Clue Adventures – The Book of Secrets

Clue Adventures – The Book of Secrets
Location: London
Game Date: 30/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian
The+Book+of+Secrets+Escape+Game+London

 

Theme:
“A 60 minute escape room game full of magical secrets and intrigue. On New Years Eve 1999 top magician and magic inventor Alistair Wilson vanished from a glass box, never to be seen again. No-one knows why or even how he vanished. You and your team have one hour to solve the mystery and to find his famous Book of Secrets before his former home is demolished.”

Themin was done to a high standard, but kept clean and tidy, with only things that were instrumental to the game being included, this created a good sense of immersion. The space developed and became more interesting and unique as the game went on, delving more into the magician aspect of Alistair and encountering some of his best magic trick. The room was full of suprises and tricks that wowed us a few times throughout the game.
The space is large enough for 7 players, and well lit throughout.

Game Play:
An open game that has so many puzzles type, magic, word, math, observation, skill, code-breaking… there was so many different puzzle types, every single person is going to find somethign they click with and excell at. The puzzles all took and idea and ran with it, often excecuting a seemingly simple and standard puzzle in an exciting new way.
There was moments of brilliance in the room when we performed real magic tricks to get items, which was a lovely touch!
Each puzzle had wonderful ah-ha moments, that really entertained and amused throughout, with impeccible logic there was a great sense of progression throughout the room.
The flow was fast paced and fun – this is certainly a game where if you’re not solving a puzzle, you are doing something wrong as the game is jam-packed with them, and they fire at you quickly and without hesitation.
Signposting was excellent, with good logical reasons for all signposting in the room, which lead us from puzzle to puzzle with ease.
A brilliant game, which delivers layers of story interwoven with excellent puzzling in a fast-paced, challenging game.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Peter was our host and he was excellent, delivering a great brief and story and REALLY taking care of us in the game, offering clues with prescision timing. Perfect hosting.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 55 mins

Website: http://www.clueadventures.com
Price:
2 Players £70
3 Players £96
4 Players £120
5 Players £140
6 Players £156
7 Players £168

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Breakin’ – Blackwing’s Cave

Breakin’ – Blackwing’s Cave
Location: London
Game Date: 30/09/2019
Team: Amy, Ian, Jak & Tom

blackwing

Theme:
“Knightsbane city is under attack. Dr. Drakker, the evil genius has escaped from prison and has sworn vengeance on his nemesis, the city’s hero, Blackwing. He has released all of the other prisoners from Alistair Penitentiary and has tracked down the location of Blackwing’s secret cave. Using his engineering skills he has set numerous traps for the hero by planting various devices in his cave only to be entertained by his torment.

The fallen hero of Knightsbane city must now face his greatest challenge yet by defeating Dr. Drakker once more and bringing him to justice. As Blackwing’s sidekicks you will need to help him throughout all the mad puzzles prepared by his arch nemesis and escape the cave before the time runs out!”

Batman… although there are quite clear disclaimers in the brief this room screams Batman… The decor was quite sterile and plain with nothing that really created immersion but nothing really out of place. The space was large (more than large enough for 6) and very, very dark. At times this impacted on game play, and wasn’t necessarily atmopsheric but I don’t feel it was soley done to increase difficulty levels like some other brands.

Game Play:
A linear game that consisted of teamwork, observation, logic and math puzzles. (A lot of math, much to my chagrin)
Puzzles were logical, and had nice ah-ha moments but at times were techy for techs sake and didn’t really gel with the premise of the room.
The teamwork puzzles were good, and really created a sense of progression through the room, as a critical eye and strong communitcation were the foundation of these puzzles.
Flow was good, signposting was lacking and there were a lot of connections that were made which had no signposting whatsoever – leaving a few “how did that happen” moments in the game.
Overall, this is a decent game with a couple of really nice puzzles that would please Batman fans with its nods to the franchise.
A dramatic ending adds to the fun of this room!

