Murderous Scallywag

If you like puzzles and solving mysteries, are you ready to turn your living room into an escape room for the evening? Well, more of an interrogation room to try and solve a murder. Assemble a few like-minded amateur sleuths to try and find the clues to solve Epic Escapes case of The Murderous Scallywag.

The Murderous Scallywag is a print at home escape room game for 1-6 players with a playing time of 60 minutes. It is a murder mystery puzzle where you must piece together the clues to find the location of a safe containing all the information to convict a murderer. It has an intermediate difficulty rating and is perfectly suited for teenagers and adult players.

But this isn’t a modern murder mystery, The Murderous Scallywag takes us over 120 years back in time to the year of 1902.

“The year is 1902. The city is awash with villainous gangs, pickpockets and thieves. All very small fry, as there is only one big fish you are after.

You and your team of detectives have finally arrested the notorious murderer David “Scallywag” Wallis. Word has it that he has committed around 20 murders.

With the hot glow of a bulb glaring in his eyes, sat in an interview room, you finally make Wallis spill the beans.

He tells you that all the evidence you need to pin the murders on him, is locked in a safe in a hidden location.

Can you find the location of the hidden safe and the code to open it before the murder escapes justice?

The Murderous Scallywag is a print at home escape room. No popping to the shops to find and purchase a game. No waiting for a courier to deliver a parcel before you can start playing. Once you purchase this game from the Epic Escapes website, you immediately receive an email with a link to download three PDF files (Puzzles, Solutions and Instructions/Hints). You will need access to a printer and the files can be printed in black & white or colour and look great either way (although in colour does look much better). The game puzzles will include newspaper clippings, cipher wheels, maps and more, all of which easily print on to A4 sheets of paper – if you print all three PDF files there are twenty-two pages.

  • Instructions & Hints (6 pages – 0.3MB)
  • Puzzles (15 pages – 22MB)
  • Solutions (1 page – 0.7MB)

Armed with your printed pages, you and your friends are ready to play, to try and gather the evidence and solve a murder. Much better than watching the telly in a evening.

There are two ways that you can play the game, with or without a gamemaster.

  • Without a Gamemaster: If you choose to play without a gamemaster you can print the pages and just start playing.
  • With a Gamemaster: If you choose to play with a gamemaster, they print the pages and hide them around the room and give you the hints when requested!

We played without a gamemaster so there was no setup required. Once we had printed the pages, we commenced our investigation into the case of David “Scallywag” Wallis, who has been nabbed by a team of sharp detectives.

Once we started to play, we asked our trusty assistant Alexa to set a timer for 60 minutes and started on our quest to try and solve the puzzles to locate and unlock the safe using a four digit code. We played the game with 4 people and with time running down quickly to try and find the evidence to charge our murder suspect, we had to get a move on as 60 minutes isn’t long before the murderer slips through the long arm of the law.

To get a conviction, deciphering a series of clues hidden though the printed pages isn’t going to be easy and players must work together to make sense of the clues.

Throughout the pages, there are a collection of puzzles and brainteasers that must be solved to achieve the goal. Players need to solve a clever collection of challenges designed to get the brain kicking into high gear. The clues are reasonably challenging and work together very well. When players get stuck, there are hints available in the form of decoding them with a simple letter shift system or by scanning a QR code (which is excellent at stopping anyone accidently seeing the solutions and having an unfair advantage). Clues are made up of interviews, maps, newspaper cuttings, code wheel etc. If playing with a gamemaster, they can provide the clues.

The game finishes when all the clues have been deciphered to reveal the hidden location of the safe and players have gained the code to open it. To check to see if you have successfully solved the puzzle, you scan a QR code or visit the website to enter the code and reveal the answer (if the code is incorrect you don’t get the answer). And you only have 60 minutes to get the code!

Murderous Scallywag

Overall, we had a fantastic, sometimes frustrating, time playing The Murderous Scallywag. The time really flies past only having an hour to solve this clues in this puzzle, but happily we did manage to obtain the correct code and reveal the answer! It was great fun deciphering the clues, finding numbers and using basic maths skills to solve the puzzles and work out things on the map to try and bring a murderer to justice. Everybody got involved and enjoyed the puzzles (working together to solve them) and had a great time – teenagers and adults will love it.

At only £14.97 for the game, it isn’t expensive for an hours entertainment for up to 6 people. And you don’t have to go out anywhere, you can play right there in the comfortable surroundings of your own living room. If 4 people play, it costs just £3.75 per player or if all 6 play it is just £2.50 per person. And if you have a gamemaster you can actually have up to 7 people involved making it cheaper still. Not bad for an evening’s entertainment.

We enjoyed the game, it was reasonably challenging and a very sociable experience. It can be played as a single player, but we think that it is better played with a group of people working together. It was lots of fun to play as a group and we loved that we could purchase the game, print and play immediately. The hint system is excellent and works very well; simple yet effective whilst being easy to use with no accidental viewing of solutions.

Whilst it is a one use game, like most escape room games, as once you solve the clues you know the answer so there is no real re-play value, that is unless you become the gamemaster for a different set of friends.

If you enjoy escape room, logic or puzzle games and want something a bit different for your game nights other than the go to board games, then I can highly recommend The Murderous Scallywag. An excellent way to spend an hour of quality time with friends and family and having lots of brainteasing puzzling fun. You could even make it more interesting an fun by dressing for the occasion as detectives from the early 1900s.

Will you be able to solve the clues to convict the “murderous scallywag”?

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £14.97 (Print at home so a printer or access to a printer is required)

For more information or to buy, visit

5 stars

DISCLOSURE: All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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