Lucardo – The Prison

Lucardo – The Prison
Location: Manchester
Game Date: 04/04/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

Theme:
“You and your team of criminals are due to be checked into the Category A prison facility in Manchester after committing a series of crimes. As hardened criminals you have connections on the inside – they are staging a riot allowing you the opportunity to try and escape. Time will be limited. You will need to use deception, bribery and skill to attempt this escape. Get caught and you will never get to see the outside world again. – If you suffer with a disability or medical condition, please call prior to booking this game.”

The Prison was gritty, and immersive. With the cell being really closely themed to the real thing (and we’d know, having done the real prison escape at Shrewsbury a few times!) – the attention to detail in the set really shows through, and the space is barely recognisable to its previous incarnation as “The Dream”
The room was suitably sized, 6 people may be a bit squishy to begin with but the space does open up a little later in the game. The lighting was good, subtly used to aid immersion, along with a detailed set and good soundtrack giving a real sense of being in prison and allowing you to really get into character. SPOILER YOU HAVE TO CRAWL END SPOILER.
A cracking set that was thoroughly immersive and very impressive.

Game Play:
A linear game that was purely based around having to physical and actually having to DO things, rather than solve puzzles to escape. This fits, as its clear with this game that Lucardo were going for immersion rather than a classic “puzzle” room, putting you into the world and immersing you for an hour rather than presenting a themed room with lots of puzzles in (which is never a bad thing IMHO!)
What you had to do was always in theme and quite clever required observation, logic and critical thinking skills and a certain amount of role play (just don’t get too involved like I did and nearly break your knee… )
The game was incredibly fun to play, and it is a game where you will get out what you put in, the more you get into character and interact with the set, the more fun you will have!
Clever set design led to intricate moments and neat reveals that delivered layers of story woven throughout the hour.
The signposting was excellent, where it was needed but mostly this game is about discovery and exploration and that is where it stands out, there are plenty of “ah-ha” moments of discovery in this game which makes for a fun-filled hour!
The flow was wonderful, with nothing in the room requiring logic leaps or intentionally slowing the game down.
A great game that really puts you in a different world for an hour, and will treat enthusiasts to something different and unique!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a mobile phone, fortunately we didn’t need any!

Game Host:
Ian was our host (and also the owner of Lucardo) and he gave us a great brief and backstory, really getting into character along the way! An enthusiast himself, his passion carries over into his game design and wonderful, welcoming nature.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 50 minutes

Website: https://lucardo.com/manchester
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £75
4 Players £80
5 Players £100
6 Players £120

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Escape Nation – The Citadel

“Escape Nation – The Citadel
Location: Stafford
Game Date: 02/04/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

citadel.png

Theme:
The year is 2321, Earths population has spread out into space. Mega-corporations have built space stations throughout the galaxy.

You have not long arrived on-board a Citadel class space station owned by the Federal Defence Union (FDU). The main function of this Citadel is scientific research and development.

The night you arrived, the stations Artificial Intelligence (AI) was beginning to malfunction. And now, only one week later, the Citadel’s main power has just shutdown, and the backup generator has come online.

The doors won’t open, communications don’t work, and you can hear some unusual noises from other parts of the space station.

Can you escape before the backup generator goes offline and you’re trapped on-board forever?

Theming was excellent in the Citadel, a fully immersive set with a complimentary soundtrack (that sounded like it was straight out of Tomorrowland at Disney… I LOVED it)
The room looked great and it’s a testament to the boy’s talent in their set design, it felt real, yet lovingly crafted, you could feel the passion and time that has gone into this room. The attention to detail was second to none too (for example, in cupboards that were opened, they had taken the time to line them with a soft material… these little touches took the room to the the next level)

There was plenty to look at and interact with yet this never interfered with the game play and only served to help in progression through the room. The room was large, more than big enough for the max of 6 and lit atmospherically, torches are provided and the light level never interfered with puzzle solving.

A lovely, detailed room that captured the feel of a space station really well, was thoroughly immersive and built with love. What more can you ask for!