Clue System:
Clues were a strange system… You were given a walkie talkie and then to get a clue you radio through to the host and ask… then they radio back a 4 digit code, which you then put into a digital keypad on the wall which then gives you a clue.
Talk about long winded….

Game Host:
Our game host was fun, attentive and delivered a great brief and story.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 42 Minutes!

Website: https://breakinescaperooms.co.uk/
Price:

Peak
3 Players £87
4 Players £112
5 Players £135
6 Players £156

Off Peak
3 Players £66
4 Players £84
5 Players £100
6 Players £114

Clue HQ – Hellevator

Clue HQ – Hellevator
Location: Birmingham
Game Date: 20/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

hellevator

Theme:
“As reality shows dominate your televisions, Clue HQ have decided to team up with Clue Tube to bring you the latest Escape Room, but with a twist. Face trials concocted by the genius minds of Professor Errol Tepet and Dr. Psik as you compete for the prize of your life! Can your team reach Floor 13 before time runs out? Come on down and see for yourself! You could be the next reality television star. That is, if you can make it out in one piece. Sign up now to take part in the pilot episode of The Hellevator!”

Hellevator looks cool, dim and dingy and like… well.. an elevator, but it’s more maintenance service than a posh glass one!
Industrial and gritty, cluehq have done a great job with theming, immersion and creating a great story with some sinister characters, I just wish we saw more of them throughout the game, the scope was there!
A room with lots of flair and dramatics, with smoke, lazers and even motion. Hellevator really delivers from a theatrical standpoint
A very large space, that will fit 6 people with ease. At times lighting is dim but it never impacted game play.

Game Play:
A linear game that had many different types of puzzles. Logic, word, math, observation, physical, skill… all bases were firmly covered ensuring there was plenty for the whole team, and boy was there plenty! Hellevator is jammed full of puzzles and it’s amazing to see the room unfold and wonder where everything came from!
The puzzles were at times easy and at time frustrating, but this was created for us by a small technical failure (due to us being a team of 2) which lead to us opening something WAY earlier than we should have done and confusing us for about a third of the game, unfortunate but it was dealt with in an incredibly professional manner at the end of the game, and the flow was explained to us thoroughly.
Ah-ha moments came with gusto, and once settled, there was no discrepancy in the answers (although there were a fair few locks to pop them into!)
The flow was frantic, with each floor getting more and more fast-paced in its design, and piling the pressure on as cluehq seems to do in their own inimitable way!
A game that is a unique and bold design, which will please enthusiasts in its sheer amount of puzzles and great atmosphere.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Leah was our gamehost, she was friendly and polite and delivered clues well.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 55 minutes

Website: https://cluehq.co.uk/birmingham

Off-Peak:
2 Players – £44 per person
3 Players – £63 per person
4 Players – £76 per person
5 Players – £85 per person
6 Players – £90 per person

Peak:
2 Players – £50 per person
3 Players – £69 per person
4 Players – £84 per person
5 Players – £90 per person
6 Players – £96 per person

Escape Live – Time Machine

Escape Live – Time Machine
Location: Birmingham
Game Date: 20/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“Time travel has always been a challenge but one of our staff has successfully invented Birmingham’s first ever time machine! Whilst travelling through time he has uncovered a glitch in the machine and now needs your help. You are required to travel through time and help him get back to the present.”

Time Machine sees you visit several different times, and whilst the are fairly predictable (but no spoilers) each is so different from the last it’s exciting to guess where you’re off next!
The time periods are decorated very well and to a high standard, with a fair amount of immersion. There are some nice touches, especially in the first time period which are really charming.
The space is large enough for 5 people at all times and the lighting was excellent throughout.

Game Play:
A linear game that was made up of each indiviual time period. There was a good mix of puzzles with searching, observation, logic, music, codebreaking a little bit of physical, and word play all factoring into the room.
The puzzles were all logical and solveable, and had nice ah-ha moments. Whilst nothing groundbreaking, there were a couple of unique twists on what could be some quite run of the mill puzzles and tropes.
The flow was great, with each time period being its own mini game it was like a new escape room each time the door to the next period opened! Really exciting and this served to push the game forwards at our own pace!
Sign posting was good when in place, but not abundent.
A good all round game with some fun touches.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via the Time Machine!

