Escape Stockport – Little Shower of Horrors

Escape Stockport – Little Shower of Horrors. Game Date 18/10/2017. Team Amy, Ian, Sam & Jamie.

We teamed up for Little Shower of Horror with Sam and Jamie from Lock us Up… you can read their review here.
I feel I have to preface this by saying this is going to be the hardest review I am going to write. I am not in the business of tearing people down when they have worked hard to create an Escape Room, I find the good, I report honestly on games… But Escape Stockport (NOT to be confused with the Escape brand that is a nationwide franchise of good quality games) have not put any care into their game. Which we found out last night…


“Please note Strictly adults only.
Intense horror escape room: you awake to find yourself in the pitch black chained up. A series of puzzles awaits you and your group, you either all escape or none of you do.”

We “awoke” to us all being handcuffed (with Velcro handcuffs, which ended up being a godsend) in various corners of a bare, wood panelled room, that was incredibly small… There was no attempt at theming, atmosphere or tension.
For a room that purported to be intense, adults only and scary this was only scary due to the real dangers found in the room!
Exposed screw heads, live wires, sharp edges….
Ian being chained to a WORKING shower, with live wires exposed near to the padlock. (honestly, part of the brief was “don’t turn the shower on it still works)
Myself being chained to the wall, Jamie to a radiator (god help him had it have been on) and Sam to the wall.
We were provided with 1 torch between the 4 of us, which we had to share.
There were no cameras in the room, which meant the Game Host was not watching over us to make sure we were O.K. and safe, and clearly due to this he had no idea of our progress throughout the room.
The room was small, dank and had nothing redeeming about it whatsoever.

Game Play:
The aim of the game was to free each team member to escape.
There was no logic in the puzzles (maybe save for the very first puzzle) and this meant that whilst Ian and Sam got released fairly early, Jamie was cuffed for approx 50 minutes and I was cuffed for the entire hour (thank god for those Velcro cuffs)
The entire game took place in the light of a black-light, which after 60 minutes is quite headache inducing.
There were deliberate red herrings within the room, one of which was a jigsaw, this is utterly unacceptable, time wasting and served to further complicate the final puzzle.
There was almost no flow in the game, we managed to bluster our way throughout the game… which was pure guess work and luck until we got to the final puzzle and were stuck on it for nearly 20 minutes, again… ridiculous!
I can’t really say any more on this room. There was no logic, no flow and no enjoyment whatsoever.

Clue System:
The host occasionally laughed as he was just sat outside the door, at one point we were asking for a clue and were told “you’re not allowed hints” – then after asking and asking, explaining what we had left to open we were given a clue for a lock we had already opened….

Game Host:
Stewart was our host and he was a nice guy, but he didn’t know the game as it was his first time running it.
He admitted at the end he didn’t know how the final puzzle worked, or how to solve it. This explains the lack of hints, and deliberate stalling of us throughout the game. HOW is a host supposed to run a game when he doesn’t know it, can’t see the players and wont help….

Did we escape?
No… not for lack of trying. Please do not think this bad review is because of the loss, there are several games we’ve lost that have been excellent (Vault 17, The Invitation Rest Easy Motel)

4 Players £50

I honestly can’t recommend this game. Don’t waste your money.


iLocked – Alien

iLocked – Alien. Game Date 17/10/2017


“Our Alien escape room sends teams into the future, to the year 2224. Players are astronauts flying a spaceship back to Earth from the planet Next. Suddenly, the ship’s self-destruct system reports unknown biomaterial. Aliens! Players have to get rid of them, but it won’t be easy. How can disaster be averted? Players have to race through the spaceship’s numerous modules, where they will find lots of things to investigate. Will they be able to use the space technology correctly? That depends on whether they can fight off the invading aliens. Players have just one hour to get out. This space horror-themed escape game is great fun for family and friend teams”

Theming in Alien was fantastic, clearly a lot of effort had been put into the decor and theme, and I felt like I had boarded a spaceship… very immersive and impressive.
The space was large enough for 6 players, with lots of nooks and crannys to explore.