Game Play:
An open game that truly tested every facet of our intelligence, with logic, observation, word, codebreaking, physical, aural, critical thinking and teamwork puzzles. There was such a brilliant range of puzzles that the game never got stale or boring.
There was clever use of tech blended with traditional padlocks which served to create a futuristic feel with a more classic escape room edge, just brilliant.
Each and every puzzle was perfectly in theme, and elegant in its execution and logic. We couldn’t find any flaw in the puzzle design, and very quickly we were able to put out confidence in the room and start bringing home those Ah-ha moments, which came thick and fast, This game is a neverending journey of discovery and each and every puzzle had wonderfully clear ah-ha moments and were a joy to solve.
The flow was excellent, there was nothing that hampered or constricted flow and the open nature of the room meant we never got brain-burn out, there was always something to be working on!
Signposting was sublime, with there being excellent on theme yet subtle signposting throuhout the game which essentially brings this game to a point where clues are really not needed. A masterclass in in point, in theme signposting.
A brilliant, brilliant game, I was actually sad when we realised we had the means to escape. I was enjoying the room so much… I didn’t want it to end!
A great game for enthusiasts who will apreciate the finer details and a brilliant introduction to escape rooms for anyone else. Quite probably my favourite “space” themed escape room we have played!

Clue System:

Game Host:
Matt and Luke were our game hosts, and they were wonderful, enthusiastic, friendly and very accommodating, they clearly have a passion for games and this shows through in their design and execution, and in their hosting. They delivered a thorough brief and good story and only delivered hints when we really needed them (we only used 1 hint!)

Did we escape?
Yes, in 48 minutes

Website:
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £57
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Escape Stoke – Escape the Seven Seas

Escape Stoke – Escape the Seven Seas
Location: Stoke
Game Date: 02/04/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

Theme:
“You and your crew have been locked away in the brig. Does your team have what it takes to escape your cell, break into the Captains chamber and steal the treasure all for yourself? Glory and riches await”

The room looked good, with a fairly detailed set that got better as the game went on. The Room was fairly spacious, although I think 6 people will find themselves tripping over each other, especially in the later stages of the game. Lighting was ok, there were a couple of darker moments but these were for effect and atmosphere rather than to increase difficulty.
The immersion was good, thanks to the good level of detail in the set and a piratey sound track!

Game Play:
A game that mixed both linear and open elements with plenty of puzzles. Logic, observation, words, physical, codebreaking, there was lots of variation in the puzzles which led to an interesting and engaging room. All the puzzles were nicely on theme, and for the most part enjoyable.
However, there were a few logic leaps which were a bit out of the ordinary and then compacted by worn down props and poor execution of the puzzles. This was only found in a couple of the puzzles earlier one in the game but then we lost a bit of confidence in the design, and we were second-guessing ourselves all the way through the game from that point on.
There was a good sense of discovery and a few nice ah-ha moments but the flow was a bit stodgy, this was from the earlier logic leaps and ambiguity in the room in the earlier stages.
Signposting was most minimal, and I suppose this is what gives the room its difficulty and 25% success rate… There was little in the earlier part of the game, with it getting better as the game progressed.
All in all a good game once the initial logic leaps had been overcome.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen, upon request. There are no microphones in the room (and we know how I feel about that!)

Game Host:
I didn’t get our host’s name, but she was polite and ran our game well.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 54 minutes!

Website: https://www.escape-stoke.co.uk/
Price:
Off Peak
2 Players £40
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £70
6 Players £78

Peak
2 Players £48
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Extremescape – Vikings

Extremescape – Vikings
Location: Disley
Game Date: 24/03/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

Escape-Room-Stockport-1-768x432

Theme:
“Thor’s hammer has been stolen by his menacing brother, Loki & trapped in the golden rings of Aesir.

The Ice Giants have got word of this, and they know Thor is helpless to protect the human race without his powerful weapon.

The giants are on there way, there mission to defeat Thor and destroy the human race.

You must alert the Gods and bring them to Asgard, they will help you in you quest.

Your mission is to find Thor’s Hammer and release it from the golden rings and return it to Thrudheim where it belongs

To acomplish this you must find the Thunder Hammer and return it to the sacred place to create a storm like no-one has seen before.

If you fail you will be the first to die”

Vikings looked great, actually beyond great, whilst not the most massive space it large enough for 5-6 people, and it is well lit. Vikings truly shines in its handcrafted nature, with beautifully crafted wooden walls, floor and magnificent set pieces around the room.
The setting of a Viking home gives this room a cosy feel, with a roaring fire and long table really setting the scene and creating immersion. It’s a pretty room that had lots to look at and investigate all of which were integral to the game experience.
Whilst not as vast and explorative as its “sister” rooms, Vikings has charm in abundance, and it does have its fair share of twists, turns and surprises during the game.
Beautiful to look at and a great set to spend and hour playing in!