Game Host:
Guy and Skai were our game hosts, with Guy delivering a smashing brief and perfectly timed clues.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 44 minutes

Website: https://www.escapelive.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £57
4 Players £68
5 Players £80

Enigma Retford – The Legend of Catequil

Enigma Retford – The Legend of Catequil
Location: Retford
Game Date: 16/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

THE-LEGEND.jpg

Theme:
“Your father, Lord Sebastian Ashcroft, is a world renowned archaeologist. Six months ago he set off on his latest expedition to the depths of South America in search of the tomb of the legendary Inca god, Catequil. Your last contact from him was three months ago, so you have decided to go to South America to find him.”

The room was decorated very well, from the beginnings in the explorer’s tent, working your way through the jungle to the temple itself, each area was decorated to create immersion. With a good soundtrack and effects, you can really feel like Lara Croft, or Drake going on an adventure into a forbidden temple!
The game kept an excellent sense of exploration and discovery throughout the entire hour, and this led to a real sense of immersion and story.
The room was plenty large enough, there were some areas of darkness, and torches were provided and this didn’t impact on gameplay too much.

Game Play:
A liner game that had a good mix of puzzles. Math, word, logic, codebreaking, translating, searching, observation, physical.
The puzzles were kept nicely in theme, and all were perfectly solvable and logical, granting lovely ah-ha moments and only adding to the discovery mentioned earlier.
The story was woven through the puzzles and clues delightfully and taking time to read all the snippets of information and exposition delivered to us really gave us a more in-depth and thorough game.
The flow was lovely, with good signposting leading us smoothly through the game.
A really well-designed game, that is delightful, full of exploration and tells a story. We left feeling really satisfied!
A great game for beginners and enthusiasts alike!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Chris was our game host, and owner of Enigma, he was an excellent host, welcoming us warmly and guiding us only when truly needed.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 44 minutes

Website: https://enigmarooms.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £51
4 Players £64
5 Players £70
6 Players £78

Cryptology Sheffield – First Contact

Cryptology Sheffield – First Contact
Location: Sheffield
Game Date: 16/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

mp-tn-firstc

Theme:
“You have been tasked to find out what has happened to a stranded Tayson Research Vessel ship just off Mars.

You soon realise that what you have discovered will change the course of history, but in which way?

You must choose your path and the path of all humanity for better… or worse!”

The room looked great, with the decoration being immersive and finished to very high standard. The decor was perfect for a stranded research vessel with a touch of humour, not to dis-similar to Red Dwarf. This humour carried through the room, and brought a light jovial tone to a room that could have easily become too serious!
There was plenty to look at, and the room had a great sense of exploration and intruige.
The room was more than large enough for 6 players, and the lights were atompsheric but did not impeed on gameplay.

Game Play:
An open game throughout that was packed full of puzzles. Word, observation, teamwork, skill, physical, tech.
There was a puzzle for everyone in this room and all the puzzles were on theme, intrinsic to the world and story and had an impact on what happened around the room and within the story itself.
The puzzles were excellent in their logic and excecution and there absoloutely no ambiguity in the answers or methods to the puzzles. All the ah-ha moments were forthcoming and delightful
There was a wonderful interactive element in First Contact which is clever, and when the penny drops as to what you have to do, it’s sure to make you smile!
First Contact is interesting in that it asks you to make a choice in the game, this choice is up to your team and will take you on a slightly different journey, and underpressure it’s a hard one to make!
The flow of the game was excellent, even with it being an open game it felt methodical and coherent, yet fast paced and frantic! It really got the blood pumping!
Signposting was excellent, yet subtle enough that we missed a few things around the room!
A great game for bigger novice teams, and a frantic challenge (in the BEST possible way) for smaller, more experienced teams.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Mark was our game host – and is also the owner of Cryptology. His hosting was excellent and I’m sure we could have talked all night about escaping, such is his (our) passion! He delivered us well-timed clues to help us along our way in the game.

