Review: Beat a supercomputer in new Hove escape room game

Can you crack the codes in the Bewilder Box cognitive training facility?
Can you crack the codes in the Bewilder Box cognitive training facility?

Do you have what it takes to stop a self-aware supercomputer from taking over the world?

At a new immersive escape room game at The Brunswick in Hove, you’ll have one hour to beat the increasingly powerful Masternet 9000 to save humankind. The pressure's on.

You’ll be greeted by a host who will explain your mission, and give you a moral conundrum to mull over; there’s a big decision to make at the end of the game.

Before entering the Bewilder Box cognitive training facility, you will learn that The Masternet 9000 has staged a mutiny, and is planning to escape the facility. Its your job to stop it.

The first game room is a techie's haven – with codes to crack on the walls, locked safes and miscellaneous objects that will come in handy later. The key is to discover everything in the room before you begin, as everything in there will come in handy at some point during the hour.

Presided over by the overarching voice of The Masternet 9000 – or Norman Lovett, known for voicing Red Dwarf's senile computer Holly – there is a touch of humour to the chilling challenge.

Bewilder Box creators with Norman Lovett of Red Dwarf, who voices The Masternet 9000

Bewilder Box creators with Norman Lovett of Red Dwarf, who voices The Masternet 9000

On agreeing to voice the crafty supercomputer, Lovett said: “The idea of combining puzzle solving and immersive theatre is an interesting concept and I really enjoyed working on the project. It was fun playing a more morally ambiguous artificial intelligence, The Masternet 9000 is full of himself – witty and bad!”

Catapulted into a sci-fi world, you’ll be solving puzzles, cracking codes and working as a team in order to beat the computer. And in this game, you need to think outside the box.

Teamwork is key in this challenge, and different skills are needed for the myriad of puzzles you need to solve while the time slips away.

But it transpired it was a little too puzzling for a crack team of five journalists; we didn't complete the game in the sixty minutes.

After making it out of the 'training facility' you'll have a lot to discuss as a team. Happily, the game is based in a pub, you can mull it all over afterwards with a pint.

The creators of the game also run the popular Bewilder Box at the Hobgoblin, which has been in place since 2016 – and its Hove counterpart Judgement Dave is welcome addition to the city's growing escape room scenes, although its one of the more challenging on the market.

Teams of up to seven people can take on The Masternet 9000 at The Brunswick. To find out more, visit: bewilderbox.co.uk