ClueQuest – Operation Blacksheep

ClueQuest – Operation Blacksheep. Game Date 25/07/2017

cluequest-unit-operation-blacksheep

Theme:
“Professor BlackSheep, Mr Q’s arch nemesis,has been scheming and plotting against our agency and the whole of mankind. The Professor has built and launched a satellite into Earth’s orbit, capable of controlling all human minds.

You and your team will be sent behind enemy lines with the mission to infiltrate into the Professor’s command center, hack into his system and obtain the missile codes in order to destroy the satellite once and for all.

Agents, be aware! Launching the missile into the satellite will trigger the command center’s self-destruct sequence. You will have only 60 Minutes to destroy the satellite until it goes online and then to evacuate the command center before it self-destructs.”

BAM. ClueQuests theming hits you from the moment you step into the impressively large foyer. They have masses of space for your team to wait and take in your briefing before moving onto the game itself

The theming in the game was whimsical and charming, and very cartoony! Not this is not a detriment to the theme, it perfectly fits the slightly grungy cartoon style of Mr Q (our hero) and Professor Blacksheep (our villain)
The room was suitably large and airy, and very well lit, finished to an incredibly high standard, with bespoke furniture there was nothing out of place, with no more “stuff” than what you needed, this helped the feel of the room. The touches and attention to detail were very good too! (I wish I could say what but I feel it’s a bit too much of a spoiler!)
Whilst not entirely immersive (I was aware I was in an escape room most of the game) it captured the tone perfectly and was consistent from the website through the foyer and into the game, creating a fun world that was like stepping into the pages of a ClueQuest comic! A different take, but one that most definitely works and is a lot of fun!

Game Play:
The game was a classic linear escape room. Perfectly honed and obvious it had been tweaked and refined along the way.
The variety of puzzles was good, with observation, logic, code breaking, searching and a tiny tiny physical puzzle (when I say physical, in the mechanics of the puzzle, not physical exertion)
There was nothing in the room that could have constituted as a red herring, if you found something you knew you were going to use it at some point!
Every single puzzle was wonderfully logical, and a lot of fun to solve! Some puzzles have nice little twists that allow for critical thinking!
The flow was pretty much perfect, we barley tripped over anything and therefore the puzzles just almost seemed to solve themselves so much so that what we needed and what we were missing were clear in equal measures (at one point we knew we were missing something to solve a puzzle and were 100% doubting ourselves not the room – the sign of a good game!)
The ending of the room was great, with a massive change that I didn’t see coming which was so simple, but very effective!
A really, really solid room, with excellent puzzles. Logic. Solvable… what’s not to love!
Enthusiasts, take a 2 and enjoy the ride. Newbies, take a 4 and prepare to work hard!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Camilo was our game host and was great! Very professional and friendly, delivering a good detailed brief.
I can’t comment on his hint delivery as we didn’t use any clues!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 50 minutes with no clues!

Website: https://cluequest.co.uk/
Price:
3 Players £78
4 Players £100
5 Players £120

Time Run – Celestial Chain

Time Run – Celestial Chain. Game Date 25/07/2017

celestial

Theme:
“A rogue goddess, once imprisoned, has broken free of The Celestial Chain. Gather what you need to bind her, once again: or risk the end of the world as we know it.”

After a short (very short) break we were joined by team-mate number 4 and we rang the doorbell to be let into Celestial Chain.
This again started in a magnificently themed briefing room, and Aubrey refreshed our minds on the lore of Luna & Babbage and again laid out the plan for the next hour.

The Celestial Chain is incredibly themed, with all the areas being utterly immersive, richly detailed and just gorgeous!
The story is conveyed through the briefing into the “pre-show” and throughout the game and again is of theme park quality.  Using Audio/Visual magic and brilliant soundtrack throughout the game.
Celestial Chain pushes the envelope in terms of quality, detail and immersion and like Lance of Longinus is more than the sum of its parts. It’s the entire immersive adventure that counts and it can be seen as something to experience, live, breath and throw yourself into with gusto. It is live theatre, it’s art. It’s utter joy, wonder and totally magical.