Game Play:
An open game which has a vast array of puzzles, with searching, physical, logic, observation, teamwork, word and translation making up the game.
The puzzles were all perfectly on theme, and incredibly enjoyable. There was even a jigsaw element that was done with class, in such a way that was in theme and interesting!
The culmination of the game can down to a large meta-puzzle that whilst it was time-consuming and cranked the difficulty up for the latter stages of the game, it never felt forced, illogical or boring. All the puzzles leading up were so clear in their logic they almost prepped you for how this final puzzle was going to work. The game play made you feel safe in the knowledge that when you had your answer it was right and if it wasn’t… well you need to think again!
Logical puzzles were definitely a staple in this room, there were no logic leaps or clumsy solutions. Each and every puzzle was a joy to solve!
The flow was impeccable, (even with us being the 3rd group through the room!) – we were never slowed or stuck because of anything in the room, it really is a room that plays itself!
Signposting was excellent, subtly placed to guide you around the room and help you solve puzzles rather than hold you up and deliberately stall you. Perfect level of signposting in this game.
A game that, even in its very early form felt full and complete, with lovely puzzles that come together to the culmination of the room. Clever use of tech leads to immersive reveals when puzzles are solved, and this compliments the room perfectly – a lesson in how tech can be implemented into the room combining with excellent puzzle solving and good “rewards” when something is opened (replacing that “pop” of a padlock)

Vikings, whilst we played it in its test period played like a honed and refined game and this is a testament to Jess & Graham’s design skills. A wonderful game that will please everyone who walks through the door, and it has been eagerly awaited… The wait was worth it!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a godly voice in the room!

Game Host:
Jess & Graham were our game hosts and were perfect as usual, giving us a good briefing and running the game we precision (no easy feat considering how early in the room’s life it was, but they managed it brilliantly)

Did we escape?
Yes, whilst the room was in testing Jess & Graham were seeing how long we took to run the room with minimum clues.

(Prices are accurate for the Lost Tomb and Pirate Ship Rooms, we will update when Vikings opens officially, if the prices/maximum players change)
Website: https://extremescape.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £60
4 Players £70
5 Players £85
6 Players £96
7 Players £105
8 Players £120

Trapp’d Motel

Trapp’d Motel
Location: Corby
Game Date: 05/03/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

Motel

Theme:
“You’ve been driving for what seems like an eternity and your pupils are burning through their sockets. The dark, winding road just never ends and it feels like you are the only person left on the planet right now. You can’t even remember when you last passed another car. A sign for a Motel creeps up to you and passes by, the classic red neon tube lighting. Beneath it, ‘vacancy’ reads in blue and you decide to pull in and call it a night.

Judging by the exterior, this Motel has definitely seen better days. The drain pipes are half hanging down, the paint is faded and peeling and the ‘check in’ sign has toppled a little too far to the right. Entering into reception doesn’t make you feel any more welcome. A peculiar little man hobbles slowly from behind a doorway and stands at the reception desk. He does nothing more than put a form on the desk and a front door key next to it. This character has a very strange presence abouthim… almost sinister. He does not look you in the eye throughout the entire exchange.

After hastily making your way back outside the reception area you find your way to room 666, thankful to get into the room and finally chill out after a long day of driving. This room is not much better than the exterior. A single, messily made bed sits against a wall. An old school TV seems to be on permanent static and a locked, ominous looking wardrobe stands tall in the corner… who would lock a wardrobe? Not to mention the bars on the window! Too tired to kick up a fuss, you shake off the uneasy feeling and try to relax. A bit of exploration and you find a DVD in one of the drawers. With not much else to do, you decide to play it but what begins to unfold on the screen chills you to your very core…

A dawning realisation creeps over you, you’ve just checked into a Motel where guests never check back out. You may be about to endure a night of terror at the hands of the sadistic Motel manager. You must do everything you can to ensure you don’t end up on the slaughter table inside his gruesome torture chamber. If only it was as easy as leaving through the same door you entered…”

Motel looked suitably dilapidated and grotty,  great for a run down Motel! Whilst the room didn’t start out scary, it slowly descended into chaos and the scares intensified throughout the hour, with a brilliant climax scare (obviously won’t go into detail here, but let’s just say it sent me BOLTING through the room at something I don’t usually bat an eyelid at)
Whilst not as intensely scary as Edith, or 13utcher it was more along the lines of Nerve Klinik with good intense scared interspersed with time to crack on with the puzzles.
As the room descended into its chaos, the space got more “killer’s den” and it was decorated perfectly, with gruesome scenes and nasty nasty props. They really have gone all out. The room surprised us with a working element we have never seen in an escape room before… again, no spoilers but it was novel and made me gasp!
The room is plenty large enough for the maximum team size, especially when the space opens up. There are some crawling elements and darkness in places.

