Dead Man’s Hand is the newest production of A Door in a Wall in which attendees need to investigate and resolve a poker related murder case by gathering clues in the streets of Farringdon in London.
I decided to try it out, unsure of what to expect. Myself and the two friends, who joined me gathered in The Castle pub in Farringdon and sat on one of the upstairs tables. The different teams attending on the day were sitting on the different tables across the room.
We were handed a booklet with clues and an introduction to the mystery to be solved. As part of the story, we were part of The Underhand Club and last night one of our fellow members, Jack Spade, was murdered. The suspects were other members of The Underhand Club that had been playing with him that night.
It was our duty to solve this murder that afternoon and we would have to leave the Club (& The Castle) in order to visit different clue trails across Farringdon to gather sufficient evidence to decide who indeed killed Jack Spade. We had two hours, after that we would come back to The Castle to do a de-brief with the other teams.
I will not discuss the details of the clues or the clue trails but I will tell you two things. The first thing is that it was hard. Me and my friends are not frequent escape room players, and I think this made it even tougher for us. And yes, we might be a bit slow as well. We didn’t have time to go through all of the clue trails, we missed key pieces of evidence and were a bit allover the place. Also, we were 3 and teams can be up to 6 people. Of course, the more you are the better as it means more heads thinking. I have to say though, that there was a team of 2 people that knocked it out of the park in terms of clue gathering and understanding of the game. I think it was an “us” problem.
The second thing is that it was amazing. I had no expectations for the game to be as technological and professional as it was. It was the real deal. Some of the clues involved texting & calling using your phone, with witnesses or people that had information and all of it was automated. You would also run into actors on the trail, which were amazing. One of the clues involved decoding a message using details on a building in Farringdon which just blue my mind. Last, we received a phone call with a clue from a red phone box! I literally felt in a movie.
In summary, I really enjoyed the game. As I mentioned it was way better production wise than I expected. Only warning is: you need to think. Don’t come tired or hangover, you need to be sharp and alert. My advise to all future players is to bring their best self and a fully charged phone (very important).
You can book Dead Man’s Hand here.
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