Game Play:
Celestial Chain is different, in that you do not have to escape the room within 60 minutes, now this doesn’t mean there is no time limit, in fact there is a strict time limit within each time period you visit. The goal of the game is to collect special artefacts to power a special machine that will bind the goddess.
So, not a normal escape room, what does that mean… well for one, it means that each room feels under pressure, you know what needs to be done and you have to do it… that added pressure is great at building the tension!
The puzzles were incredible and so varied, again each being perfect to whatever time period we landed in. There was a good mix of physical, logic, maths, observation, music, & communication puzzles. The puzzles lean a little towards the physical… not in an exertion way, more of a “tactile” way, the puzzles are tactile, in theme and have lovely ah-ha moments and great logic (which is important under the time pressure!)
The flow is interesting, as you’re constantly moving forwards and having to reassess the entire room every time period, it’s not jarring however and leads to a sense of urgency and wonder. The puzzles are clear and laid out in such a way that your objectives are seen instantly so you can get to work immediately!
I wouldn’t not recommend that anyone play this game in a group less than 4, there’s an incredible amount of things to see and do… Amazing!

Clue System:
We were once again travelling with the lovely Babbage! Who gave us audio cues!

Game Host:
Again we met our game host at the end of our journey and he gave us a fantastic debrief. The fun thing about Celestial Chain is the full breakdown of the game that you get afterwards, which details how you played as a team, how many artefacts you found (we missed 3, I think.. but they were all bonus ones we missed) and gives you a total score and team type!

Did we escape?
Escaping was not the goal, but we banished the goddess and achieved a score of 113/128! With a rating of being “The Academics!” for our team type

Website: http://www.time-run.com/
Price:
The price for Time Run doesn’t change depending on how many are playing, but there is a minimum of 3 to book:

Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursday Daytime: £33 Per head

Thursdays/Evenings – Sundays: £42 Per head

Time Run – Lance of Longinus

Time Run – Lance of Longinus. Game Date 25/07/2017

lance

Theme:
“Dive through a time portal, then voyage through forgotten and undiscovered worlds on a quest for an object of unfathomable power. Run through time, against clock, to track down the Lance of Longinus – before your 60 minutes are up.”

Where to start…. WOW. Just, Wow. From the moment you step foot through the door, you are whisked away to another world, another time…. Greeted by a rather eccentric chap called Aubrey who delivers the back story of why we are time runners, and introduces us to the world according to Luna Fox and the adorable Babbage.

The theming even in the briefing area is astounding, and it doesn’t let up. The sets are lavishly decorated to perfection, every time a door opened it is a wonder to “where are we going now” this coupled with a detailed sound track and ambient lighting creates a seamless experience that is 100% immersive and sublime.

The whole game is an experience, from the second you walk through the door. It’s akin to something you would find in a theme park (we actually thought it was very Universal Studios!) The level of detail in the sets, characters and story is second to none.

Time Run is more than the sum of its parts, the characters make it, the briefing, preshow…. and then the game all merge seamlessly to create an experience of immersive live theatre that you are an important part in, with a few crackin’ escape room puzzles in there to test your brain along the way!

We were just blown away, and it’s something we’d love to do again just to take it all in and see what details we missed the first time!

Game Play:
Game play was intrinsic to the theming, with no puzzle being out of place.
There was a wide range of puzzles, but they did lean to the physical… which was SO SO enjoyable! There was one puzzle that was SO physical, tactile and moveable… and masses of fun!
It’s hard to talk about all the puzzles without giving away secrets! Every puzzle was of perfect logic, and all had great ah-ha moments that kept coming. The flow was excellent, with the game being very open. We as a team (we played in a 3) were often found working on our own sections before coming back together to solve a meta-puzzle.
There were some typical escape game puzzles later on in the game (and what was tantamount to a jigsaw, but thankfully I just busied myself with other things, and there were plenty of other things to do! Jane did a tremendous job on that massive puzzle!)
Even the “typical” puzzles were excellent and just served to push the story along and get us to finally retrieve the Lance!
The game is just beautifully honed, and works so very, very well. Encourages teamwork and allows for each member to have full participation.
Enthusiasts, take at least 3! It would be very challenging with a 2! Newbies… if you fancy the challenge, take at least 4! Time Running is a massive task!

