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Cryptology Swindon: What’s New

Incarcerated Swindon has just joined the Cryptology Family – which means there’s big things to come for 2023! So, what’s next for Swindon’s first Cryptology escape room?

Where it began

Incarcerated opened as the first escape room in Swindon in Summer 2016. There were lots of padlocks, plenty of mistakes and a tonne of fun. Players were a special mix of adventurous and curious.

Locking people in a room full of puzzles was a new idea at the time and we had it all. Clue systems were words on a TV screen, baby monitors to hear half of everything the players said and physical key locks on the final door. (Why can’t we just use the emergency key to escape?)

Collection of Incarcerated Games

How we built it

Selecting what makes a good Escape Room is a very difficult task. Difficulty, theme, humour, immersion, team work, the list is endless. Escape Rooms offer an opportunity to make memories with your friends and family. They are, effectively, a film set – and the players are the stars of the show. The spectacle is filled with special effects, cool props and clever moments of realisation to make you look awesome.

The catch is, the stars of the show haven’t seen the script and the director is a recluse who only communicates in riddles, unless you’re doing something really wrong. Over the years we’ve whisked players from a Doctors Surgery, to the Jungles of Vietnam, from a Secret Government Research Lab to a haunted Victorian House hiding a terrible secret. All of it almost came to end though in 2020. We jokingly refer to it as the dark times but nearly two years of lockdown simply meant a lot of money going out, with nothing coming in. We needed some help.

Adding Cryptology Magic

If you’re reading this blog you already know who Cryptology are, you’re reading their blog after all. So rather than asking WHO are Cryptology, I’d like to answer WHY Cryptology. Every room needs to be unique. This isn’t a franchise that clones its games. When you visit Cryptology in Nottingham or Sheffield you will play a one of a kind game where every feature, puzzle and prop has been designed and built just for you and your team to come and play. Sounds like common sense, but the escape room industry has plenty of opportunities to just buy a puzzle or two, maybe even copy someone else. Cryptology wants to build something different and new every time.That is something Incarcerated agrees with.

It also helps that the staff at Cryptology are a wonderful bunch of creative puzzle fans with a flair for theatrics. They even made a puzzle out of porridge!

What’s next?

Coming in May 2023, the latest game from Cryptology Swindon:

aRgUMENTAL will be Cryptology Swindon’s new escape room in 2023

We’re dreaming up some truly cryptic puzzles to match the concealed message in the games title. R U MENTAL? Think of it like a Turing Test for puzzle solvers. Can you exhibit intelligent behaviour? We hope to open the first game of aRgUMENTAL for May 2023.

aRgUMENTAL will be:

  • Head to Head
  • Bright and Colourful
  • Non-Linear
  • Light on Reading, Heavy on Fun
  • Inventive tech
  • Point Gathering

There are plenty of games where the team of players are trapped and need to find a way out. However, one of our best selling games of all time was Cops & Robbers. A simple concept of two rooms side by side joined by a single door. The robbers had to escape their hideout before the cops break in and arrest them. This was a big game, allowing up to 12 players in a single session and it’s the inspiration for our next room.

Ever lost an argument that wasn’t your fault? Tired of telling someone I told you so? Want to prove once and for all who’s big and who’s small, who’s right and who’s wrong? Come and settle the score.

So, why play aRgUMENTAL?

The game will be two different escape rooms that can run independently or head to head.

A team of up to 6 players in each game will have 60 minutes to solve as many puzzles or challenges as they can to gather points. The team with the most points wins.

We will ensure even the most elite puzzle solvers have enough to be doing for a full hour, as the game will automatically adjust the difficulty and number of puzzles. The two games will have the same theme but each will have totally unique puzzles.

Which means if you don’t have a dozen friends ready to come and play a versus game, you can bring a standard team of 2-6 and then come back another time and play the other side.

We’re building these games to make a fair competition for all of our players. We often get asked what’s the fastest escape time for our games and honestly the enthusiast teams can solve a room in half the time without any clues. We hope our new score system will allow teams to compete with similar groups.

Two teams of four characters. Some confused, the others having a bright idea.

Will your friendships stand the test?

In a first for us the two games will include unique elements that are only available in a head to head scenario. Teams will be able to sabotage and manipulate their opposition, but be careful as sometimes the answers you’re looking for will be on the other side.

With any Escape Room a games master will have stories of players arguing. Puzzles will always generate discussions and so we thought what better theme to base our latest game on. As the rooms we’re building are physically side by side we want to play with the fact you can hear what the game next to you is saying. So the puzzles will be based on phrases you might hear in an argument. 

“Pull the other one” “You’re halving a laugh” “Give’em some stick”

These phrases will push players at what needs to be solved around the room, but to say anymore would be spoiling it….

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