The Crystal Maze in previews

The Crystal Maze in previews. Game Date 16/03/2017

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90’s TV fans rejoice! The Crystal Maze is BACK! The hit 90s show has been re-imagined and opens its doors to intrepid explorers (and people wanting to live out childhood dreams)
This review will be a little different as the Crystal Maze doesn’t run like a regular escape room, it’s an 8 player team challenge…

We were contacted by Elaine, the owner of Escape Quest back in January, she has secured 8 tickets to the preview runs of “The Crystal Maze” in Manchester and would I like to come along

“HELL YES” was my reply! So, after what felt like months of waiting the team was assembled, consisting of Elaine & Mike (The owners of my fave game EVER), Sera & Sharon (Escape game goddesses, Red bull mind quest champs and all round legends), Asa (Fellow blogger who we BEAT in sacrifice!) My other half Ian, and Mike’s brother Phil.

Together, we were S2BriofanEscapeQuestAddict(+Phil&Ian) could we go on and win lots of crystals?

With the show being in preview we entered through the back door and were taken into a waiting area, where we signed our waivers, put all our stuff in complimentary lockers and had LOTS of fun pics taken!

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Getting to wear the bomber jackets was so much fun! You can’t wear them round the maze, but it certainly gets the hype up and starts the excitement!
The waiting area was clean and tidy, and the complimentary lockers were a nice touch (as no mobiles are allowed in the maze, and why WOULD you want to carry anything around with you!)

We then were taken to the briefing booth, which was not quite finished but will be very nice when it’s done, where a FOH member of staff went through the rules and regs with us and got us even more hyped for the game ahead! The FOH were welcoming, and guide you to each area so you never feel like “what happens next”.

Once all the formalities are done with, it was onto the maze itself! I won’t go into massive amounts of detail about the game play, as it wouldn’t be fair to give away all the games we played and the solutions we found, but we played about 18 games over the 4 zones so we really got a lot of games in! The games are all exactly what you’d expect from the maze, some time consuming, some IMPOSSIBLE and some that are just downright FUN!

We were greeted by our “Maze Master” – a rough & ready New Yorker by the name of Billy Brooklyn, his enthusiasm, wit and character were excellent, he kept spirits up all through the game and kept us all on the straight and narrow!

The Zones:

Medieval:
Ahh, home to Mumsy! This set was lovely, with brick walls, torture devices and the dark dingy atmosphere you come to expect from the zone, the games were well thought out and all perfectly on theme! A faithful representation of the TV Show!

Industrial:
Gritty, steamy and pipes! The industrial zone wasn’t as like the TV show as I remember, but it still had the “feel” of the zone, the games in this zone were the hardest of the 4 zones but still fun!

Aztec:
WOW! Just WOW! This was the most faithful to the TV show, I think this zone is most people’s favourite, it certainly is mine! The way of entry from industrial is very much like the show, and the floor is covered in sand! The games were awesome, and even the windows were just like the show. I LOVED this zone. It was so much fun!

Futuristic:
This was the least like the TV Show, for those who remember the 90s futuristic, it was all robots and wires, but the re-imagining was more space age whiteness and moulded futuristic plastic… a little retro and totally different to the TV show. It wasn’t bad, the decorated was fantastic (like all the zones!) but for fans of the show it will feel alien!

We won 12 crystals overall, which game us 60 seconds of time inside the Crystal Dome…

The Crystal Dome:
Grand and imposing, and just like the TV show (but without the moat!) the goal of the dome is to just get as many gold tickets as possible, as there is no prize on the line! Stepping inside the dome was full of emotions and that minute felt like FOREVER. We amassed a grand total of 280 tickets, placing us 4th on the leader board!

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All the games were excellent (and some incredibly hard) but my final game didn’t work 😦 I was disappointed, but such is the difficulty with playing in previews, these things can happen and I’m sure it will be sorted before opening.

The overall experience is a heap of fun, and it’s as much fun being outside the games and shouting hints and help at the player as much as it is playing the games yourself. The whole experience took us nearly 2 hours, with about 1hr 15 in the maze itself.

If you’re a fan of the Crystal Maze you will LOVE it, you can’t not… I would give a chance for the show/Maze Masters/Staff to bed in and develop as much as it was a great experience I feel it’s only going to get better and better as everyone who works there settles in and gets into their “groove” – and when all the finishing touches are added in the whole experience will be brilliant!

It has great re-playability, as there are a ton of games we didn’t even get to see, so with that in mind I will be getting a team together and going for round 2 in the future!

Website: http://the-crystal-maze.com/

Prices:

Off Peak £45 per person
Peak £55 per person

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