Clue System:
Babbage! The adorable super cute robot accomplice of Luna was our guide through time! Such a great clue system!

Game Host:
We didn’t meet our game host until the end, and I unfortunately didn’t catch his name, but he was very professional and gave us a great debrief, with a lovely keepsake card on that had our team “type” on it – we were the “Zen” as we were so chilled out! This is a lovely touch and proved that our host had been paying the utmost attention to us throughout our game (which to be honest, was apparent from his excellent clues, or should I say, babbage’s excellent service!)

Did we escape?
Yes, in 53 minutes…!

Website: http://www.time-run.com/
Price:
The price for Time Run doesn’t change depending on how many are playing, but there is a minimum of 3 to book:

Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursday Daytime: £33 Per head

Thursdays/Evenings – Sundays: £42 Per head

Escape Time – The Bank Heist

Escape Time – The Bank Heist. Game Date 24/07/2017

Bank-Game-Image-768x576

 

Theme:
“Security is extremely tight at The People’s Bank, with the banks jewels, valuable paintings and cash stored in a secure overnight safe area.

Having studied the security patterns for 12 months, Mike Henry has instructed you that you will only have 60 minutes before the security change over is complete and you must be clear of the overnight security area.

Do you and your team have what it takes to complete the heist of the century and take a cut of the profits from the resale within the criminal underground world?!”

Theming was impressive from the start, with the game beginning in a back ally outside the bank! We’ve not seen this before so it was a novel start to the game! Theming continued throughout the game, and was done to a very good standard. Immersion was good, and there was attention to detail within each area. The rooms aren’t huge, but there are plenty of areas to explore and criss-cross between so a larger group won’t feel like they’re getting in each other’s way.
There is nice use of tech and soundtrack within the room, and there was a great use of walkie talkies within the game!
The room does contain a fair bit of bending/crawling, but once the initial tasks have been completed and you move on, if anyone in your party has mobility issues, it wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t go back.
A really good room with creative use of space!

Game Play:
The game was strictly linear. There was a good selection of puzzles. Logic, maths, word, observation, physical. All standard escape room puzzles that were executed very well, at times with small twists that meant we needed a couple of hints (overthinking is a killer!)
All the puzzles were logical, and encouraged communication. They all had nice ah-ha moments.
The flow was good, with not many sticking points… we felt very relaxed in the game!
There was a “jigsaw” puzzle, which we were pre-warned about… it was used in a nice way, it wasn’t time wasting. I just left Ian to do it (which is what I am going to do from now on!!!)
There was one thing I didn’t like in the room. It’s hard to say without spoilers, but it blurs the line between places that we shouldn’t look in… and could encouraged people to look there in other rooms, which causes me a bit of consternation.
With that aside, the room really is lovely. Plays well, is logical and a lot of fun!
Enthusiasts, take a 2! Newbies, a 4 would be perfect for this room.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Dan was our host and was ace. Really friendly and chatty, delivering us plenty of clues when we were over thinking, and never leaving us to get frustrated!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 44:44!

Website: http://escapetime.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Clue HQ – Captain Riddle’s Forgotten Fortune

Clue HQ – Captain Riddle’s Forgotten Fortune. Game Date 24/07/2017

captainriddles.png

Theme:
“Captain Riddle was one notorious pirate. Famous for pillaging from land and sea and holding his bounty within a hidden cove. The story has become legend over the years and no one is sure if the treasure even exists anymore. You and your scallywag crew have commandeered his old ship and are now sailing in search for the gold. Paranoid that others would attempt to follow in his footsteps, he locked everything up, and is said to have not written down the route to the loot. Riddle’s ship is protected, so you won’t have long after you set sail until the company come after you.”

