Lucardo – University of Magic

Lucardo – University of Magic. Game Date 21/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Probably one of the most anticipated rooms in the North West of 2017, When I found out Lucardo were closing Contamination I was a bit sad, as it was a fantastic game. Could the new University of Magic top contamination? Could Lucardo create Magic in Manchester? As soon as it was available, I booked us in (we were very kindly invited to play by Ian at Lucardo) Soon the day arrived, and after much hype by other enthusiasts we were incredibly excited!

Theme:
“You have been offered a place to study at the mystical University of Magic. In order to secure your place, you will need to cast spells, recite incantations, mix potions and battle with dark forces. Do you have what it takes to play this ultimate escape room and become the next Witch or Wizard of the University of Magic?”

This room is gorgeous, with no stone left unturned, it’s hard to imagine the sterile white space that used to be contamination and the room seemed so much larger!
The decoration is absolutely perfect, with rock walls, magic paintings and lovely antique furniture that you would come to expect from a University of Magic.
The Apothecary is a sight to behold, it was a real WOW moment, with rows upon rows of magical glowing potions, dragons, crafty spells and hidden treats and delights at every turn.
The intricacy and attention to detail even goes so far as to have an ICE dragon blowing cool air (to disguise the fan in the room) details like this made the room that much more immersive.
There are obviously tricks, treats and magic around every corner and I will refrain from describing much more detail for fear of spoilers!
A beautifully decorated room that has clearly had hours of love, dedication and passion poured into it, which creates a fully realised and immersive environment that encourages exploration and really does make you feel as if your a real Witch or Wizard!

Game Play:
A game which starts off open, and closes down to a more linear game when the pressure is on and the end is near, bringing the whole team together to experience the penultimate puzzle and ending of the room.
Puzzles are a good mix, leaning towards observation, logic and searching, with a smidgen of physicality brought into play.
Lucardo have certainly made a move to use less padlocks than their previous games, and this works exceptionally well, in clever manners that don’t distract from the immersion, and which aren’t overdone.
There are still a fair few padlocks to get your teeth into, but the execution of the puzzles means that at no time are you trying codes in multiple locks, which is great game play.
There is a moment in the game that really enchanted and surprised me, and made me feel like a real witch! Coupled with the fantastic site on completion of the puzzle, this moment was worth the entire room, and it beautifully brought about to where all players are focused in on the moment as it happens.
The puzzles all had great ah-ha moments, and even though some we had seen before (due to having played a fair few games) there was small twists and turns on the puzzle that gave them a greater sense of achievement when solved, and also served to give the game its indubitable Lucardo stamp!
The flow of the room was integral to the game, with moments of fast paced puzzle solving then brought back to more lengthy, thought provoking moments.
There were a couple of moments we got stuck, but this was down to our own failings as the logic and design of the room was excellent.
A busy and tricky room that would serve a newbie group well after a few games and is sure to delight any enthusiast!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Laura was our game host and it was lovely to see her again after meeting her at ERIC a month or so ago! She was so chatty and friendly (We’re sorry for your late night home Laura) we chatted for ages about all things escaping! She ran the game with excellence, only giving clues when we asked, or truly needed them (of which we had 3!) and was clearly paying attention with dilligence

Did we escape?
Yes, in 48 minutes!

Website: http://lucardo.com/
Price:
2 Players £42
3 Players £57
4 Players £72
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

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Cryptology Barnsley – Insanctuary

Cryptology Barnsley – Insanctuary. Game Date 18/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“A number of criminals have disappeared from the ‘Insanctuary Criminal Rehabilitation Unit’, it is feared they have escaped.

As first responders you need to gather all the information you can to help find them!

However, there have been strange reports coming out of ICRU in recent weeks….thing’s may not be what they first seem!”