Game Play:
A liner game that compromised of plenty of searching with some observation, logic and physical puzzles.
Puzzles were all in theme and fun, they were kept appropriate to the game by not being excruciatingly hard, as the added pressure of the scares would take your mid off the puzzles too much. They were pitched just right, as were the scares.
There was a good mix of standard puzzles and a couple of really unique puzzles that we had not really seen before (we’ve seen slightly similar things in other rooms!) all of which were logical, and had nice clear ah-ha moments that had no ambiguity in their solutions.
The sense of discovery through the room was good, and with the notion of the scares pushing you through the room (or making you grind to a halt) this discovery only served to drive the room and further the immersion.
The signposting was minimal, but the puzzles were such that they didn’t need heavy signposting and were perfectly solvable on their own.
The flow was good, as is normal with scary rooms they can bit a bit stop-start but this works as moments of puzzle solving are juxtaposed with moments of madness.
A good scary room that works best if you go with the flow and enjoy the scares and atmosphere!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via Voice Over

Game Host:
Simon was our game host, and he was fab and had a real enthusiasm for escaping. Delivering a great brief and perfectly timed clues and scares throughout the game.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 45 minutes

Website: https://trappd.com/
Price:
2 Players £39
3 Players £49
4 Players £59
5 Players £69
6 Players £79

Trapp’d – Reanimation

Location: Corby
Game Date: 05/03/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

reanimation

Theme:
“Black clouds sprawl across the evening sky as a cruel wind rips its way through Ingolstadt, Germany. The unsettled air grows thick and angry, looming over the town like an omen of death. ‘The lull before the storm’ one Professor Victor Frankenstein notes as he takes heed from his tiny attic window.

The Professor is a young well educated man, ghostly and pale with a cough that rattles his core. Everyday the professor endures the toxic vapours, alcohol fumes, naked flames and the wretched stench of rotting flesh that fills his laboratory of horrors. Surrounding him is his grousome stolen collection of assorted body parts, bloody limbs and innards sourced from dissecting rooms, grave yards and slaughter houses.

Consumed with the desire to discover the secret to life Victor Frankenstein needs your help to finally succeed in his mission to cheat death. You too could become an evangelist of modern science by using a combination of chemistry, alchemy, and electricity; but you must work fast to unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation, your monster must be complete in time for its regeneration just as the thunder strikes!”

Reanimation looked great, the smallest of the Trapp’d rooms we’ve played, but this didn’t detract from the set at all, it was beautiful to look at, with a wall full the professor’s dealings, but nothing out of place or that could be misconstrued as a red herring, with plenty of interesting things to look at.
Lighting was subtle, light enough to work round the room yet dim enough to create a good, immersive atmosphere.
A more intimate setting gave this the best feeling of all of trapp’d rooms, coupled with the huge Monster looming over you for the hour, this is the most immersive and detailed Trapp’d room we’ve experienced so far and was a wonderful room to spend the hour in.

Game Play:
A linear game that consisted of word, logic, observation, observational searching, physical and light mathematical puzzles.
This room leans a little towards the more word/logic puzzles.
The puzzles were all in theme for the room, and had wonderful, logical, clear ah-ha moments which were found with every single puzzle! A real delight and a clear step in the right direction for Trapp’d (Reanimation being one of their newer rooms, it only opened in January 2019) in terms of gameplay.
Each puzzle on its own was a delight to solve, there was one puzzle that was a little longwinded, but in a fun way that didn’t detract from the room at all.
Signposting was excellent, I must mention the feed-back on the maglocks, this was such a simplistic but lovely, in theme touch. Every time a maglock opened it had a little tingle-lingle bell attached so there was a definite audio cue that was SO rewarding. This is what mag-lock lack, this little bell (not unlike Pavlov’s… well without the drooling) was a perfect for on positive reinforcement (that one gets the the satisfying click of a padlock opening) – just wonderful.
Flow was lovely, coupled with the excellent signposting the game flowed with an ease and slickness that we have missed from all other Trapp’d games.
A great game that will be pleasing for enthusiasts and will challenge more casual players.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via Voice Over