First impressions were that this room is soooo pretty, we’ve gotten used to what we expect from ClueHQ, a good solid room with decent theming and good audio/visual. Captain Riddle was a marked step up for ClueHQ. The decoration was beautiful, solid in construction and very immersive.
The room is fairly large, and is designed in such a way the even with the maximum of 6 it wouldn’t feel too crowded, there may bit a small part where you may have to get close, but it’s only a small part of the game.
The different decors in the game all come together to create a playful & immersive escape room that hopefully will become the standard for ClueHQ.
Audio/Visual was used with excellence to tell the story and plunge you deeper and further out into the open ocean, through the excellent use of screens/lighting and sound, a real visual treat.

Game Play:
The game was absolutely typical ClueHQ, with padlocks everywhere and lots (and I mean LOTS) of puzzles. A fairly linear game, we never seemed to be working on separate things.
The brilliance in the game is in its pacing. The puzzles come thick and fast, yet are so logical that you never feel panicked and the ah-ha moments keep on coming.
All bases were covered with regard to puzzle types, with a cracking mix of Logic, Word, Aural, Observation, Maths… there is certainly something for every type of intelligence in the room (which is commendable, this will give everyone in the group their own moment to shine)
The flow was brilliant, and never stopped. We felt like the whole hour was spent just puzzling, the skill of the design stood out in this game. The only time we stopped was to really think about a puzzle or two!
The game itself is also objective based, and this leads to the ending being incredibly exciting (and I got my hair a bit wet!) In fact, I think the ending of this game will stick with me for quite a while, ClueHQ have a knack for exciting endings and putting the pressure on in those final moments, and Captain Riddle didn’t disappoint!
Enthusiasts, take a 2 or 3! Enjoy every puzzle. Newbies, take a 5 or 6. There is a LOT to do!!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Stu was our game host, and the owner of ClueHQ! After playing so often at Warrington and Manchester, we finally got to meet him. We chatted for ages, and probably could have talked all night! His game hosting was excellent, delivering just the right nudges at the perfect time!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 56 minutes!

Website:
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Escape Reality – Nosferatu

Escape Reality – Nosferatu. Game Date 20/07/2017

Nosferatu.jpg
We were kindly invited to come and play Nosferatu with Jane, from Norris Box after she won the weekly competition! It was great to play a game before our Time Run Extravaganza next week to get a feel for each other’s play styles. Thanks again Jane 😀
So, with a game chosen and a date set, we headed off to Leeds to form our team of Jane, her hubby Chris and obviously Ian and myself!

Theme:
“It is currently 1841, a time where the presence of Vampires has existed and been well documented for many centuries. You are in a small region of Romania, West Transylvania, investigating the untimely deaths of your close friends. Upon examining their bodies, all signs point to the presence of an infamous Vampire. You must use your skills to identify and find the most dangerous Vampire known to exist in the current world, Nosferatu. Will you become the prey or the predator?”

The theming was nice, and finished to a good standard. There was a good use of soundtrack within in the room, and lots of space, all the rooms were very spacious and we never got in each other’s way.
Immersion wasn’t all encompassing, there were a lot of moments I was well aware we were in an escape room, but even though the mechanics of the puzzles were quite often not in the theme, the actual content of them were.
There was a mix of technology and padlocks in the room, and sometimes that use of tech was over done and didn’t add anything to the room.