Game Play:
The game started off so, so well.
With good logical puzzles that utilised tech that would be fitting of a spaceship. Most of the puzzles we encountered were tech based and code breaking with a couple of physical, real life puzzles thrown in.
Unfortunately for us in the latter half of the game we encountered a mis-set, which resulted in us stalling for quite a while, until the mis-set was fixed (automatically by the game somehow…) This resulted in us getting something too early, messing up the flow of the game, and then we had a technology problem which prevented us from accessing a computer (after we had the password, the password worked and then the software failed?!)
I feel as if I can’t pass comment on the puzzles of flow of the second half of the game as we were confused as a team from the mis-set and resulting technological problems.
The first half however was very, very enjoyable. Had lovely puzzles, great use of tech and a smooth flow. Alien had the potential to be a very highly rated game, it’s such a shame that the tech problems marred this game and left us deflated.
I can recommend Alien, I really liked the first half of the game, It’s a new game and maybe highlights that whilst tech is snazzy, if it goes wrong it can upset and throw off the entire game. So maybe give it a couple of months to bed in and become stable.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a walkie talkie

Game Host:
Marat was our Game Host and Owner of iLocked.

Did we escape?
Yes, even with the tech problems we managed an escape in 48 minutes.

4 Players £76
5 Players £88
6 Players £102

Norris Box – Kidnapped

Norris Box – Kidnapped. Game Date 15/10/2017. Team Amy & Ian.


Norris Box are a bit different from the norm as they are mobile escape games! Jane Norris created the Norris Box in 2016, inspired by escape rooms, she wanted something that could be taken out and about, bringing an escape room to you!

We were lucky enough to try Norris Box’s mini game “Kidnapped” a 15 minute taster of what the Norris Box is all about.


“Your friend has been kidnapped and locked away in a derelict house. Their captor has offered you the chance to save your friend, but only if you can solve his dastardly puzzles within fifteen minutes.  The clock is ticking.”

Kidnapped is presented in a dolls house, and with a little bit of imagination and suspension of disbelief we shrunk ourselves down and embraced the “magic” – The dolls house was gritty, abandoned and kitted out in such a way that really complimented the theme and puzzles. The mini game runs for 2-4 people and I think this is a perfect number!

Game Play:
A neat little game that consisted of code breaking, logic, observation and even “physical” challenges! As with it being a 15 minute game there was a limited number of puzzles, but each one was flawless in its logic, and had lovely ah-ha moments. Wonderfully fun puzzles that would serve as a perfect introduction to how escape rooms work.
The flow of the game was wonderful, slick and well refined. Once we got into the house we didn’t stop solving until the moment we finished the game. So enjoyable!
A fantastic add on to any event, and it can be run as a competition where the fastest time wins!
We thoroughly enjoyed Kidnapped and can’t wait to play a full size Norris Box at some point in the future!

Clue System:
Jane was on hand to give any little nudge we might need

Game Host:
Jane who created and owned the Norris Box was our game host. Incredibly friendly and passionate about escape rooms, she delivered a comprehensive brief and was attentive and observant throughout our game.

Did we escape?
Yes, well we took 8:59 to rescue our friend!

Kidnapped is available as an add on to a regular Norris Box at £10

UK Escape Games – Fire, Search & Rescue

UK Escape Games – Fire, Search & Rescue. Game Date 15/10/2017. Team: Amy & Ian


“Your a team of heroic firefighters, you must ensure that your team and its vital equipment is ready for action at all times. Your services could be called upon at any minute and you must be prepared to respond!!”

First impressions of this room were good, the attention to detail in the sets were impressive, but the amount of detail led to a few (probably unintentional) red herrings and a LOT of stuff to look at. The room in the “Fire” section was fairly clean, but in the “Search & Rescue” section I opened a drawer to have a few flies fly out and get in my face which wasn’t entirely pleasant!
The game was large, it seemed to go on for ever, however each individual room was small, and I wouldn’t have liked to have been in a team bigger than a 4 as conditions were so cramped. The capacity of this room is a maximum of 8… I would ONLY book this many if you’re comfortable sharing intimate spaces, the room is NOT big enough for 8 people.