Insanctuary’s story is two fold, and things are definitely not what they seem, which you’re told when you arrive. For the sake of spoilers I won’t post what it is (As I really feel this is a layer added onto the story that is best left to discover when you play the game – which you should)
The amount of detail in the story is excellent, and creates a fully realised world that comes to life when you step through the doors. Whilst not as clinical or sterile as the picture shows, Insanctuary takes on more of a “residential home” feel to it, with a main corridor being home to several self contained rooms, all of which are perfectly in keeping with the theme and world of the story.
Immersion was excellent, and it was a nice touch that Cryptology kept the original rooms of the building and space  Insanctuary used, this just created a more lived in and immersive experience.
The atmosphere was suitable creepy with a strong “stranger things” vibe, set decoration was detailed and finished to a high standard.
The rooms themselves aren’t large, but overall the space is more than ample to accommodate the maximum number of players.

Game Play:
A game that was quite unusual in its game play, as there were several different rooms to explore, each room had its own self contained game play. But getting into those rooms was linear, a unique way of play and one that was enjoyable!
Puzzles covered every base, with word, logic, observation, code breaking, physical, maths and a bit of tech. There was a LOT to do and there is bound to be a puzzle to suite every taste and intelligence.
The puzzles all had wonderful ah-ha moments, and quite often subverted your knowledge of the puzzle and brought about an unexpected yet wholly logical conclusion. Intelligent puzzle design that didn’t rely on cheap gimmicks or standardised answers.
A couple of meta-puzzles were thrown into the mix to keep things moving along. The sense of achievement from solving each puzzle was so satisfying due to the complexity of the puzzles.
A very busy room with excellent flow, smooth, logical and faultless. A really well designed room.
I would suggest that beginners take an extra brain or 2, to cover all bases. Experienced players will find their regular team fine.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Simon was our game host (and owner of Cryptology Barnsley) and it was lovely seeing him again, he was welcoming and delivered a very humorous and in depth brief. He delivered clues at the perfect time, we never felt any frustration in the room thanks to his excellent cluing!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 54 minutes!

Website: https://cryptologyrooms.co.uk/barnsley/
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £65
6 Players £72

Escape Sheffield – 221b Baker Street

Escape Sheffield – 221b Baker Street. Game Date 18/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“Having been enlisted by Moriarty, your task is to break into 221B Baker Street, defeat Sherlock’s failsafes and retrieve Sherlock’s prized possessions.

Hurry though, Sherlock and Dr Watson are hot on your tail!”

The decor was lovely in 221b, classy and period, giving the room a classy feel. There was a beautiful side drawer/cabinet that seemed a shame it had locks put on it, it was absolutely gorgeous. The room had subtle touches that let you know it belonged to Sherlock Holmes, and whilst the decoration was minimal (This aided that there were no red herrings at all in the room) it was finished well and was clean and tidy, with good lighting.
The room was more than spacious, and would easily accommodate the maximum of 5 players.

Game Play:
A linear game that consisted of logic, codebreaking, riddles & observation. There was no maths in the room (Which was welcomed) and no physical puzzles, this was purely a mental, cerebral affair (as one would expect from a Sherlock Holmes room)
The puzzles were clever, and there was a very good puzzle that left us scratching our heads at not using an element until a lot later in the game, lovely puzzle design that subverted our initial thoughts.
The ah-ha moments came with every solid, solvable puzzle. Each puzzle was clear and infallible in its answer, and we were never left stranded or second guessing ourselves.
The flow was excellent, as we had come to expect. Every puzzle lead seamless to the next and there were absolutely no sticky points.
A slightly more taxing game than Espionage, I would recommend that Newbies take in a couple of games first, but as a 3rd-5th game where the team is familiar with escaping this room will be a joy. Enthusiasts, this room speaks for itself. The room is solid, logical and rewarding

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Lois was our Game Host, she delivered a good brief and hosted us well, I can’t comment on her clue delivery as we didn’t need a single clue during the game!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 29 minutes!

