All great adventures begin by turning the first page…
Location: at home
Release Date: June 2019
Date Played: April 2021
Team Size: we recommend 1
Duration: ~3 hours, depending on thoroughness
Publisher: Ammonite Press
The Sherlock Holmes Escape Book: The Adventure of the London Waterworks is the first in a series of Holmesian branching-narrative puzzle books. Combining story and puzzles in roughly equal measure, it leads the reader through a second-person adventure of mystery, murder, and escape.
The Adventure of the London Waterworks read like a Choose Your Own Adventure book fortified with Professor Layton-style “everything’s a puzzle” gameplay. The story would be fairly simple without the puzzle layer, and vice versa. But in combination, the narrative structure served as a sturdy framework for puzzle delivery.
The solving covered many puzzle types, with frequent appearances of the Dancing Men cipher from the classic Sherlock Holmes story. The puzzle difficulty gradually increased from simple warmups to some genuinely challenging moments. Certain choices cleverly rewarded close scrutiny while deploying red herrings to discourage guessing or cheating.
From cover to cover, The Adventure of the London Waterworks provided several hours of entertainment, with details that rewarded multiple reads. You could enlist the help of your own Watson, but the book seems best suited for a solo puzzling experience, particularly because certain puzzles require close inspection.
Seasoned solvers may not find a hardcore challenge in The Adventure of the London Waterworks, but it’s a good amount of entertainment in a small package. If you’re a fan of interactive fiction books or Sherlock Holmes stories, this one is worth checking out.
Who is this for?
- Sherlock Holmes fans
- Gamebook aficionados
- Puzzlers who enjoy a narrative foundation
- Readers who enjoy a sprinkling of puzzles
- To get all the endings
- To feel as smart as Sherlock Holmes
- Red herrings done right
Playing the role of consulting detective Sherlock Holmes, I followed a mysterious note to the London Waterworks with the trusty Dr. Watson. After infiltrating the pumping station, I made choices and solved puzzles in order to uncover and foil Moriarty’s mysterious plan.Continue reading “The Sherlock Holmes Escape Book: The Adventure of the London Waterworks [Review]”