Game Play:
This really is a game of two halves, the “Fire” part and the “Search & Rescue” part.
The game started of well, with a good opening puzzle, but then fell into a counting and observation based game, with 3 – 4 puzzles of very similar nature.
The puzzles were logical, and had nice ah-ha moments.
One puzzle was incredibly tedious and I spent about 10 minutes doing this just by myself whilst Ian was solving other things… this is not the type of segregation that is any fun, especially when you do something once, then have to do it another 3 times to get a 4 digit code…
Then is was onto the search part… which as the name suggests was entirely search based with a smidgen of maths thrown in. This is an incredibly search heavy room, with some illogical searching that I can’t imagine anyone getting without a hint… I enjoy searching to a point but this room was some of the deepest searching we have had to do and it did get a little tiresome.
The game flowed well, and there were no points where the game stalled, except for maybe a couple of searches in the latter stages of the game.
This is a game that would benefit a larger team, yet space dictates that a smaller team is more appropriate. I would take a maximum of 4 people.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen & walkie talkie.

Game Host:
Unfortunately I didn’t get our host’s name. He was friendly enough, but didn’t really give us a brief, I felt like we were rushed into the room with no preparation (had we been a new team we’d have had NO idea what we were doing!)
Throughout the game he was attentive (at one point asking “Have you done this before”) and in the latter half of the game he was very helpful with hints and nudges.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 58 minutes, a close call!!

2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90
7 Players £100
8 Players £110

The Escape Room Guys – A Rough Trade

The Escape Room Guys – A Rough Trade. Game Date 15/10/2017. Team Amy, Ian, Jane, Phil & Philly.

Ahead of the conference there were a lot of owners out and about playing games, when the opportunity arose to tag along with Jane and meet Phil, and Philly


“You’ll need to break into the office of the CEO to reveal the history and secrets of a company with a scandalous past. With just 60 minutes to unlock the truth, does your team have what it takes to bring the company to justice?”

Office theme is frequently ridiculed by enthusiasts, as they can all too often be dull, dank, dingy and not very well executed.
All the negative connotations were squashed when we walked into A rough Trade, we found a large, bright airy room, with good furniture and a true sense of “office” done really well, rather than someone just lobbing a load of old tat furniture into a room and shoving some padlocks on.
The immersion was such that we felt encompassed by the theme and story and as we delved further into the game we soon found out more about the company and dirty dealings it was holding.

Game Play:
A game that was mainly open, with some very clever linear moments at important points in the game. The puzzles were incredibly varied and suited each and every one of us at some point in the game. Logic, Codebreaking, Searching, Observation. An excellent selection which kept us all busy for the duration of the game. To keep 5 enthusiasts busy at one time is quite a feat!
One standout Meta Puzzle was a treat, and at one point had 4 of us working on it at one time each doing different things, using elements that had teased us since the start of the room! I really enjoyed this moment in the game!
Some of the puzzles may be ones that enthusiasts have seen before, but they are slick, enjoyable and all have lovely ah-ha moments, and the collection element was a nice touch.
The flow was excellent and there was not 1 moment where we got stuck or even stalled, wonderful game design which must have been tweaked and honed since “The Escape Room Guys” have been opened.
A great game for beginners, the clarity in the puzzles will aid in learning what escape rooms are all about and it is truly family friendly.
Enthusiasts, take a small group! An enjoyable game that you’ll want to live every moment!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Jon and Adam were our game hosts, and they were just fab! Friendly, passionate and happy to chat to us all for a good while

Did we escape?
Yes, in 24 minutes another quick time, but this time was down to the amount of experience in the room, not lack of content!