Game Play:
A strictly linear room, although this was the case, the puzzles were presented in such a way that it took team effort to solve all of them, which was good design. The puzzles were exclusively logic, with multiple parts to decode and decipher.
There were some small physical elements, but nothing strenuous.
The flow was very good, the room itself in Escape Reality can give you a clue as to where you’re to solve next, as the puzzles are numbered for the hint system (this can be seen as a bonus, or a hindrance depending on your play style)
The puzzles were all logical, and created team-work and encouraged communication. Whilst there were still some moments of working out and introspective play! They all had nice ah-ha moments and were entirely solvable and logical
The only gripe I had was that there was a jigsaw type puzzle  (admittedly I didn’t do cause it was a jigsaw, and we all know how I feel about them!) that just felt like a bit of a filler puzzle.
There are moments of “puzzles” which are just releasing mag-locks I found these aspects rather uninspiring.
For a team of enthusiasts I recommend 4 or fewer. Newbies take a 5, there are some tricky brain teasers in there!

Clue System:
Escape Reality has a clue system that is unique to their franchise. You are given an iPad which includes your countdown timer, and also a QR code scanner. At various points in the game there are stickers next to each puzzle, these are numbered (so in themselves give you an indication on how you’re to approach the room) – if you are stuck on a puzzle you can scan the code, and get a solution (with a penalty of +5 minutes to your time) or you can press a hint button and the game host will come into the room to give you a hint (free of time penalties)
I didn’t like this, I don’t like self cluing my games at the best of times, and I dislike like getting penalties for needing a hint! (I feel it makes the player feel defeated using the codes for a hint!) – of course this might work really well for super competitive people, it’s just not my cup of tea!

Game Host:
We had the ever lovely Pateek again! He was friendly and delivered a stellar briefing again! We didn’t need to call him as we completed the room with no hints!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 42 minutes, earning us 3rd place on the leaderboard!

Website:  http://www.escapereality.com/leeds/
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £85
6 Players £96

Escape Room Centre – The Bomb

Escape Room Centre – The Bomb. Game Date 17/07/2017

bomb

Theme:
“You and your team are members of an elite ‘Bomb Disposal Unit’.

You are about to enter a flat above a bank in Blackpool believed to have been rented by Joseph Mendelson.

Mendelson, an ex bank employee, holds the bank responsible for ruining his life when in fact it was his own drinking and gambling addictions that lost him everything.

He is determined to do as much damage as possible and has already blown up two branches of the bank in nearby towns.

The flat is also known to be booby trapped, giving you just one hour to find the bomb, deactivate it and escape.”

The story is a pretty standard escape room affair, the decoration in the room was well done, with the flat being appropriately bare and the bomb room being well decorated indeed, with lovely touches and accents that complimented the theming.
Immersion wasn’t all encompassing, at some points I very much was aware that I was in a “puzzle room with a theme”

Game Play:
Again, pretty standard escape room tropes abound in this room, with an excellent variety of puzzles. Code Breaking, Cyphers, Physical, Logic, Observation. This room has a good selection. The only problem WE found was that it was all stuff we’d seen before… this is a reflection on our playing over 130 rooms and not the fault of the game. It just meant we sailed through the puzzles and saw stuff coming before it happened. (this made for an enjoyable & stress free game!)
This felt like playing a live action version of the old (or even, current!) escape room games on the internet!
The game was 100% linear, fine for a group of 2 but I could see big groups getting a little bored at moments. The flow however, was exceptional. It was clear that this was a tried and tested game as every puzzle was executed well. All the puzzles made sense logically, and did have nice ah-ha moments, and even though there was nothing that “wowed” us, we still had a lot of fun!
I would take a team of 2 for enthusiasts, and a team of 4 for newbies… this is pretty much a very good introductory room to start your escape room obsession with!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Christina & John were our game hosts, they’re both so lovely to talk to and hosted our game really well.

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 39 minutes!

Website: http://www.escaperoomcentre.com
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Escape Room Centre – Grimoire in the Attic

Escape Room Centre – Grimoire in the Attic. Game Date 17/07/2017

grim

Theme:
“An ancient book of spells, The Grimoire, has been stolen. You’ve traced those responsible to this long forgotten abandoned mansion

Their plan is to use the book to invoke evil spIrits of the past to rise again and destroy mankind. Time is short; the ceremony will begin tonight, at the stroke of midnight.

