Exclusive Games is based on an industrial type estate, tucked away behind a car wash. But once you arrive, a cosy reception awaits you and a warm greeting from the owner, Janos.

The Swindler is a room about ‘Lady Humbug’ and her swindling ways from the 1950’s, so the room is set across two time periods – current day and 50’s. Your task is to find and collect all the evidence bags, and then of course, escape with them.

The room is simply built, with an attempt to remain true to its theme (office/home) and its storyline. Its staged in a way to tweak your interest, and there were a few fun touches included that made us laugh.  We struggled quite a bit with the flow of the room. The majority of the puzzles in the first room couldn’t be started fully until you got into the second room, and so frustration was building up at us being unable to make clear progress.

Once the second room was open, then we were darting back and forth continuously to check what worked where.  In fairness, a few of the puzzles were nicely done, but the general flow of the game was broken up for us.  Added to that, some parts of puzzles were completely obscure, and it was borderline whether you could say this was unfair to players.

After we played, the owner wanted  our views about the room and the puzzles, to see if it was in line with his perception of it. This highlighted for us that often what the builder tries to create for the player, isn’t necessarily what the player receives or experiences.

Excluesive have two games at this site, and are looking to build their third within the next few months. If you’re local to Newbury, then it’s worth popping in with the family or friends for an hour of fun.  And if you’re an enthusiast, the owners seem committed to developing and improving, so maybe look to stop off there if you’re passing by.

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Time Remaining: 5.05 Clues Needed: 3 Escapers Top Tip:

Don't waste time when it doesn't work - a rogue instruction will be found later