2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £64
5 Players £70


Game Over – Jack The Ripper

Game Over – Jack The Ripper. Game Date 15/10/2017. Team: Amy, Ian & Jane

I’m going to preface this now by saying that we escaped this room in 19 minutes. Yes. NINETEEN stinking minutes. Now I am not one for wanting to beat times or go for the record (although it is nice when it happens) but 19 minutes to complete a room is utterly ridiculous.
Yes, rooms can’t cater to enthusiasts, and yes Myself, Ian and Jane are experienced players but to finish a room in sub-20 minutes when we have an average escape time of 45-50 seems to me that there is a a disturbing lack of content within the room….
Read on to see if those 19 minutes were enjoyable….


“London, 1880. Another girl was murdered last night. Mary was butchered. The streets are empty, all are kept away by fear. Yet if the evidence I hold in my hands is correct, perhaps these clues can put an end to the Ripper. It’s up to us now, only we can do this… We’re coming for you, Jack”

The theming was gorgeous, really beautiful, as the picture above shows (this was taken in the room itself) and there has obviously been a lot of attention to detail within the crafting of the room, the atmosphere was good, with an eerie vibe running through the room, allowing for immersion.
The space itself is adequate, and I would see a group of up to 5 being comfortable in the space.
A really lovely take on the victorian theme, simply done with excellent quality in the set build.

Game Play:
A strictly linear game, that contained a fairly decent variety of puzzles, although they weren’t that great in number. They were perfectly logical, solvable and enjoyable. Unfortunately for us we just fell into a rhythm and flew through them all, getting the answers and sailing through.
The puzzles ranged from physical, to logic, observation and word. There is something for each team member to do within the game and it will surely appeal to a lot of people.
The flow of the game was excellent, as it was so linear each puzzle seamlessly led to the next and there was never any discrepancy on which lock to input a code into. There was good use of tech in the room, with it all being used in a manner that complimented the theme and time period.
An excellent introductory room, newbies will have fun… enthusiasts… try one of their harder rated rooms!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via an iPad in the room. We didn’t use any…

Game Host:
Unfortunately I didn’t get our game hosts name, but she was friendly and polite

Did we escape?
Yes… in 19 minutes. It was an enjoyable 19 minutes I suppose!

2 Players £42
3 Players £60
4 Players £73
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Crack the Code – Apartment 9

Crack the Code – Apartment 9. Game Date 14/10/2017. Team: Amy & Ian


“Annabel Christie, the infamous Sheffield amateur sleuth, has been investigating recent mysterious disappearances. Your team of detectives have also been working on the case and she has invited you to her apartment to compare notes. Can you solve the mystery?”

Theming as good throughout Apartment 9. Apartments never lend themselves to exciting decor, but the design and decoration was done well, and finished to a high standard. The room was large, well lit and clean, with the comfiest couch which served as a cosy place to sit and complete puzzles – we did make ourselves at home!
Immersion was good, and the story developed somewhat throughout, giving a good insight into the secrets of Apartment 9.

Game Play:
A good, solid game that was quite linear. Puzzles lent more towards logical, code breaking, searching and pattern spotting, with a touch of maths (Crack the Code are very generous and provide a calculator for maths puzzles – I wish more places did this as standard)
The puzzles were, for the most part clear and concise, with sound logic and lovely ah-ha moments.
However, there was one puzzle that in and of itself was a great meta-puzzle that combined several different elements, and led to the finale of the room but it was a little fuzzy in one part… this may have been to do with our interpretation of the Sheffield accent (as we’re from Liverpool) or not having the sound up loud enough… but we struggled to hear certain parts, which led to some minor frustrations as we know exactly what we had to do, but just couldn’t quite make the pieces fit. (without going into too much detail!) I doubt anyone from the city itself would have a problem with this aspect of the puzzle, and other than that it was a cracking puzzle that combined a lot of skill sets!
The flow of the room was wonderful and we never found ourselves frustrated or stuck at any point, each clue, puzzle and reveal led perfectly on to the next and the ah-ha moments came thick and fast.
A larger team would be helpful in this room, although maybe hindered by the linearity more eyes could be useful for the latter stages of the room. I would cap at 4 people, 5 if you have never played before!
All in all a very solid, logical game that almost plays itself!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Jo was our game host and was outgoing and amicable. We didn’t really need any clues until the last puzzle, and then it was more of Jo clarifying what we were doing was correct and what we misheard. She did run the game well and it was clear she was paying due attention to us throughout.