It’s just before 11pm, giving you one hour to find the Grimoire and escape. You have searched everywhere and found nothing, there is only one place left to look, the attic…”

This story & theme really spoke to me, I love anything witchy and occult… The theming was really good in the room, it was actually IN the attic too, making great use of the space within it. The room is a little bit dim, but this is perfectly in theme with the room, creating the right atmosphere and not just for “increasing difficulty” (You are provided with torches!)
The immersion was great, the attic really felt abandoned and was a little creepy! This was aided by a soundtrack that set the mood and added to the ambience. The room had enough props and decoration to compliment the theme, but not so much that there was a chance of creating red herrings.
A lovely designed and finished room, and further more… this is Escape Room Centre’s first foray into creating their own games (They brought the other games in from TRAP in Hungary) how does the game play match up… read on to find out!

Game Play:
A room that begins open, and becomes more linear as the game progresses, with well designed puzzles. Puzzle types were a mix of observation, logic & maths, with a little searching thrown in.
The searching element was tricky for our team (as we’re only a 2 and both lacking searching skills… any tips on how to improve on a postcard PLEASE!) but is perfectly pitched for a bigger team, as there was enough searching to keep all team members occupied until all pieces of the puzzle were found!
The game flowed wonderfully, it’s clear that the creators put a LOT of thought into game flow, as we couldn’t fault it. Again, the only time we slowed was when WE were missing something.
Each puzzle was a joy to complete, and each had a lovely ah-ha moment. There were 2 standout puzzles for me, one for it’s omnipresence from the very start of the game… it’s there, looming… beckoning you to come play and when you get to it, it’s really fun puzzle that is executed seamlessly. The other puzzle was one that encouraged team work, observation and attention to detail, whilst not entirely unique or taxing, it was a great puzzle to understand, work out and solve!
All in all, this is a very good room, Enthusiasts, I would take a team of 3 (in fact, we did say we could have done with our part-time team mate Michael with us for this one… but alas he’s in America!) just to take the workload of searching down a bit. Newbies… at LEAST 4. The room is jam packed with puzzles!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen.

Game Host:
Christina & John were our game hosts, they’re both so lovely to talk to and hosted our game really well.

Did we escape?
Yes, but we took about 57 minutes! 😮

Website: http://www.escaperoomcentre.com
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Exploring Escape Rooms: Let’s talk about locks

Let’s talk about locks

Padlocks are the fundamental “piece” of an escape room, they all have them, in varying types and quantities… some more than others!
I have found all the following types in the rooms I’ve played so far:

4 Digit Combination Locks:
These work by inputting a 4 digit code, lining up the digits on the indicated line. The code will usually be found by solving a simple puzzle or combining numbers together!

4dcl

3 Digit Combination Locks:
Exactly the same as the 4 digit locks, only with one less digit! I feel that 3 digit should be given all at the same time, as it is all too easy to spin for a final digit if a player has 2 of the digits already…

3dcl

Standard Key Padlock:
Usually the keys are hidden REALLY well, either in “plain sight” or within other locked boxes or safes. BE KIND your game host, and leave the key in the padlock when you’ve opened it! Your game host will be singing your praises!

padlock_180577359

Directional Padlocks:
These are fun, You have to click down twice on the shackle and then input the code, Which will be some kind of Up, Down, Left, Right affair.
Be careful, it is not always just 4 directions, and make sure you let the button come back to the centre after each direction!

dcl

Word padlocks.
Ahhh, I LOVE a word lock! Just like the combination locks, only with words.
Generally a 5 letter word, but 4 letter word locks are common place too.
Word locks are very sensitive and need lining up just right!

word-combination-lock-460

Push Button Door Lock.
A lot of games use these as the “Final exit” code. Usually they’re 3 or 4 digits such as C1234Z (pressing C is for clearing the padlock!)

push button lock

They’re the main types of locks you will find, there are some lesser used locks such as electronic locks, key-card locks but these are rare (we’ve encountered them in very few rooms!)