Website: https://www.escape-sheffield.co.uk/
Price:
Escape Sheffield run a flat price per person:

Adults – £20

Under 16s – £15

Escape Sheffield – Espionage

Escape Sheffield – Espionage. Game Date 18/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“It’s a conspiracy!

The hood comes off and you find yourself in a journalists office with no exit, who put you here and why?

Unravel the secrets of the room and escape.”

The hood comes off indeed, we were blindfolded before entering the room, to which the American anthem was playing, and we were told we couldn’t take them off until it had finished. I never knew the American Anthem was so long, luckily it didn’t cut into our game play time as the timer didn’t start until the music had finished.
We whipped our blindfolds off to see a very nicely decorated office room, with just enough decor to make it individual but not so much to create any red herrings or information overload (Which could have been easy to do given the conspiracy theme)
Escape Sheffield keep this as a maximum of 3 and I can understand why, it’s not a big room by any means, maybe as big as your average living room, placing 5 players in here would have been incredibly cramped and unenjoyable. A good decision!
The room was fairly immersive, yet still kept a fun element of “game” which added to the mystery of the room.

Game Play:
A linear game if ever there was one! With emphasis on logic & code breaking, all quite standard escape room puzzles, executed wonderfully.
The logic in the room was excellent, and only served to make this a room that we just flew, it was so cohesive and concise that we knew each time we had an answer that we were right, ambiguity was never a concern, answers were solid and ah-ha moments came thick and fast.
There were 2 standout moments in the game, not necessarily in the puzzle design, but in the results! Without giving spoilers, they were 2 reveals that left both Ian and I happy as it’s something we didn’t expect!
The flow of the room was close to perfection, with there being no qualms about the results of puzzles the room ended up being a joy to solve.
A perfect beginner room, I would be happy to recommend this to a team who had never done and escape room before. Enthusiasts, it is enjoyable but be aware that its sound logic and superb flow may make for a speedy escape!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a Screen

Game Host:
George was our game host was lovely and chatty (we even ended up chatting about non escape room stuff, can you believe it!) His brief was good & he ran our game well, delivering 1 tiny nudge with perfect timing!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 29 minutes!

Website: https://www.escape-sheffield.co.uk/
Price:
Escape Sheffield run a flat price per person:

Adults – £20

Under 16s – £15

Escape Sheffield – Contagion

Escape Sheffield – Contagion. Game Date 18/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian.

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Theme:
“In order to retrieve the vaccine you must find a way to defeat the lock down on the laboratory. The quarantine timer is set to 60 minutes, after which the room and all traces of your work will be incinerated. You must do this if the rest of humanity is to benefit from your work.”

Theming was spot on, metal tables and actual real “lab” equipment (for set decoration purposes only) clinical and sterile.
A really god set which is quite immersive! It could have been abandoned just before we arrived. Well lit and spacious, this room could easily accommodate the maximum of 5 players.

Game Play:
A linear game that used maths, observation, logic, and a couple of physical puzzles (including a neat trick that we did see in another room, but was still a lot fun!) The game was beautifully logical, straight and cohesive.
The logic of the room was flawless, with each puzzle being clear, concise and a joy to solve.
Each puzzle had wonderful ah-ha moments, and there was no ambiguity in the puzzles. The answers were clear cut and solid.
A very slick game that had absolutely no sticking points, every puzzle and clue lead perfectly to the next and it was clear which direction we had to go in.
That being said, the flow was impeccable and faultless. A lovely game to play.
This game would suit a beginner team looking for a more challenging room, and enthusiasts looking for a well executed lab room.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Ashleigh was our game host, and she was incredibly warm, and welcoming. We could chat to her all day (and well, we did as contagion was our first of 3 games at Escape Sheffield!)

Did we escape?
Yes, in 36 minutes!

Website: https://www.escape-sheffield.co.uk/
Price:
Escape Sheffield run a flat price per person:

Adults – £20

Under 16s – £15

Breakout Chester – Excalibur

Breakout Chester – Excalibur. Game Date: 09/11/2017. Team: Amy, Ian, Michael.