Game Host:
Simon was our game host, and he was fab and had a real enthusiasm for escaping. Delivering a great brief and perfectly timed clues throughout the game.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 40 minutes

Website: https://trappd.com/
Price:
2 Players £39
3 Players £49
4 Players £59
5 Players £69
6 Players £79

Trapp’d – Molten Creek Mine

Trapp’d – Molten Creek Mine
Location: Northampton
Game Date: 05/03/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

MoltenCreekMine

Theme:
“After 11 years experience in the mining industry, you head to work just like any other day. You get into your safety gear and walk through the murky tunnels into the quotidian mineshaft. As you begin working, however, you notice that something feels unfamiliar… almost dangerous. Suddenly, an ear-splitting crack rings out as a large cloud of dust surrounds you. Blinded, you try desperately to search for the cause and make sure your fellow miners are unharmed. The support beams in the mine that you and your team have been working on have given way and the mine is beginning to collapse! The walls are crumbling, the ceiling is caving in, the entrance is now blocked and every second you spend in there means less and less oxygen.

The rescue team is trying their best to race against the clock in order to save you all, but the chances are looking bleak. The creeping realisation of the life or death situation is beginning to dawn on your fellow miners and panic resonates. You are left with one option, find another way out… or die in this soon-to-be catacomb!”

The room looked good, with rough hewn wood lining the walls and a mine cart right in the middle, it was a fairly immersive set albeit not with loads to look at or investigate.
The lighting was dark and atmospheric, the room would have benefitted from some “mining torches” to aid in observation.
The room was more than big enough for the max group size.
The main thing to note about this room is that it is grubby, we were given shoe protectors, but even with those on Ian’s shoes still came out filthy and I had dust all over my jeans. It might be worth NOT dressing in your finest clothes when playing this game!

Game Play:
A linear game that was very much based in the realms of searching, observation and observational searching.
In terms of real gritty puzzles it was somewhat lacking and the heavy searching element which made the basis of every puzzle led to this being a room that is definitely aimed at the more casual or beginner player.
That being said there were a couple of nice moments that took the searching and added another element to it to create a fairly standard puzzle. The room lacked ah-ha moments dure to the heavy search elements.
The signposting was minimal, so minimal infact that it was almost missable.
The flow was good, but there was no sense of discovery when all the entire game is spent just looking for stuff.
A game that looks pretty, but has no substance at it’s core. It will scratch an escape room itch and will please with its visuals, and I’ve no doubt that beginner players will love this room, and whilst wholly enjoyable it could have done with a few more meatier puzzles to bulk the game up!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via Voice Over

Game Host:
Our game host was lovely, friendly and chatty. Her clue delivery was OK.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 46 minutes

Website: https://trappd.com/
Price:
2 Players £39
3 Players £49
4 Players £59
5 Players £69
6 Players £79

Trapp’d – 46 Below

Trapp’d – 46 Below
Location: Billing Aquadrome
Game Date: 05/05/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

46-below

Theme:
“After years of dreaming, you have finally booked your Arctic Adventure! Clambering onto the plane, you place your hand luggage into the overhead space and settle down into your seat. You were quite lucky to nab a window seat, you’ve heard the view into the Arctic is quite breathtaking! It’s a long flight ahead, a solid 14 hours but you don’t mind. Flights have never been a particular issue for you, it’s mostly the landing. However, your route does pass over the Borean Rectangle and this concerns you a little. The Borean Rectangle is a large frozen wasteland deep in the Arctic and it’s confirmed that 117 planes have mysteriously vanished over this area although no one can determine why or how. The story is the same for every plane; communication cuts out and the crew and passengers are never heard from again. No one has dared venture into this territory by foot for fear of unknown horrors… A scared man’s mind can invent all kinds of terrors. You abruptly shake these thoughts from your mind and tell yourself not to fret over trivial matters. Hundreds of flights pass this icy barren every day and only a few go missing. You’ll be fine!

