Monday was a very special day indeed, with some of the leading bloggers and industry professionals being invited to Escapologic’s brand new Leicester site to sample the 3 new rooms ahead of their grand opening later on in the month. Be aware… this is a LONG one!
We set off on the Sunday evening as we got a fantastic bargain through Travelodge so it couldn’t be declined! We met up with Sam & Jamie from Lock Us Up and Elliot, Danny and Lucy from To Clue or Not to Clue for some drinks and a good old natter about everything escape rooms!
Monday soon arrived to much excitement, fuelled up on coffee & adrenaline, we headed to Escapologic. Greeted by Simon, we were told we would be splitting into teams of 5 for the day, our first team was with Elaine & Mike from Escape Quest, and Sue from Escape and Conquer. Our first room of the day was Chronos… so onto the review!
Chronos – Team: Amy, Ian, Mike, Elaine & Sue.
“A version of the normally dormant Chronos virus has mutated, becoming deadly, resulting in the death of any living thing it comes into contact with. This pandemic has decimated the human populace and plunged modern society into chaos. After several failed attempts at finding a cure it is now time to activate the last resort.
The Powers That Govern, a mysterious secret society, have enlisted you to pilot a machine developed from the collective research of some of the most brilliant minds in history; Da Vinci, Tesla and Einstein. This machine is the final contingency, it will shift you through the voids of space and time… Your destination, Victorian London.
It is here that you will find patient zero, the only known fatality caused by Chronos up until it’s mutation in the present day. The research from this rare case was once lost to time but now you have the power to get it back and find a cure. Change the past, fix the present and give humanity a future”
Wow. Wow. Wow, Escapologic really have a no holds barred approach when it comes to theming, everything was so perfect, so tactile as very visceral. The room was incredibly authentic and the immersion was top notch, even the design of “time travel” was suggested by a unique feeling and was something we’d never experienced before in an escape room!
The room is beautifully Victorian, with a steampunk edge that is so very cool. It encourages play and exploration, and nothing is out of bounds, you can get stuck into everything in this room and have a good play with all the equipment and set pieces!
The space itself wasn’t huge, but we never felt that we were getting in each other’s way throughout the game. The lighting was suitable and never too dark or obstructive.
An open game that is inherently tactile. Getting “stuck in” is almost a requirement of any Escapologic room and Chronos is no exception, physical puzzles lead seamlessly to a more mental contingent which focuses of observation and code breaking (in a way) – all leading to one beautiful satisfying lock that is open, out there and therefore leads you around the room solving the beautiful puzzles and tasks.
Each puzzle was wonderful in itself, having superior Ah-ha moments, and when the penny dropped and the way of solving the puzzle was clear, the execution was excellent, smooth and concise.
The flow was brilliant, logical and clear a game which (for being in its infancy) was just lovely and almost ran itself!
A perfect room for the introduction to escape rooms and the Escapologic universe, it had all the hallmarks that made “Contraption” so unique and unusual, and for that felt like it harked back to the real roots of Escapologic… Immersive, puzzley and REAL.
Clues were via a disembodied voice, and some clever use of drawers!
Alfie was our host, and delivered a pitch perfect story, clued us impeccably and was an all round excellent host!
Did we escape?
Yes, in 52 minutes!
Phew, world saved, and so… onto lunch! Which was a great time for chatting, although it was strange as we couldn’t openly talk about the room we had just played as 2/3 of the rooms hadn’t played them yet! Very strange!
Lunch scoffed we were on to room number 2, and a new team!
Operation Magnus. Team: Amy, Ian, Sam, Jamie & Sue
“The year is 1942, World War 2 rages on. You are an elite spy deep undercover at the operations bunker of the infamous splinter cell group known as SPYKE. The group has reached an agreement with the mysterious Magnus, an aerospace engineer, and he has agreed to develop a new super weapon that could change the tides of war and leave devastation in its wake.
After months on a covert operation an assault on the base has left you free to finally gather the intel needed on the inner workings of this weapon and ascertain the technology for the allied forces.
Your only line of communication is a fellow agent who has been placed amongst SPYKE’s ranks for this very moment, they will be on hand to assist you throughout the mission but must do so without blowing their cover.
This could truly be the turning point of the war; The Allied forces, the Resistance and even the fate of the world, rests on your shoulders.