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Theme:
“You and your fellow knights have been kidnapped from Camelot and are being held captive in a tower whilst the intruders allege to be you. You’ll need to find a way out of the tower and make your way back to the round table and prove you are the true king by removing the sword from the stone…”

Theming was very good, with some impressive set pieces and decoration.
It says on the website that the room is up several flights of stairs, this is no lie, but cleverly, Breakout have used these stairs to their advantage and it sets the tone of the room and creates immersion before you’ve even begun.
The room itself is large, and although the beginning may be a tiny bit cramped at full capacity, the game soon opens up.
The contrast between the two areas of the game is lovely, with the cell being gritty, dim and bland, which then gives way to the “round table” that is lush, expansive and luxurious.
The decor is finished to a high standard, and there is a marked improvement on some of Breakout’s older games/locations. They are constantly improving and upping their game which is wonderful to see.
Personally, I struggled with the light level in this room… I wouldn’t say it was too dark, but there was a lot of glare from perspex in certain places, which is where I found difficulty in seeing (this may have been different if I was wearing my contacts, and torches are provided as standard, one per player)

Game Play:
A linear game, with a good selection of puzzle types. Maths, Word, Logic, Observation, and a touch of physicality (nothing strenuous).
The puzzles were all sound in their logic, and enjoyable.
The penultimate -puzzle in the room took a long time to come to the Ah-ha moment, this is the type of puzzle that will either stump you, or you’ll get it straight away. It can be perceived as quite a head scratcher! (Which led me to think why Breakout had penned this on as a 3 star difficulty, we felt like it was most definitely a 4 star, and this has been reflected on the website as of this morning!)
Once we had it though it was clear and logical and came to a good conclusion, it was the also teasing us all the way as I knew exactly what we needed to progress onto the final puzzle, but just “couldn’t see the wood for the trees”!
The flow was lovely, with each puzzle being seamlessly linked to the previous, and there being clear indications to where codes where supposed to be inputted, clever and slick game design.
An enjoyable game which would satisfy enthusiasts with on theme puzzles, and impress newbies with its big set pieces, and taxing puzzles.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Jack was our game host, he was lovely, friendly and welcoming. Even though Excalibur was technically still in testing when we played (we were the final test group) he ran the game well and delivered clues when we were well and truly stuck!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 55 minutes!

Website: https://breakoutchester.com

Price:
2 Players £34
3 Players £42
4 Players £52
5 Players £60

Trapped In – Interstellar

Trapped In – Interstellar. Game Date 02/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“The date is 2250, The Spaceship Lumina is on a research mission in the far reaches of space. A cosmic storm has caused complete engine failure, you are now powerless and drifting towards the edge of a black hole. The situation is critical. You have 60 minutes to locate and install the backup power source and restart the ships engines before you are sucked past the point of no return”

Wow! Trapped in have certainly stepped their game up with Interstellar, a gorgeously crafted spaceship. There was so much detail in this room it was hard to know where to look first. So much to look at… it was a sensory overload for the first few minutes!
The room was finished extremely well, which led to a very immersive experience. This spaceship was our home for 60 minutes, and it served its purpose well. With nothing being out of place or obtrusive.
The space was big enough for 6 people to fit in comfortably and move around to investigate. (It may be worth noting that there is an element of crawling, but the way the game is designed means that if there is a member of your team who can’t crawl/bend then there will be plenty to keep them occupied)
A gorgeous room that is perfect to theme, and decoration.

