Since I am slightly addicted to escape rooms I have an updated version of this post for you! Read on my brave escapees.
I am a HUGE fan of escape rooms. They are an ‘all involving’ activity that get you out of your own head. Escape Rooms appeal to so many types of intelligence that I have not found a group that they didn’t work for, they suit code crackers, out of the box thinkers and Neanderthals all in the same game. Your first one will be a little overwhelming but if you do a second or third you tap in to how the games makers think and it becomes 100% enjoyable and ever so slightly obsessive.
My issue so far in London has been that there are no real reviews of the Escape Rooms because they ‘don’t want to give away hints’; I call bullshit on that. Therefore I give you non-spoiler but containing useful information reviews of the escape rooms I have done. No photos because I’m not a jackass.
And FYI next time I invite you to be locked in a tiny room with me and I tell you to try and escape, its endearing not creepy.
Hint Hunt was my first and I am glad that I started with it. The game that I have done (they have two different stories) is set in a detectives office so you get into the mystery/escape mood right away without being scary. It has a really good balance between practical ‘finding stuff’ and code cracking, although toward the end we found a little hard to piece it all together (could have been because it was our first). I loved that they never used the same solution twice (some rooms you have to find keys for everything, or number codes for everything) and that all players had to be totally involved to solve it, but didn’t like that they used so many red herrings.
This goes down as the scariest room I have done, and also the room that really looked at things in a unique way. Basic premise is that you are trying to escape a serial killer – this room has its Dexter moments. After doing a few rooms the group I was in really had our method down pat, but the very first minute threw that out the window and forced us to just be god damn practical (I.e. We had to figure out how to turn on the lights). I would recommend that you take an easily frightened friend with you to this room (as my friends did with me) so that you can laugh when they scream, try to run away, run into a wall and fall on the floor. Oh and they gave us popcorn and drinks at the beginning, what’s not to love.
This is one of the easier rooms I have done so could be a really good first room to try. It will be a favourite of any Harry Potter fans and yes the first thing we did was put on robes (I’m an out and proud Ravenclaw). Rather than trying to ‘escape’ you are trying to pass your Hogwarts exams, which means that so many bits of the Harry Potter universe are involved that it is seriously delightful at every turn. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the books since you were 10, all the puzzles are still based on logic/puzzles/’trying till you get it right’ so you will enjoy it regardless of if you know that Dumbledore was born in 1881.
Don’t make time run your first room, it is just too epic and you won’t appreciate it. The score on the door is you travel through time trying to collect an ancient artefact that has gone missing before the baddies get it. This is the most elaborate set up I have seen in an escape room, and each new set just tops the previous one – completely feels like you are going from the set of Apollo 13 to Indiana Jones. There are no bored uni students running this shindig either, they are in character as Victorian/steampunk assistants from the moment you walk through the door. They have some really unique puzzles here too, that require a fully switched on team to tackle. WARNING: Time Run now has two rooms (The Lance of Longinus & the Celestial Chain), Lance of Longinus is the original and the one I was talking about above and I highly recommend it. The new game Celestial Chain is terrible, you feel really rushed, the story is a waste of time, and because of the new format no one really ever wins so you leave feeling completely flat.
This room is based around a movie production that has gone wrong, weird things started happening and you have to discover the truth. The room was another scary one that had me screaming and falling on the floor (a terrible evolutionary flaw in my fight or flight reflex). We were told to pay attention in the pre-room briefing and then promptly forgot the crucial instruction as soon as we walked into the room, so pay attention! The puzzles here lean towards the practical side which makes it fun for everyone because you can just keep jamming things in holes until you figure it out*.
*thats what she said.
This is the first room I have done that is a psychological thriller and my god it was scary (NB: I am a wimp). A few trigger warnings because it is set in a mental institution, however if you are a big horror/thriller fan then you will LOVE it. It is the most technologically advanced room I have been in and it is fully automated with the music changing when you do something right. Rather than being a mad (lol pun intended) dash to find objects in the room, the puzzles make you work as a team and do some out of the box problem solving.