Leeds, Apr 2018
Although we played the Kanyu games out of order, Follow In My Footsteps is their first game and the best one to start with, both for narrative reasons and because it’s a little easier than the one that comes after it. The game’s premise is that you are distant relations of the recently deceased Sir Henry Cunningham, famed explorer, gathered at his mansion in answer to his posthumous request and tasked with delving into some of the secrets of his life.
This is explained in the booking confirmation email, which tells you the solicitor will pass you a sealed envelope. This does indeed happen as part of the briefing, an extra bit of immersive detail that is representative of the meticulous care put into this game.
Follow In My Footsteps is set in Sir Henry’s elegant study. Not wanting to give too much away, I’ll just point out that it’s a game which is based around an explorer and called ‘Follow In My Footsteps’; and as it slowly reveals its subject’s back history, it very successfully provides players with a sense of exploring the unknown. It’s quite something when a moment in an escape game makes you stop and pause to fully appreciate the spectacle, or to make sure your teammates get the full effect of something in the game.
Narrative plays an important role, and there’s a certain amount of reading involved in the puzzles. There’s a clear trajectory from the more academic style of the earlier puzzles building up to a more dramatic finale. I found the puzzles interesting throughout, such as the clever method they use to provide a great many locks without requiring players to resort to trial and error; though for the most part the content gets increasingly impressive as it goes on.
Our group was split on which of the two Kanyu games we preferred. Follow In My Footsteps has the edge in story and spectacle; it’s a beautiful game and I enjoyed every minute of it. The flip side is that it’s shorter and a little less challenging than Lightning in a Bottle, so hardened enthusiasts will probably like that game’s set of puzzles over this one’s and may find themselves escaping well ahead of the deadline. We did, in a little over half an hour, but still came out happy that we’d got our money’s worth of puzzles and game. But while groups may differ over which of the two they prefer, both are lovely games that you should play as soon as you’re in the area.