Game Play:
An open game, there are so many knobs, levers, buttons, pullies, pushies and things to play with that you could waste a lot of time just investigating this room, it’s so tactile!
The puzzles were maths, logic, decoding, observation, skill, pattern matching, word, searching… It really covered so much ground with its puzzles, and there was something for everyone to solve. Puzzles were out in the open to find and solve, some puzzles were locked away until you needed them and others were a mix of the two previous types.
There was not a padlock to be found in this room, and this further cements my ideology of “it doesn’t matter what you use to open something as long as the puzzle is GOOD” and this room hit that on the head. Each and every puzzle was logical, clear, concise and left no margin for error. There were a couple of meta-puzzles that came together throughout the game and the final puzzle was a dream to solve, so satisfying and fun!
The ultimate finale to the room was exhilarating and sent us on a manic hunt like we’re not experienced in a long while (and the fact that we had less than 2 minutes to complete it helped the urgency somewhat)
A wonderfully designed room that benefits from its lack of padlocks to deliver intelligent puzzle with ah-ha moments that never stopped.
The flow was fast-paced, from the moment we stepped into the room to the second we escaped there was no stopping the cascade of puzzles and tasks we had to complete within the hour. We did encounter a couple of pesky tech problems, but Adam fixed them and it didn’t impact the game play at all.
This is a game that I whole-heartedly recommend, it’s a lot of fun and a win is exciting!
I would, however only recommend it it experienced players, this is by no means a beginners game!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen, and the game was sort of self service. When a clue was available you had to press a button to accept it, when you did, the hint was on the screen immediately.
You could also self clue if you felt you needed a little extra nudge!

Game Host:
Adam was our game host, He ran our game with precision and even through a couple of tech mishaps was professional.

Did we escape?
Yes, with less than a minute to go!

Website: http://trappedin.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Trapped In – CSI

Trapped In – CSI. Game Date 02/11/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

Trapped in had moved from their previous home in Ela Mill to a new location about half a mile away, although they’d been open a short while, we had played all the games at their previous location, and when they announced 2 new games would be opening we were eager to check them out!

CSI

Theme:
“Anthony Fredrickson has been found dead in his London flat. As a private detective you have been given access to the crime scene for one hour. Can you find out who killed him?”

The set decoration was lovely, well lit and finished to a high (if not Ikea based) standard! This room was lovely, with quality build (Trapped in actually built a “room within a room” for this as the original space didn’t live up to standard!) and there were lovely little touches around (such as a backlit window to simulate daytime) – the immersion was good it felt like a real homely flat, and the soundtrack was all “The Who” – as any fans of CSI would appreciate!
The story was woven well into the room, and at times we glossed over facts due to the sheer amount of puzzling and locks we had to open… after a bit of thought it was there, clear and did come to a satisfying conclusion.
The space was plenty big enough to accommodate the maximum group size, well lit and airy.

Game Play:
A game that mixed both linear and open elements, there were lot of puzzles out for the beginning, but as the game pared down and reached the climax it became more and more linear.
This game had a lot of different puzzle types, math, observation, searching, reasoning. It focused mainly on searching, collecting and data analysing. In a way that meant you were constantly doing puzzles, finding pieces and collating evidence and pieces until they all came together.
The puzzles were all perfectly logical, and had great ah-ha moments. There were plenty of them! I think this room rivals 13th Element for sheer amount of locks.
I think there were about 20 padlocks to open, not a problem for a team of 6, but for 2 that meant we had to work damn hard! BUT since the puzzles were good and sound, this hard work was incredibly rewarding. There was no ambiguity within the puzzles either, you knew when you had the correct answer!
The flow was fast paced, once we got started and although we were picking up what seemed like random items, it was clear what went with what and where we needed to be, which set a pace for the game which just kept up for the entire hour.
It’s a joy to find a game where every puzzle is interesting, but CSI hit the mark. Of course there were a couple of “obvious” (read… not to us) codes and the like dotted round, but the real “meaty” puzzles were all of sound logic and fun.
I would recommend the newbies take on one of Trapped In’s easier rooms to start with as this is not an easy room. Enthusiasts, take your normal group and you’ll be fine!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen, and the game was sort of self service. When a clue was available you had to press a button to accept it, when you did, the hint was on the screen immediately.
You could also self clue if you felt you needed a little extra nudge!

