the point of being boring, until the twist. Well played.
➖ The puzzles weren’t fun. Almost every puzzle was tedious to solve. Once we knew what to do, we had to spend a lot of time doing it.
➖ A few of the puzzles lacked adequate clue structure. Either it was incomplete or non-existent. Additionally, the set was plagued with written instructions, probably because the clue structure didn’t deliver.
➕ Our gamemaster introduced our mission in character, which added energy to the experience.
➕/➖ Our gamemaster provided confirmation each time we correctly placed a magnet on the whiteboard, which was how we input solutions to a lot of early puzzles. This was greatly appreciated, as these intermediary solves would factor into a later puzzle. That said, a triggered confirmation could have added more pizzazz, and may have been more reliable.
➖ Transition technology was frustratingly slow. It was a cool reveal the first time, but we had to interact with this technology over and over again to solve puzzles, and we had to wait for it every time.
➖The largest set pieces were barely utilized. We really wanted these to be exciting interactions that upped the energy in the gamespace.
➕ The music was an important part of Modrophenia, and it was on-point.
Tips For Visiting
- There is no parking immediately outside the venue, it is all residents only. Pier Pressure recommends parking at Churchill Square car park. We found Brighton to be a walkable city.
Book your hour with Pier Pressure’s Modrophenia, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Pier Pressure’ provided media discounted tickets for this game.