The Escape Room – Safari Jungle

The Escape Room –  Safari Jungle. Game Date 07/05/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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So, a couple months ago I entered a competition (as I often do) on Facebook, and to my delight, I won! 1 free game at The Escape Room in Stoke (Newcastle-under-Lyme to be precise)… We were supposed to be combining the win with a trip to Alton Towers, but with me re-tearing the ligaments in my ankle on the Thursday before, we just did the escape room… that was enough for my ankle and I managed to just about hobble around the room!

Theme:
“You travel a long way to visit your great-granduncle in Africa during an annual gathering and discover that your ancestor is an avid treasure hunter. You stumble across a secret treasure map left behind by your ancestor while you are snooping around the house. You and your friends have decided to go to the safari jungle in search of the secret treasure. With the deadliest insects and animals lurking besides you, you and your friends have to find the secret treasure and escape the safari jungle before you and your friends become the prey.”

Theming was decent, it was very obvious we were in a “room” and not a jungle, the decoration was simple and a bit spoilt by the light level, there was some very nice graffiti style artwork on the wall that you couldn’t really see because of the low light level!
This is a major bug-bear of mine with every “The eEscape Room” franchised room I’ve come across – They’re too dark! This is a limiting factor in their games, it makes them less enjoyable and ramps up the difficulty level (and ramping the difficulty up purely because of darkness is gimmicky and unnecessary)
The room itself was clean, and in decent repair. One game element took a few tries to get to work but it didn’t impact on our game too much (just gave us a slightly slower exit time!)
The immersion wasn’t great, BUT it was one of the better decorated “escape room” games we’ve played, but it still could be improved in terms of immersion and on talking to our Game Host at the end, they do have plans to improve the immersion in their games, which I hope to see soon!
I liked this branch of “The Escape Room” – in previous branch visits we’ve been met by disinterested hosts, poor game design and boring rooms. The Stoke branch is vibrant and a step up from the other branches I’ve visited!

Game Play:
A strictly linear game, with a decent variety of puzzles, self explanatory in nature thanks to the handy journal (this was a nice touch) – Most of the puzzles were logic based, with a touch of physicality thrown in.
The puzzles were fairly standard escape room fodder,  perfectly logical and solvable on their own (we didn’t use any hints) There was a nice mix of tech and padlocks.
There were some really nice “ah-ha” moments with 3-4 of the puzzles, some seemed a little fudgy in their execution.
Experienced teams I would recommend no more than 3, and even newbies I would max out at 4, this is more to do with the linear nature of the room. Even with just 2 of us, there were moments when I was solving something and Ian was observing. The game is SO linear! Linear but enjoyable, and the lease frustrated I’ve ever felt in a “The Escape Room” franchised game!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via the host coming into the room

Game Host:
We played during a shift change, so we had Trey deliver our brief, we was friendly and fun (and I apologise for repeatedly putting him of his spiel) and after our game we were debriefed by Liam, who was very friendly and great to chat to! We chatted for a long time about rooms, and we could have talked all night (as everyone knows I can waffle on about rooms for EVER)

Did we escape?
Yes, with no hints in 48 minutes! Not bad, not bad

Website: http://www.theescaperoom.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

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