Game Host:
Adam was our game host, it was nice to see him again. He ran our game extremely well and was friendly and welcoming as ever!

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 50 minutes (I was so excited I didn’t get the actual time!)

Website: http://trappedin.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

E.R.I.C. The Escape Room Industry Conference

E.R.I.C. The Escape Room Industry Conference. Date: 16/10/2017

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It’s been 2 weeks since the inaugural ERIC conference, so I thought it was time to get some of my thoughts of the day down in writing!

There had been many meet-ups and “unconferences” in the last couple of years, but unfortunately the dates never lined up for us to go, so when the conference was talked about I made sure that I was going to keep the date free.

I was then asked by the organisers to take part in an enthusiasts panel. This was an amazing opportunity and, albeit a scary one… having never done anything like that before, I didn’t hesitate in grabbing the bull by the horns and saying YES! (More on the panel later)

The day was held jointly at the Mercure Hotel & Curious Tavern, organised by Simon Stokes (of Escapologic) and Sera (Infamous escape room queen, with over 650 games under her belt) abely assisted by minions from Escapologic.
To say they did a good job would be an understatement. The event was professional, ran smoothly and if there were any problems, they weren’t noticeable from the “outside”

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The Schedule, as you can see was incredibly busy, with 2 streams of talks split across the venues. Regretfully we couldn’t get to all the talks (I wish I could have split myself in 2 to take in ALL of the talks, the wealth of knowledge at ERIC was astounding)

First of for us was “Bringing people together” by Stuart Bear at Tulley’s Escape. A very interesting talk about how Stuart and his team made the leap from Scare Attractions to Escape Rooms. We then stayed at Curious Tavern to listen to Simon & Conrad’s funny and enlightening talk about “tailoring the game to the individual” where we learnt about clue systems, theming, immersion and making the game specific to each group that comes through the door. Our last session before lunch was “Maintaining Immersion” delivered by James Hamer-Morten of Deadlocked and Dave & Dave (& DAVE) from Bewilder Box who talked primarily about keeping the immersion whilst delivering excellent clues, keeping players on the right track and the technology, tricks and secrets behind them.

After lunch we headed to the Mercure to settle in for the next 3 talks.
First up was Alex Souter from The Panic Room to talk about “Ideas to Reality” –  an interesting and at times bewildering look into the inner workings of Alex’s mind, which showed us how much hard work, blood, sweat and tears went into building The Panic Room into the massive operation it is today! Then it was onto “The Players Perspective” – by Ken and Sera. A very interesting talk about what tropes and devices to avoid (or improve on) for avid players and highlighting possible tripping points for beginners alike, also highlighting the face that escape rooms aren’t designing for the enthusiast as we are in the minority!
Next up were Mischa and Lewis from The Escapement in their talk “Design by agenda, and agenda by vision” which took us through the creative process in the set design of the 2 rooms at The Escapement. A very interesting talk which focused on adaptability, hard work and determination (and doors)
Lastly, we checked out the owners panel downstairs in Curious Tavern, which was an interesting look into the life, trials, ups and downs of owning an Escape Room. Featured on the Panel were Nick Moran (Time Run) Simon Stokes (Escapologic) Daniel Hill (Escape) Kate Surchees (Clue Capers) and David & Peter Gale (Exciting Escapes) The wealth of knowledge was astounding and what came across most was passion, running an escape room is a hard job, and has so many facets but passion is the driving force and was obvious in all the owners!
It was then time for the Enthusiasts Panel. Accompanying myself was Ken Ferguson (The Logice Escapes Me & Exit Games) Mark Greenhalgh (Really Fun) and Sharan Gill (The other half of the infamous S2) with a total of over 1000 game played between us, 3/4 of the team having played on the Red Bull Mindgamers team earlier this year (I was the only one that didn’t!) we felt well versed to answer the many questions the audience threw at us!
It was a great experience, although answering quick fire questions was a challenge (I naturally prefer to digest information and take my time answering) I really enjoyed my time as it was a good 20 minutes of essentially talking about escape rooms and that is something I could do for HOURS.

