SCRAP’s 8 Suspects is a Test of Logic

SCRAP’s 8 Suspects is not a traditional escape room. Plunging the participants into their own murder-mystery, 8 Suspects plays out like one big logic problem in which communication is key and reading between the lines is essential.

The Premise

12 years ago, at a retirement party for high school teacher Mrs. Campbell, my fellow schoolmates and I chatted merrily and raised a toast around the dinner table. Well into the evening, after excusing herself to rest, Mrs. Campbell was found murdered in her room. Afraid of being suspects, we buried her body together and never spoke of it again…

Now, Mrs. Campbell’s body has been found, and my schoolmates and I received a letter inviting us to the scene of the crime to deduce who killed her – or else. If we don’t sort through our pasts and name the killer within the hour, all our lives are at stake!

Playing the Game

Brought into a small, cramped dining room, we took seats around the table, and were each provided with a character name tag and journal. From then on, we became the characters – and suspects – in this narrative. We were given a few extra minutes to read from our characters’ journals, learning about our pasts and relationships with each other and Mrs. Campbell. The journals were long and detailed – some of the backstories were unnecessary – and I didn’t feel like we were given enough extra time to read through them, but we were able to refer to them (our own and each other’s) throughout the game.

The big white board on the wall helped us keep notes and details on all the characters and events of the fateful retirement party. 8 Suspects isn’t a series of small puzzles; instead, it’s more like one giant logic problem of deduction and inference. We were given all the information within our journals and in several adjoining rooms, which held vital clues to the killer’s identity. The important part was to communicate and work together to bring the murder into focus and solve the mystery before us.

The Good

My friends and I absolutely loved the immersion aspect of 8 Suspects. We became more entrenched and invested in our characters and the hunt for the killer as the time ticked by. The game was the most unique I’ve seen in an escape/adventure room thus far. SCRAP calls it a new style – a Real Detective Game – where the goal is to solve the mystery instead of escape. The smaller puzzles within the rooms were clever and added to the story before us, leading to more information about ourselves and the ever-thickening plot.

The Could-be-Better

As mentioned above, 8 Suspects contains a lot of reading, which isn’t a bad thing providing you’re given enough time to read through it all. It also required us to step up our communication game, which I’m not confident we did, since we didn’t correctly identify the killer within the hour. At times, it felt like 8 people was too many, as the main working space was cramped, there was a lot of information to sort through, and sometimes people talked over one another. There were other rooms to explore, but they were relatively sparse and unused once everything was collected. The production value wasn’t bad, but it could have been better with more space and/or décor throughout the rooms.

Overall

The unique nature of 8 Suspects‘ murder-mystery was inventive and offered a very fun experience. While some of my friends were disappointed in the outcome, we all enjoyed our time sorting through the details, trying to take it all in and make sense of everything. 8 Suspects definitely requires teamwork, communication and reading between the lines. SCRAP offers easier versions of the game for less people (minimum of 4) and/or groups with kids, which I wouldn’t recommend due to advanced problem-solving skills being essential. However, for puzzle-lovers like me, channel your inner Sherlock Holmes and put your reasoning skills to the test with 8 Suspects.

Try your hand at 8 Suspects and purchase tickets here.

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