Did we escape?
Yes, in a respectable 45 minutes!

2 Players £40
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £65
6 Players £72
7 Players £84

Escape Sheffield – Witchcraft & Wizardry

Escape Sheffield – Witchcraft & Wizardry. Game Date 14/10/2017. Team: Amy & Ian


“Welcome to the school of witchcraft and wizardry where there has been some funny goings on. In a room full of tricks, puzzles, challenges and spells, you must solve them all to escape. However in order to escape with distinction you must retrieve as many pieces of uniform as you can”

The blurb on the website mentions retrieving uniform, this wasn’t mentioned in our briefing, and I think the story delivered in the brief was better than the story posted on the website! “We had just completed our final exams and as we were heading out we find the door locked! Our real exam is to find our wands, and use magic to solve the puzzles and escape the locked classroom!” – either way, we were no longer muggles!
The room itself was very spacious, one of the bigger rooms we’ve seen. It’s not so big that would make it daunting for a smaller team however.
The decoration was lovely and finished to a high standard, the props all were perfectly fitting to the theme and whilst a few caused a little distraction to us, there were no deliberated red herrings.
The immersion was good, and there are a few opportunities to dress up and really immerse yourself into the setting and story of the room!
There was some lovely uses of hidden tech which just served to elevate the room, the room didn’t rely on tech to be magical!

Game Play:
A fairly linear game. Puzzles were varied with observation, code breaking, math, logic, word and a little bit of physical thrown in (in a very well executed and unique way!)
The puzzles were all well themed and took into account the magical world we were embracing for the hour.
Each puzzle was wonderfully solvable and had love ah-ha moments which led to the room being very enjoyable!
The flow was beautiful, with there being absolutely no sticking points or logic leaps.
The use of tech blended well into the room (save for one point where we found something before we could us it which led to us driving ourselves crazy looking for where the buzzing was coming from!)
A game from “Escape” which is clearly designed by experience, you can see that the room’s designer has created a lot of games previously, and it’s great to see the evolution from some of their earlier games, and skill in how to create a solid game with excellent flow.
A lovely game, which will delight everyone… especially Harry Potter fans as there is a lot of nods and inspiration taken from the series that any fan will appreciate.
I would recommend that enthusiasts take as small a team as they can, newbies… a 4 would be perfect!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Ashleigh was our game host, she was incredibly friendly, and clearly has a spark and passion for game hosting, she delivered a good brief, and ran our game very well, only giving us nudges when we really needed them!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 40 minutes!


Adults £20pp (flat rate)
Under 16 £15pp (flate rate)

Lockdown Escape Oldham – Contagion

Lockdown Escape Oldham – Contagion. Game Date 14/10/2017. Team: Amy & Ian.

First off, apologies for the lateness of the next few reviews! We’ve been busy with escaping & scare attractions as we were away for 4 days for the first Escape Room Industry Conference (#ERIC) We had a fabulous time and will cover ERIC in its own post!



“You are a group of aspiring journalists, and you have received an anonymous and potentially huge tip off. There are unconfirmed reports of highly illegal scientific experiments going on in a seemingly innocent apartment. Upon arrival, the neighbours state there are strange noises and smells coming from the apartment. Can you discover the truth behind the rumours and escape before the secrets of apartment 4A eat you alive?”

The theming was good, clean and well finished.
The apartment setting lends to simple decor but this was done very well, and without creating any red-herrings (which could be easy to do in an “apartment”) the rooms were large enough for the maximum group size and very well lit.
The middle of the game saw some excellent theming, with detailed touches and lots of things to look at an investigate.
Good immersion, whilst still aware we were in a “game” the decor really strongly portrayed the situation we were put into.
There is good development of the central character throughout the game, which added a realism and extra layer to the story. This was a great touch and really helped drive the room along.