As the plane ascends further into the azure blanket ahead you decide you should probably rest your eyes and recharge for this amazing expedition ahead. Your mind wanders dreamily into all the activities you have planned for this winter wonderland trip… husky safari, northern lights, snowmobiles… you’ve even planned to stay a night or two in a real igloo! Unsurprisingly, the plane experiences a fair amount of turbulence along the way, but nothing too troubling. The air hostess wakes you a few times to offer you a drink, perhaps some food? Politely declining, you return to your slumber.

You are asleep for a solid 10 hours before a large jolt startles you. You look around, the other passengers felt it too and are looking around rather alarmed. A voice sounds out above you “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. (Jolt) We are experiencing some complications with the engines. Please remain calm and stay seated.

But you cannot suppress the rising panic you feel deep within the pit of your stomach. You glance toward the lady beside you and she seems to have turned bleach white. Her eyes stare straight ahead, unblinking. A sharp pull nearly knocks you out of your seat. Suddenly, the oxygen masks drop from above you and lands conveniently in front of your face… but this makes that unnerving panic within you ring out and an involuntary yelp escapes you. Another harsh bump lurches you into the window. You make a grab for the mask and hastily fasten it over your face. All of a sudden, there is a forceful push and the plane begins to swiftly descend.

There is a collective distress happening around you but you cannot focus, you are too busy staring out of the window at the plane wing that seems to be emitting a large red flame and billowing smoke. You cannot believe your eyes. You spin around in your seat and see the lady beside you has not moved a muscle. Her flesh has disintegrated to a pasty green and she hasn’t even managed to put her oxygen mask on. The plane is shaking mercilessly now and a sinking realisation sets in… this could be the end. You grab the mask and clumsily try to help her, the wires are tangled and you cannot get it over her head. Screams plead out around you, filling your ears, your head, your brain. You know you are rocketing toward the ground and the collision will be unrelenting. You desperately fumble with the oxygen mask and just when you move the last wire out of the way, there is a deafening explosion… Black.

When you awake, your limbs are almost frozen numb. Your eyelids flitter and the pain hits you all at once. You slowly move to sit up and look around you. Your eyes meet a devastating sight. The plane is but a crumpled wreck in the snow and bodies surround you… no signs of life anywhere. The blizzard is thick and the cold is bitter to the bone. Survival is the only thing on your mind right

now… figure out a way to establish communication and signal for help, but first you must find out where exactly you have landed… Hurry, before hypothermia begins to set in and your very life escapes you!”

Did you read all of that… does anyone read all of Trapp’d’s novelisations?

The room started off well, with us being blindfolded and led into a room where it was snowing! The snow didn’t last however and it only went off once more in the duration of the game.
The room itself was MASSIVE, like we rattled around in that room like 2 snowflakes in a barren wasteland… and barren it was with a lot of white. There was the back end of a small plane however which was an impressive touch, and some strewn clothing and aeroplane seats but other than that the room was very bare.
The space was well lit and there was a fair bit of climbing up and down stairs in the game, but you can restrict this to 1 player if needs be.
A fairly immersive set that lost some impact in the huge size of the room.

Game Play:
A liner game that compromised of logic, observation, codebreaking, math and busy-work puzzles.
The puzzles were for the main part logical, although one puzzle could have done with some refining as it really stuck us and caused us to go around in circles for quite a while.
A couple of the puzzles felt like deliberate busy work destined to slow groups down, and whilst not unenjoyable It can get a bit trite repeating one element several times.
There were a couple of nice puzzles that brought the standard up, a truly mixed bag of puzzles in this room.
Flow was decent, if not a bit up and down with moments of frantic activity polarised by moments that were like trudging through slush.
Signposting was minimal and at times easily missed.
A decent game that had some nice puzzles and moments.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via Voice Over

Game Host:
I didn’t get our game host’s name, but she was good. Friendly and helped us out only when we truely needed it.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 49 minutes

Website: https://trappd.com/
Price:
2 Players £39
3 Players £49
4 Players £59
5 Players £69
6 Players £79

Escape Time – Magic School

Escape Time – Magic School
Location: Sutton Coldfield
Game Date: 04/03/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

magic school.png

Theme:
A storm is brewing and the Enchanted Forest will soon be destroyed and lost forever. Some say the entrance to Magic School is hidden amongst the Enchanted Forest so time is of the essence. Can you find the entrance and learn the spells to become a qualified Wizard or Witch within 60 minutes to stop the storm from destroying the Enchanted Forest thus closing the entrance to Magic School forever.

