The Auld Shebeen, a “traditional Irish pub,” was our second escape room with Great Escape Rooms in Galway, after Prison Break. This room is very heavy on searching and light on puzzles. The decorations and set were pretty cool. It felt like you were in a pub after hours. Unfortunately, there was no booze around. If you like scavenger rooms, you’ll probably like this one. See below for the full review.
“Can you find the secret recipe left behind by the eccentric Brendan Barney? Are you smart enough to beat a team of lawyers in the race to get the recipe of the most delicious beer? Use your wits and intelligence to find secrets, hints, and ingredients to complete the recipe before time runs out.“
I didn’t even know what a shebeen was/is. Apparently, it’s an Irish term for an illicit drinking den. According to Wikipedia, a shebeen was originally an illicit bar where excisable alcohol was sold without a license. The terms comes from the Irish síbín, for illicit whiskey.
Ok, now that we’ve been educated, on to the review. I’ve never done such a search-heavy room before. I’m not that big a fan of these scavenger-type rooms, although the decorations were fun. Basically, we had to find the ingredients of the secret beer recipe. If you like searching more than puzzles, you’ll probably like this room.
There was one technical problem we experienced. We did the right thing on a prop, and nothing happened. Luckily, the employee was paying attention, and chimed in to tell us to try it again. We repeated the step, and it worked. If the employee wasn’t so attentive, this could have been a major time sink.
After we’d found all but one ingredient, we finally had to ask for a hint. It was the one place we hadn’t done a thorough search. I was kicking myself for not getting it, but in the end we got out with plenty of time.
One complaint I have is that the room is full of glass bottles. The employee told us ahead of time that we didn’t need to look through/move/touch any of the bottles, that there were no clues hidden there. This made a lot of the areas effectively off-limits. If you are playing with children, it might be hard to keep them from messing with the bottles. So maybe have less glass bottles, or make them plastic, and bring them into the game. This is a pub, afterall.
They claim a 20-25% success rate, with some people succeeding without asking for a clue. This seems about right. They also suggest this game is a good choice for a first escape room or playing as a family.
We ended up trying all three rooms at Great Escape Rooms. Prison Break was probably the best overall escape room of the three. Quarantine was my least favorite and probably had the most red herrings.
Have you found the secret recipe in The Auld Shebeen?