Game Play:
A game that criss crossed between linear and open allowing for the players to initially work together but then encourages them to split and work the game in smaller pairs or individually, before joining together again for the finale.
The puzzles were very good, code breaking, logic, word, maths and observation were the main types, with a lean towards the observational, overall though a good range of solid puzzles.
The puzzles were logical, on theme and a lot of fun to solve! Each with wonderful ah-ha moments and great conclusions!
The flow was lovely, with no real sticking points (in honestly the only time we got stuck was on observation puzzles as we suck at looking for things!)
Each puzzle and solution led to good finds and furthered our investigation, driving us towards the conclusion of the game, there was an excellent sense of progression throughout.
A solid room which is enjoyable for enthusiasts and would be a bit more taxing for newbies but still a lot of fun!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Natalie & Caroline were our game hosts, and they were just wonderful. So friendly and with a passion for their escape room that really came across! We could have stayed and chatted all day long! They ran the game with ease and precision and were paying full attention as clues came at perfect timing!

Did we escape?
Yes! In 54 minutes

Price Off Peak:
2 Players £32
3 Players £42
4 Players £48
5 Players £50

Price Peak:
2 Players £36
3 Players £48
4 Players £56
5 Players £60

Scare Attraction – Scare Kingdom 

Scare Attraction – Scare Kingdom. Ghoul Date 12/10/2017

Scare Kingdom is located just outside Preston about 10 minutes from the M6. Easy to find with ample free parking 

Overall Atmosphere: 

Scare Kingdom is a bit different to other scream parks as you don’t encounter the bar/social area until the end of the tour. Each haunt is consecutive and there is a set order you experience them in. Once you’re in there are no loos until the end of the tour, So make sure you go before you get scared. 

There is a full bar and hang out area at the end of the tour and this is a great area to mingle with the scary characters (unfortunately we didn’t see any this year) it’s also a prime viewing spot to see people come out of psychomanteum, the up-charge solo haunt that delves into the more sexual side of the scare. I did this haunt a few years ago and let’s just say… Once was enough. 

Scare Mazes:

We were met by a killer clown… killer to start the night, a clown bounty hunter so to speak… who warned us of clowns on the loose and joked with us before unleashing his own brand of punishment – we felt this lacked a true scare as you can hear what’s happening when waiting to go in. It was also missing an actual clown! 

High hopes hospital: 

The doctors have been playing with DNA and the patients are the twisted results of their experiments..  an action packed house with scares from the moment we stepped in. Coupled with excellent acting and detailed gritty sets this house really set the standard for the night. High hopes also used and effect we’ve never seen before with lasers and fog, to create a truly memorable moment and a disturbing scare!

One can’t fail to not be impressed by the scope and detail of the sets in manormortis. A beautiful maze, with some of the best dressed rooms we’ve seen in the UK

Excellent actors with scares and comic timing bring this eclectic house together to create an immersive tale and a suitable creepy experience 

The introduction to this house was excellent with the story being delivered by a capable actor who played his part with vigour. Then it all fell flat. Bare black walls and 5 minutes of vampires growling  snarling and screaming at us did nothing to scare or inspire… And we left feeling empty and dissapointed. 
Body snatchers:

We were greeted outside by a strange doll like creature who through audience participation and dance kept our group entertained and amused until it was our time.  

Lavish sets, fantastic actors, perfect humour. This house had it all. The tension and atmosphere was captured perfectly and the timing of some of the scares was sublime. A truly unique and enjoyable house 
Black widow:

Greeted again by another brilliant actor (where do they get these actors from they’re all incredible) we were told the tale of the black widow… Then hooded. It gel like not much had changed from last year except the actors were just hissing and shouting “spiders” in our ears… we came out of black widow feeling disappointed again. There were some good sensory moments but overall it missed the mark with our group
Overall Scare Kingdom packs a punch with its first class sets, attention to detail and heavily story driven, narrative focused haunts which create a fully realised world and throw you in there for a spell. Coupled with stellar acting, and a comedic spin, Scare Kingdom could easily be the dirtier, scarier and funnier older brother of the dungeons! 

An excellent attraction which is not to be missed this Halloween!