Their description: 23 years ago, several groups of intrepid explorers entered the depths of the Vault… and were never heard from again. The authorities sealed off the entire area, and it seemed that the mysteries of the Baron’s castle would remain hidden forever. However, the discovery of a scroll with the Baron’s insignia describing a treasure of unimaginable value has sparked your team to make one final desperate venture into the Vault…
When it first opened, The Forsaken Vault was notable for being three escape rooms in one: Chapters 1, 2 and 3 took place in subsets of the same multi-chambered space. Now, the three separate chapters have been retired and the vault has become one large escape room instead. Billed as TEA’s hardest room, The Forsaken Vault Heroes has a longer-than-usual 75-minute time limit — which may still seem to fly by as you grapple with the multi-layered puzzles.
The decor is largely unchanged from the vault’s early days, and some of the room’s secrets and tricks may be familiar to players who’ve played earlier chapters. In that sense, the room might be most enjoyable for those who are visiting — and thus discovering it — for the first time.
Still, for returning players, it’s interesting to see how the decor and spaces have been repurposed. Most importantly, the puzzles are all completely new.
The puzzles are as logical as we’ve come to expect from TEA, but also more complex than before, making this a good room for puzzle enthusiasts. Highlights include a multi-layered puzzle which makes fun use of one of the room’s few physical changes, and a satisfying finale.
A reliance on flavourtext means that the room’s narrative serves mainly as a source of clues rather than immersion. But this isn’t a room that you should play for immersion, anyway (though it does make an effort on that front).
If you find the puzzles in other escape rooms too easy, then The Forsaken Vault Heroes is RECOMMENDED as a rare room that’s challenging for largely the right reasons. Beginners will probably find it too hard.
Puzzle difficulty: 4/5
Puzzle logic: 4.5/5
Multimedia aspect of puzzles: 1/5
Atmosphere and setting: 3/5
Exciting flourishes, use of technology or physical aspects: 3/5
Storyline integration: 2/5
Their suggested number of players: 2 to 10
My suggested number of players: 3 to 5. Players are split into two groups at the beginning.