In summary, the event was a resounding success, and I for one look forward to next years conference (as of now, nothing has been announced but the even was so popular I can’t see it NOT being repeated next year!) A massive well done and thank you to Simon, Sera and the entire ERIC team!

11th Hour Escape Rooms – Victoria’s Last Challenge

11th Hour Escape Rooms – Victoria’s Last Challenge. Game Date 29/10/2017. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“A race to escape the attic room of Echoes Hill Manor with your inheritance.
It’s a very sad day. Your beloved Great Aunt Victoria has passed away. At the ripe old age of 104.
She had a long and good life but she will be sorely missed. Whilst there is no way to take away your grief, there is some positive news. In her last will and testament Victoria has left her vast fortune to you, yes you, her last living relatives. However it’s not just a case of giving you the money. You have to earn it!
Everyone who knew Victoria knew that she was a prankster. Over the years she liked nothing more than setting up tricks and puzzles for people and it would seem this has continued, even in her death.
A passage from Victoria’s last will and testament reads :-
“To my last living relatives, I leave to you equal shares of my life savings. However I have one last challenge for you. My money is hidden in the attic room of the family Ancestral home, Echoes Hill Manor, and a set of puzzles and riddles await you which will lead to your inheritance. To make things interesting, I’m giving you just 60 minutes to find it. If you don’t succeed, the fortune will be left to the local cats home !! Good luck, you’ll need it! All my love, Aunt Victoria”

A beautiful take on an attic room, with gorgeous wooden furniture and the cutest dolls house (as every attic has to have a dolls house) – I expected a dark room but was pleasantly surprised as the room was very well lit and we had no problems seeing anything.
The room was immersive, it felt like the attic was lived in, well loved… cosy and you could feel Aunt Victoria’s presence pervading the atmosphere!
The sloped ceilings helped the immersion, but beware of the low eaves. That being said the room is spacious enough for 5, 6 may feel a little tight at certain times, but there is no extended moments of “having to get cosied up”
A charming, whimsical room with just the right decor to lend itself to the attic theme, without being dark, depressing or dusty.

Game Play:
A fairly linear game, which excelled in its game play, with puzzles being logic, math, word, decryption, searching, skill, & code breaking a very eclectic mix!
The puzzles were all entirely sound in their logic and very enjoyable. Especially the end puzzle, which once you realise the parameters, what you need to do the end result is very, very satisfying!
The searching and collection aspect in the room ties nicely into the end puzzle, further pushing you through the game and towards the key.
The ah-ha moments came thick and fast, with every puzzles being such, that once the components were set and the work done they were a joy to solve.
One puzzle in particular I shouldn’t have enjoyed, but it was executed in a way that was clear, fostered team work and communication and was satisfying!
The flow was exemplary and after a slow start (our fault entirely) we sailed through as it was so clear where each clue & puzzle led to next, again the only stalls we had were due to our incompetence at looking for things!
A slick game that would be a perfect introduction to escape rooms, but still plays incredibly well for enthusiasts as its logic is impeccable and puzzles are solid, and clear.
Wonderful, Whimsical fun

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a monitor, with the option to accept or decline when the time came!

Game Host:
Tim & Lizzie were our game hosts, and owners. It was wonderful to see them again. They were warm, friendly and funny.
Tim delivered a fantastic brief (where his acting background shines!) and we really felt ready for the story ahead of us! Clues were delivered with impeccable timing.
It is a shame we couldn’t stay later as I’m sure we could have chatted all night!

Did we escape?
Yes in 52 minutes!

Website: http://11thhourescaperooms.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £60
4 Players £60
5 Players £80
6 Players £80