Did we escape?
Yes in 51 minutes

Website: https://cryptologyrooms.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £60
4 Players £76
5 Players £90
6 Players £102

Lakes Escapes – Dr Frankenscraft’s Monster. ROOM 300!!

Lakes Escapes – Dr Frankenscraft’s Monster
Location: Workington
Game Date: 02/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“In a European village, a young scientist, Dr Ivan Frankenscraft and his Lab assistants, are piecing together a human body, the parts of which have been collected from various sources. Frankenscraft desires to create human life through experimentation and electricity which he has perfected.

Dr Winston will be arriving in the next hour with a group of angry villagers to destroy anyone and everything in his way. Your only hope is to bring the Monster to life so he can protect you from the lynch mob.”

A wonderfully decorated room, that has the monster as a center-set piece and one that factors into the game in a big way. A highly immersive room that puts you right into Dr Frankenscraft’s castle. It’s amazing to think that this is a family run business as the attention to detail and finish on the room is excellent.
The story and world is continued throughout the game and there is so much to look at and investigate without being distracting.
The room is well lit, whilst not the biggest space a team of 6 will be ok provided they don’t mind being a little cosy!

Game Play:
An open game with plenty of puzzles. Word, logic, observation, skill, physical, math. There was a puzzle for everyone in this room to suit all skill sets.
The puzzles were all logical, and on theme, with wonderful ah-ha moments. One puzzle in particular was an absoloute corker, something we’ve not seen before and it was a lot of FUN, interactive and a wow moment!
The flow of the game was excellent, slick and well honed. It’s crystal clear that Lakes Escapes have took what they’ve learned with their previous games (Baker Street and Quest for the throne – which were bought in) and improved on it, and created a fantastic game that works really well.
Signposting was also excellent, with no logic leaps or ambiguity, the signposting lead us from puzzle to puzzle and made the game almost play itself (which is always great… it makes you feel safe in the knowledge that puzzles aren’t going to deliberatly trip you up or derail you whilst playing the game!)
A lovely, charming game that has a great amount of discovery, fun and theatrical moments.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Beth was our game host and she was wonderful. Friendly, welcoming, cool, calm and professional. She gave us nudges with precision timing.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 44 minutes

Website:
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

We were absolutely spoiled rotten by Carol and John, who got us the most wonderful escake and a gorgeous wooden trophy to commermorate our 300th room. Thank you so much!

300

Kong Escape Room – Mountain Rescue

Kong Escape Room – Mountain Rescue
Location: Keswick
Game Date: 02/09/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

Capture

Theme:
“You are staying in a mountain hut. You receive a message from the local mountain rescue team saying that they require your assistance in locating a fallen climber. There are some clues to their whereabouts but everything is vague and extremely puzzling.

A handwritten note left on a car… A huge search area.

The team need your help but time is of the essence. A severe weather warning has been given for an hours time.

Wind speeds of up to 100mph, lashing rain and zero visibility are forecast. If the casualty is to survive, you have to locate him and inform the mountain rescue team of his location before the rescue helicopter can land. Time is critical, can you work as a team and save the stricken climber before it is too late? The climber’s life is in your hands”

Mountain Rescue is set within a rock-climbing/activity centre in the heart of Keswick (which is a lovely town!) – The theme of the room itself is very apt to the area and keeps the theming throughout, from the mountain hut, to the grassy outdoor area no stone is left unturned as the attention to detail is excellent throughout and the finish was very good (although some foam padding on a crawling section would have been appreciated as I cracked my back and gave myself a hell of a welt!)
The room was large, with more than enough space to accommodate the maximum number of players. Lighting was good and bright.