Escape Quest – Curious Encounters

Escape Quest – Curious Encounters. Game Date 11/07/2017

Curiosity shoppe banner

Now, eagle eyed readers may have noticed that I already have a review entitled Curious Encounters, no.. I have not played the same game again (although that’s not heard of!) as Escape Quest have completely changed the game, to give a brand new version, with a continuation of the story… all new puzzles and a new layout!

Theme:
“Mr Copplestone aka “The Professor” is an inventor. His greatest invention is the world’s first time machine, built so he could travel through space and time to find interesting objects and life saving potions to sell in his curiosity shoppe.

Trials of the time machine have been taking place for many years and thanks to the brave testers, some who were unfortunately lost along the way, Mr Copplestone has a fully working and reliable time machine. Until…

Today something went wrong!

Mr Copplestone stepped into the time machine and set it to his required destination, all seemed to be working as usual. He pulled the switch to activate it and with a loud bang and a puff of smoke he was gone. The time machine’s vital equipment exploded and scattered into pieces around the shoppe.

As a failsafe measure Mr Copplestone had set an emergency portal to open in the future, which would allow rescuers to enter through it and into his Shoppe. The portal should have opened inside the institute of quantum mechanics Moscow. Clearly this also went wrong, as the portal has opened here in Escape Quest!

Enter through the portal and into 1873, find out where the professor went, fix and then programme the time machine correctly and bring him back. The time entry vortex looks weak and I’d say you only have about an hour before it closes. If that happens Mr Copplestone will be lost in space and time. This would mean that time machines will never be invented and cause the portal and everything inside it to be instantly vaporised. Can you save him?”

Escape Quest’s games are so character and story driven, it’s hard not to be immersed in the game before you even start! This game is beautiful, first impressions were just wow! The room is so spacious and full of pretty things to look at! The authenticity is spot on (even going so far as to having a real, working till from the 1800s, which is gorgeous) – you almost don’t want to touch anything as it’s all so pretty and perfect!
Immersion is wonderful, with the room adding to the story, and fully immersing you into Mr Copplestone’s world, coupled with a soundtrack of classical music… it really sets the scene! The decoration later in the game is tactile and chunky, totally befitting of a time travelling professor. Just wonderful!

Game Play:
A fairly linear game that had some multi-paths. It wasn’t as open as say, 13th Element but there were moments when Ian and I were working on separate things!
The puzzles were just perfection, so logical and so much fun! They encompassed every type, mental, logic, physical, maths, word, observation, searching. The sense of discovery and accomplishment in this room was magical, every puzzle had a perfect ah-ha moment (backed up by the flawless logic in the puzzles) and were just a joy to solve, and the puzzle just kept on coming, there was so much to do!
The flow was excellent too, with each puzzle leading to the next with ease. We knew that when we got stuck, it was due to our failings NOT the game (this is the hallmark of a good game to us)
There are some unique puzzles in Curious Encounters (and honestly, even the more typical “escape room” puzzles have a distinctive “Escape Quest” twist and humour about them) one of which we’ve not seen before, and really just made me smile so much.
It was fun, a little bit silly & jovial, I can imagine it being hilarious with a bigger team!
The ending… What an ending it was, exciting, frantic and exhilarating! I came RUNNING out of the room, that hasn’t happened in a while!
This game is just sublime, we enjoyed every moment! Enthusiasts, this is a MUST do,  and newbies, whilst it’s a hard room with a lot to do.. it oozes quality and should be done. I’m not even going to recommend team sizes as any size team will thoroughly enjoy it!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a themed screen

Game Host:
Elaine and Mike were are game hosts (also the owners) and we love them, always so friendly and hospitable, Elaine delivered the game brief and story with vigour, and perfection. Mike delivered our clues with expertise and never left us to get frustrated. We felt so safe in their hands. You couldn’t ask for better hosts!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 51 minutes!

Website: http://www.escapequest.co.uk
Price:
3 players – £63
4 players – £76
5 players – £85
6 players – £90