Magic School looked lovely, from the cosy forest to the school room set, the attention to detail was very good and immersive.
Both sides of the game have enough to create an authentic and charming atmosphere without creating distractions or red herrings. A very pretty room however, with plenty to look at and discover.
The space was quite small in the forest, but this soon led to the more ample Magic School.  Lighting was atmospheric and thematic suitable to the room.

Game Play:
A lovely game that was linear to start and then transformed into a more open game. Puzzle types were varied, with word, observation, searching, logic, code-breaking, aural and physical puzzles. There will be something in this room for every player to solve and get their moment in the room!
All puzzles were well in the theme of the room, in both sections and all were joyfully logical and solvable with out much interference from the game host. No logic leaps were to be found, and ah-ha moments came freely and with gusto. There was no ambiguity within the puzzles or their solutions.
There were a few unique puzzles, and what was more standard escape room fayre was delivered in a well thought out and interesting way.
The flow was excellent and we were kept busy and moving for the entire time we were in the room.
Signposting was good, subtle yet clear and never set out to trip us up or stall us.
A really solid and very enjoyable game. I’d recommend enthusiasts take a small group to maximise puzzle participation as there are a few puzzle gems in this room!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a super sassy owl in the forest and then more classically via a screen in the Magic School.

Game Host:
Simon was our host, was wonderful. Friendly and personable, and most of all fun! He ran our game really well, with excellently timed clues!

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 54 minutes

Website: https://www.escapetime.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Escape Reality – Iron Kingdom

Escape Reality – Iron Kingdom
Location: Leeds
Game Date: 22/02/2019
Team: Amy & Ian

ironkingdom

Theme:
“Within the largest continent of the world, known as the Seven Kingdoms, there exists seven noble families. In the heart of this Kingdom lies the Iron Throne, the main source of conflict between everybody in the land. Whoever sits on the Iron Throne rules the entire continent, a position desired by many, a position in which people will go to extreme lengths to hold. News has quickly spread over the land suggesting that the new King is not the rightful heir to the throne. The discovery has caused an eruption throughout the Seven Kingdoms and a battle for the throne has broken out. You must find out who is the rightful heir to the throne. Who are you going to support? Which house are you going to fight for?”

Game of Thrones…. Sorry. Iron Kingdom… We have just started watching GOT (I know. SO late to the party, but it’s sooooo good) so my natural choice for Escape Reality this time was this room!
The room looked good, in typical Escape Reality fashion, theming was just enough, with darkness being used to create atmosphere within the room. The finish of the room was good, and whilst it was just a standard “castle” type room, the quality of the props was good and there was nothing in the room that could be outwardly misconstrued to be a red herring. Coupled with a good soundtrack there was a decent amount of immersion within the room.
The room was large enough for 6 people and had a good sense of discovery throughout. The room was dark, but torches were provided.

Game Play:
A strictly linear game that consisted mostly of logic, word, math and observation puzzles.
The puzzles were excellent in their logic, and all in theme to the room (and produced to a high standard) with good ah-ha moments and varying levels of difficulty (this is good as it ensures that everyone will get a chance to shine – important in a linear game)
There is one puzzle in the room that we managed to solve without the necessary puzzle parts we should have had (don’t worry… we went back and solved in the correct order).
This could be rectified I’m sure but luckily we caught our mistake and corrected ourselves (I was actually thankful for the numbered clues in this instance!)
The puzzles were interesting, fun and great to solve.
The signposting in the room was minimal but with it being linear it was made more clear as to what to do next.
The flow was good, with the puzzles leading nicely from one to the other, leading to a smooth game with no deliberate sticking points.
A good room for newbies, enthusiasts may find it a little bit lacking in puzzle “meat”

Clue System:
Ahhh… Escape Reality’s much contested clue system. We’re glad to say that from our last minute the iPad method has been tweaked slightly. There is still the option the take the iPad hints, but these no longer occur a time penalty! – The numbered clue markers are still around the room though giving away the order in which to solve the puzzles.
There is also a button to press that calls in the game host for a more personal help.

Game Host:
Morgan was our game host and he was awesome, bringing a geeky yet adorable sense of fun and theatrics to the brief and story! We wished we needed to ask him for a hint, as he promised to come back in costume & character… well he did at the end. What a fun game host!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 35 minutes

Website: https://booknow.escapereality.com/leeds/
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £85
6 Players £96