Game Play:
Before the game had even started, when we booked online we were asked to choose “Beginner” or “Experienced” – We chose experienced as we guessed that it would have more puzzling pleasure and well… we’re always up for a challenge!
A linear game that had a really nice assortment of puzzles. Observation, logic, maths, word, physical, skill, codebreaking and searching. Each puzzle was nicely on theme, and there were a few puzzles that were truly unique or a twist on what we would expect!
The puzzles were great in their logic and had nice ah-ha moments. Solving them was delightful and free from ambiguity.
Flow was excellent (once we got going!) and signposting was subtle but observable.
There was a nice added touch with the walkie-talkie chiming in occasionally with status updates of the missing person which pushed to story throughout the room and added to the immersion.
A really nice game that with the option of difficulty level should really be tried by all!
I’d recommend anyone who’s played over 5 games to play the experienced version!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a walkie-talkie

Game Host:
Our host was friendly and gave us a good brief and delivered clues well.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 51 minutes

Website: https://kongescaperoom.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Escape Barrow – Abandoned Factory

Escape Barrow – Abandoned Factory
Location: Barrow-in-Furness
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera & Sharan

the_abandoned_factory_large

Theme:
“A terrorist known as Dr. Malcolm threatens to blow up various locations in the city unless you will play his twisted riddles and challenges. The intelligence has sources from the informants to locate the hideout place of Dr. Malcolm after the previous bombing attack. Rumor has it that Dr. Malcolm is plotting another bombing and is hiding in an abandoned factory. You have finally located the factory but you are trapped inside while Dr. Malcolm has fled the premises. You have 60 minutes to escape the room before the bomb detonates. The clock is ticking and you have to find the key that leads you to freedom.”

This room suffers from the fate of most “Escape Room” brand rooms, it was dark… and bare… and minimal… and pretty uninspiring. The room gave an abandoned feel, but immersion wasn’t great. The darkness hampered game play, we were provided with torches but I feel with The Escape Room that darkness is an unnecessary step in making the room more difficult.
The room was large enough for 6 people.

Game Play:
A strictly linear game made up of almost entirely logic puzzles. Good never the less, with one meta-puzzle being excellent and a real collaborative, team effort, with each of us having our own role to play in the execution and solving of the puzzle. A real highlight due to its complexity, I could see novice teams getting quite immobilised at this point!
The puzzles were logical, and had nice ah-ha moments, especially the aforementioned meta-puzzle!
Flow was good, nothing too slick or sticky. Signposting was minimal and there were no massive leaps of logic.
A good room for newer teams wanting to try something a little harder. Just be aware of the linearity, take a smaller team.

Clue System:
The game host enters the room to give clues.

Game Host:
Simon was our game host, and he was wonderful. Very chatty and friendly and cared a lot about the escape industry.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 49 minutes

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

Escape Barrow – Ascension

Escape Barrow – Ascension
Location: Barrow-in-Furness
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera & Sharan

ascension

Theme:
“You are trapped inside a seemingly harmless house after accepting to a request to retrieve an old pilot’s cap with a special badge attached to it from a young boy. However, this particular house owned by a grumpy old man; is strangely filled to the brim with balloons of various shapes, colors, and sizes. You only have 60 minutes to retrieve badge before the house floats away; permanently lifting you off the ground and into the skies.”

Acension was decorated nicely, with good attention to detail, although at times it felt a little bare, and immersion was great.
The space was plenty large enough for the maximum number of players, and lighting whilst atmospheric, never effected the game.

Game Play:
A linear game that had observation, searching, & logic puzzles. The puzzles weren’t the most exciting in the world, but they all had nice ah-ha moments and were wholly solveable and entertaining. The game had a lot of charm which worked its way through the puzzles and journey throughout the room.
Flow was nice, and even though signposting was not abundant, there were no logic leaps in the puzzles. (one puzzle read a little ambigious but attention to detail helped us)
A sweet little room, which whilst it didn’t deliver a fully immersive story, it delivered a charming experience with nice puzzles.

Clue System:
The game host enters the room to give clues.

Game Host:
Simon was our game host, and he was wonderful. Very chatty and friendly and cared a lot about the escape industry.

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 35 minutes

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