Immersive Events – Prison Escape. Game Date 17/06/2017. Team: Amy & Ian
Today’s review is going to be a little different from the normal, with less structure than my normal reviews, as Prison Escape wasn’t an escape room, so the normal parameters would not fit to the review as such!
A few weeks ago, Immersive Events held a competition on their Facebook to win tickets to Prison Escape, and luckily… I WON. Well, there lay the first hurdle, as I was flagged up by their social media team to be on their Media list, which meant I was entitled to media tickets for the events so I wasn’t eligible for the tickets I had won!
I didn’t know I was on this list so it was a nice surprise to me to see I’d been noticed by their team (thank you!) SO with that in mind, IE sorted myself and Ian with 2 tickets for the Prison Escape event!
I’ll just pre-face this with saying that I got terribly sick (with a nasty case of heat exhaustion) during the day’s events, so we didn’t finish the full tasks, we got about 85-90% through, so my review will be on what I experienced and I’ll try to keep the sickness out of the review as much as I can!
We arrived at HMP Shrewsbury (known as The Dana) around 30 minutes early, the event started at 11am prompt and we didn’t want to be late!
From the moment you line up to enter the site, there are police officers, doctors, psychiatrists and other characters around the place, putting you in postion and starting the event off with total immersion.
Let’s talk about immersion… this was as immersive as it gets, The Dana is a REAL prison, 3 floors, massive, gritty, maze-like… you couldn’t make a sound without it echoing all around you. The actors playing the prison officers, wardens, doctor and fellow prisoners etc were all fantastic, so into their characters and didn’t falter once, a massive well done to each and every one!
So, after lining up in the court yard, we were sorted and processed into our beautiful orange jumpsuits then the real fun began…. We were banged up inside our jail cell to be left to rot….
Then the real game began…
I won’t give too much of the game away, as they do change it a little from month to month, but I get the feeling the over-arching “story” will be the same,
We managed to get out of our cell, by sheer luck though, as another player let us out and we spent about an hour “on the run” – avoiding everyone and hiding in rooms… turns out this is NOT how to play the game, there are tasks you have to do and a good flow to the game that once we picked up on this, we were OUT of the prison in about 20 minutes… if only we’d clicked onto this earlier, this was a lot of fun, criss crossing the prison going on missions for other inmates and sweet-talking the guards and staff amongst other things.
Once we were out of the prison, the game took on more of a scavenger hunt affair…running from shop to shop gathering clues, information and piecing our mission together, If you’re going to play Prison Escape, wear comfy shoes and prepare for a lot of walking, stairs and physical activity!
There must have been some comments around Shrewsbury town centre at over 100 orange clad inmates running amok, especially as it was the Shrewsbury Carnival so the streets were packed!
Now, I have to say, this is where I took a decided turn for the worse and unfortunately we had to give up the ghost a few stops into the scavenger hunt, meaning we VERY reluctantly returned to the prison for the end of the game at 3pm, where we undertook the game debrief and returned our jumpsuits.
The whole event is ran, organised and executed with precision and skill, it must be a massive task to undertake, and Immersive Events did a brilliant job into creating this event and throwing us all into the thick of it! I feel I can’t do as detailed a review as I would like for this due to my illness, but I can review as far as we got, and as I said the event was run so smoothly and professionally I wouldn’t hesitate to go again!
For what it’s worth, if you do go and play Prison Escape on the hottest day of the year, please, please, please…. stay hydrated, wear shorts under your jumpsuit (not jeans) and don’t get heat exhaustion!
Tickets are priced at £45 per person, with a minimum age of 16 years.