eScape-room.UK - "The Fitzwilliam Heirs"
Updated: Feb 3
Photos provided by eScape-room.UK
Games: The Fitzwilliam Heirs
Country: United Kingdom 🇬🇧
Type of Game: Digital Escape Game 💻
Date Played: 1/23/2021
Difficulty (based on 4 players): 5.5/10
Size of Team: Unlimited
Time: Unlimited (Approximately 60-120 min)
Courtney Fitzwilliam wants to find a sole heir to his fortune. You and your cousins are all invited to his manor and the fortunes are hidden behind puzzles within Draycott Hall. Can you find the fortune before your cousins do?
🆃🅷🅴 🅶🅰🅼🅴 🅿🅻🅰🆈
This is a point-n-click style game. We played this game as a team over Zoom and shared the same login. The game is not synced so you'll have to share the solution code with your teammates once you've solved a puzzle. It was a bit tricky to remember and share where items were found with our teammates as once we picked up an item it'll be saved into the inventory. Once an item was used, it would disappear from the inventory and this was quite useful for us to track what else was needed to be done.
There's a timer that would start when you open the game but that's mainly for tracking as the game will never actually time you out. You might need a bit of time to get use to how the point-n-click works at first. When you find a key, there's no need to click on a certain door. Just click on the key and it'll inform you which door opened with that key.
The graphics were great and there were many places (kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom, etc.) to explore in this mansion. You can easily get lost but playing with a team helped a lot as everyone remembered bits and pieces of information that others didn't.
There was a good amount of puzzles in this game. Some were quite easy and others took us a few steps to solve. One issue we had was that the puzzles we've solved won't stay open and we'll have to go back to solve it again in order to see what's inside. Some of these were jigsaw or puzzle boxes so it'll take a awhile to open them again. Ultimately, we took photos with our phones so that we didn't have to open them again. If the developer could have items that were open stay open, it would greatly improve the game flow. One other thing we noticed was that there were a few incidences where we were unsure of how certain solutions was associated with certain drawer or box that we had to open. Eventually, we started using the 4 digits or 4 letters we found and randomly started to try on the things we haven't opened. But I think there were only a few of these occasions. One of our player's puzzles also had missing components that started occurring during his game so he had to restart from the beginning but I'm not sure if that's because we're using the same login or not. Other than that, we had a great time solving various puzzles and searching for items to put together. We really enjoyed the puzzles that were interactive within the platform. There's a build-in "nudging" hint system if you get stuck. The game will not save your progress so definitely finish the game or else you'll have to start from the beginning if you login again.
Here are some updates we've received from the creator on this game so you may not be experiencing what we've had when we wrote the review - 2/3/2021:
- made the open items stay open
- added more visual clues to locks
- made the inventory stay open
- shown the name of all items in the inventory (on mouse over) - so keys are now named
- made the close button larger
- made the gears move on hold down.
If you're a puzzle lover and loves to open locks, then you'll definitely satisfy your hunger in this game. Finding items through various rooms, objects and puzzle boxes was a lot of fun but the ultimate meta puzzle seamlessly strung everything together. We felt quite satisfied at the end. I mean I would've been more satisfied if we were able to receive some of that fortune? 😜
+ There were a good variety of different puzzles that made the game diverse enough to enjoy for everyone. The puzzles were also a good mix of difficulty as well.
+ Personally, I'm not a huge fan of point/click games using real photos but I feel they pulled it off for a nice aesthetic look.
+ One thing that was cool was that there was some artwork on the wall that was created by artists with a link to their website. As a fan of the arts, this was nice to see and something I feel more escape rooms should try doing.
- One frustrating thing was that all the combination lock boxes would lock again after you exit them. This meant every time you would go back into the room, you did not know if you had opened the box previously or not. Good note taking had to be done.
- At one point in the game, one of the puzzles did not properly load. The only way to fix it was to refresh the game, which would start you back from the beginning.
- There were a couple of puzzles that seemed disjointed and the answers were not clued super well.
This game was a fun point/click game to play for both beginners and experienced players. The controls to the game were not intuitive at first but once we figured it out, we were well on our way. I would recommend this with a smaller group of people (2-3) and only on 1 or 2 screens since you all do not progress together and everyone moves independently.
With physical room escapes being inaccessible at the moment, we are turning to digital alternatives for our entertainment, and I had the chance to play The Fitzwilliam Heirs with the EscapeTheRoomers team and a fourth, independent player.
We "showed up" at the entrance to a very grand looking house - and having read our letter and found the obligatory "key under the mat" (spoiler alert - it's not under the mat!) we were able to enter said house. I would LOVE to be able to explore this house in a real-life escape room scenario with its quirky rooms and grand staircase! Although I'm not sure that this house exists exactly as we see it depicted by the imagery.
With all rooms locked at first, we set about examining the hallway for clues, and solving the first of a series of puzzle boxes to make progress. Using information we found in various places, we made our way through the rooms, opening more boxes and combination locks, finding items to collect and use later, and the usual point and click adventure game mechanics.
A couple of nice touches and some fun animations made the experience a satisfying one, albeit with a few frustrations with the drag and drop elements which we mainly persevered with, apart from when one player came unstuck when a graphic glitch meant he could no longer enter a code into a combination lock. The other annoyance was that boxes reset to locked when you move away from them, so revisiting one to remind oneself of the clue within meant solving the whole thing again. This led to a bit of RSI in the old mouse finger!
All in all, an enjoyable mix of puzzles with some themed elements and codes which were fun to solve and took us around an hour and a half to solve, although I suspect if the UI improvements are made this would come down, as a lot of that time was spent revisiting rooms and repeating code entries or opening boxes.
(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank eScape-room.UK for providing us with samples of the game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.