A space that could have been straight from WW2. – bare walls, peeling paint… drab looking conditions… perfect for the theming and incredibly immersive, with a soundtrack of WW2 songs (got me singing along at one point) and the faint sounds of warfare and bombs dropping in the distance, making this one of Escapologic’s most immersive yet.
The use of space was ingenious too, with the room taking place over several levels and incorporating a set of stairs to nowhere! Clever, clever use of space which made a fairly small game area feel a lot bigger.
Lighting was perfect again and we were not left in the dark for no reason, the room was lit appropriately at all times.
Ian made a comment that had he awoke in this room he would have easily believed that he had woken up within a real bunker within WW2! I have to agree, this room went above and beyond in theming!
A linear game, with a focus on codebreaking, machine fixing, and observation. All the pre-requisites of being behind enemy lines and infiltration! No puzzle was out of theme and there was a very nice puzzle at the start of the game which you could see being used “in the field” – it was very subtle yet satisfying!
There were excellent communication and team-work puzzles in this room which brought the whole team together, especially at the climax of the room (which for sakes of spoilers I am NOT going to divluge what happens, but let’s just say, all 5 of us were screaming, and saying “OH MY GOD IS THIS HAPPENING” – it is certainly a show-piece and an intensily dramatic ending to the room!)
The flow was excellent and each puzzle led on to the next with no fuss, and all the ah-ha moments were fun and fitted into the journey with excellence
Clues were delivered via a telephone!
Tom was our game host and was great, took our chatter and team name with good humour and delivered us hints only when we truly needed them!
Did we escape?
Yes, in 38 minutes
Phew… world saved (again, you can thank me later)
After a short break (whilst we waited for other people to finish up) we were on to our final (sob) game of the day;
Reactorvate. Team: Amy, Ian, Sue, Alex & Monique (from the infamous Panic Room!)
“Your Great Uncle was once a leading scientist known for developing state of the art nuclear technology. In central Europe, during the late 1970’s, one of his experimental reactors went into meltdown as soon as it was activated, causing one of the most catastrophic disasters in modern history.
The government blamed him for the event, stating that his reactors were not safe to begin with, he was imprisoned for life and remains locked up to this day.
After receiving a letter from prison you have reason to believe he was framed by a fellow scientist and that the original reactor was tampered with.
Your only option is to break into an abandoned power plant located in rural Russia, find a second inactive reactor and start it up. If it is fully functional then you may just have the evidence to free an innocent man. If your Great Uncle is lying, then you may need to run for your life!”
Theming in Reactorvate was superb again, with huge consoles of flashing lights, buttons and knobs to turn, the space then opened up and was HUGE, easily the biggest and most imposing of the 3 rooms at Leicester. Incredibly immersive, with an eerie feeling that something was amiss but you’re never quite sure what.
The room is pitch black at points, yet later on in the game this does become brighter and there are light areas to stay in should you have an aversion to darkness. There are smoke effects and loud noises used within the room (which adds masses of immersion)
The reactor core and rod holding cases are massive, impressive set pieces, and there are plenty of things to play with and interact with.
Game play in Reactorvate contained some excellent puzzles, observation, simple maths and logic being the main stays.
We felt the flow was a bit disjointed in Reactorvate, with there being not much to link puzzles together or let us know where things we had completed had took effect elsewhere. On talking to the designer of the room, this is a problem they are aware of and are tweaking the game as we speak to make sure the flow, direction and game are perfect for opening day. As it stands, Reactorvate is still a really enjoyable experience and had some excellent puzzles and exciting moments that the team will experience together.
With some “spit and polish” Reactorvate has the potential to be an excellent game, and in Ian’s opinion could take the top spot at Leicester (that goes to Chronos for me!)
Clues will be delivered via video screen
We didn’t catch our game host’s name, but she was very enthusiastic, gave us good clues and had a brilliant Russian accent!
Did we escape?
Yes, in 41 minutes!
So, 3 amazing games…. 3 world’s saved! And a lot of friendship, chat and hilarity! Our Epic Escapologic Adventure will be remembered for a long time. Ian and I would like to say a massive, massive thank you to Simon and the whole team at Escapologic for making the day absolutely perfect! We loved every single second!