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Houdini’s Escape – Alcatraz

Houdini’s Escape – Alcatraz
Location: Cheshire Oaks
Game Date: 28/11/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“You have been convicted of multiple murders that you didn’t commit and have 1 hour to escape your cell in Alcatraz before you are executed

Alcatraz was themed well, and to a high standard, whilst not the most immersive prison. Houdini have done a good job in creating a clean, well-finished room. The different areas of the game were represented clearly, and a good soundtrack was used to create atmosphere.
Lighting was dim, but torches were provided throughout the game and it was not used as a tool to make the room “harder” but only for atmosphere.
The space was fairly roomy, I can imagine to begin with it would be a bit tight for the maximum of 8 players, but once the space opens up it would become a bit more comfortable.

Game Play:
An open game which consisted of observation, searching and logic puzzles. The game itself was quite classic in its design, you could tell this was a game that was designed at the dawn of the escape room era here in the UK. (it was originally at Houdini’s Southampton branch – this version is a copy)
Even so, the game was enjoyable to play, with the puzzles being on theme, logical and with nice ah-ha moments. There were a couple of very, very small logic leaps which could serve to trip up inexperienced players. Enthusiasts, however, will not find these a leap, as chances are you will be able to use prior experience to win those puzzles.
The flow was good, with a couple of natural sticking points that would easily trip the less observant up. But through the actual puzzles and overall arch of the game, the flow kept pace and puzzles ran freely and smoothly from one to the next.
Signposting was hit an miss, there were some moments of absolute beautiful signposting that was woven into the theme of the room, and some moments where you were completely left alone, a little refinement to the signposting of this room would really elevate it.
All in all a good game, pitched well to its location within the bowling at Cheshire Oaks, and it’s a game that isn’t going to put first-time players off!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via the game host shouting into our “cell” – this was good from a theming aspect, but at the later stages of the game, we did have trouble hearing him.

Game Host:
Lee was our game host and did a good job, delivering us good nudges when we needed them. The rules of the room were delivered via a screen in the room, which whilst ok and needed for teams who have never played before, a bit of pace to the video would have been appreciated.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 43 Minutes.

Website: https://www.houdinisescape.co.uk/cheshire-oaks
Price:
4 Players £88
5 Players £110
6 Players £132
7 Players £154
8 Players £176

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