Escape Hunt – Blackbeard’s Treasure

Escape Hunt – Blackbeard’s Treasure
Location: Liverpool
Game Date: 08/01/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“Step onto a pirate galleon in the middle of a battle for control of the High Seas. Your captain, the terrifying Blackbeard, has just been killed and his ship is shot to pieces and sinking fast.

With no chance of victory, you and your scurvy shipmates decide to jump ship – after helping yourself to the contents of Blackbeard’s legendary treasure chest.

You’ve broken into his cabin to grab all you can, but now the door has jammed shut and you’ve just 60 minutes to escape; any longer and you’ll drown – if the sharks don’t get you first.”

The room looked great, with a lot of detail going into the set, giving a real feeling of immersion. The room was large enough for 6 players, and had a good sense of discovery. Lighting was adequate if not a little dim in places, but this did add to the atmopshere of the game and didn’t impact game play.

Game Play:
A linear game that was quite search heavy in the first part of the game, giving way to some super puzzling later in the game.
Puzzles were varied and included Searching, teamwork, skill, chance, observation, smell, logic and sound.
All the puzzles were very hands on and all came from within the room, nothing was out of place or forced, the puzzles felt like a natural extention of the story and theme.
The puzzles were all logical and fair, with lovely clear ah-ha moments.
The flow was excellent, with us never feeling lost, stuck or slowed down by the room itself, Signposting was good, if not subtle but all within the paramaters of the room and not too much as to spoonfeed or baby-step you through the room.
An excellent game for newbie teams as there is plenty to do without it being utterly overwhelming or brain-busting.
For experienced teams, it is a very good piratey romp with some nice moments and quirky touches!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a microphone in the room.

Game Host:
Jenny was our game host and she was great, friendly yet professional and delivered nudges with perfect timing!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 33 minutes… top of the leaderboard… for now!

Website: https://escapehunt.com/uk/liverpool/
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £75
4 Players £80
5 Players £100
6 Players £120

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X-It Games – Afterlife

X-It Games – Afterlife
Location: Shipley (Near Bradford)
Game Date: 27/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“As a mortal, to enter your afterlife, you must first die.  How you die is your choice but all must enter through the void of transcendence.

Only the brave will follow the light, crawl out of the grave and go to hell and back. Logical thinking and teamwork is what you need to ensure that when your hour is up your name is found in the Book of life.

Will you escape and be granted your life back, or will you be left to wander the afterlife for eternity?”

Afterlife looked great, from the understated beginning we were treated to a immersive reveal that led to a room that could have been from the set of Beetlejuice! Fully themed and with great attention to detail, whether in the graveyard, hell or others… each area had its surprises and was delightful in its theming and distinct styles. A creepy soundtrack with humourus interjections from the devil himself set a dark-humoured tone to the game.
This room is not massive, but the main area is more than big enough to fit 5 players in, and all parts of the game can eventually be observed from the main area, so no worries there!
The beginning of the game is very dark, eventually this gives way to well lit, but ambient lighting later in the game. Excellent choices that only serve to tell the story perfectly.
A very, very well designed and excecuted set and the level of detail is stunning!

Game Play:
A game that weaved beautifully from linear to open and back again, with  almost every puzzle type imaginable… Logic, word, riddles, sound, observation, maths, skill, dexteritity, searching, critical thinking, outside the box thinking… I could go on and on. The range of puzzles was excellent and always kept us on our toes, and I even enjoyed the jigsaw!
Each and every puzzle was clear and concise in its logic, which ultimatley led to many a great “ah-ha” moment throughout the game. There was only one puzzle which felt a little clunky in its ambiguity, but with a handy failsafe to clarify things,  X-it have it covered that they will never let frustration set in! That being said, it was a lovely, well excecuted puzzle that some teams will certainly acheive easily and requires great logic and teamwork skills.
The flow of the room was superb, with the main section being open it was nice to be able to bounce around and work on different things and chop and change tactics, we never once got stuck or confounded on a puzzle. A game which was just a delight to play.
Signposting was clear and never left us in the dark this just added to the logical smooth nature of the game and made for a chilled experience in the room!
A really great game that just has masses of excellent quality content, which is as pleasing asthetically as it is cerebral.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Clare was our game host (ably assisted by Mitch) and her hosting was great, sending us clues at precise times, and never letting us get frustrated. She is clearly very passionate about escaping, having played quite a few, this passion flows through into her game.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 53 Minutes!

Website: https://x-itgames.co.uk/
Price:
3 Players £60
4 Players £76
5 Players £90

Enigma Rooms – Seance

Enigma Rooms – Seance
Location: Wakefield
Game Date: 27/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian
seance

Theme:
“Tabitha was a sickly child, but her mother would do anything to protect her, anything to save her but the deal she made did not work out as planned and now Tabitha is lost.”

Seance looks great, and the atmosphere created is perfect, from the moment the pre-game story is told to the moment we escaped the world was truely realised in an 100% immersive environment.
The story is detailed and continues through the game and puzzles. This IS a scary room and you can expect plenty of creepy interactions, scares and surprises! It is just the right amount of scary and that serves to push the story on but never impedes on puzzle solving.
The room is dimly lit, and has moments of darkness. But there was always enough mood lighting for us to see what we were doing.
The room was plenty large enough for the max number of players!

Game Play:
A linear game that consisted of some really smart puzzles that were all perfectly in keeping with the theme of the room, and only served to delve deeper into the world of Tabitha.
Logic, word, physical, team work and some light satanic ritual were what made up Seance and the puzzles did not disappoint.
Each and every puzzle was delightful and excellent in their logic, with lovely clear ah-ha moments and brilliant interactivity within the room.
The flow was wonderful and the scares came at perfect timing, never when we were solving but in the times when we were in between puzzles, and even used to great effect for signposting!
The signposting in the game was excellent, subtle yet clear and never imposing.
There was an excellent moment of team work to conclude the game and this was again, perfectly in theme with the game.
This is a game that is mostly an experience, with task-based puzzles that further the story, add to that some GREAT scares (my disappearing coke bottle was a highlight) it all combined to give a realistic, immersive journey. An incredibly enjoyable game that is one to really be experienced and one to throw yourself into wholeheartedly!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen in the room

Game Host:
Keiran was our game host and provided us with an excellent scary experience delivering scares and hints with perfect timing.

Did we escape?
Yes, in around 45 minutes

Website:
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £51
4 Players £64
5 Players £70
6 Players £78

Enigma Rooms – Christmas Catasrophe

Enigma Rooms – Christmas Catastrophe
Location: Wakefield
Game Date: 27/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

xmasUnfortunately Christmas Catastrophe won’t be around for ever, as it’s a seasonal room but it’s still bookable for the time being so go play before it goes!

Theme:
“It’s Christmas Eve and Santa has gone home to sit by the fire after a busy night and switched his phone off.

The Elves are in a panic as Santa has missed one family off his list, Christmas is ruined unless you can deliver the right presents before Christmas morning.”

A beautiful and charming room that captured the Christmas spirit perfectly, whilst not being gaudy or tacky! A lovely christmas soundtrack set the tone and compliment the setting.
The room has a lovely sense of wonder and exploration and used the space really nicely. The room was well lit and spacious enough for the max team size of 5

Game Play:
A lovely linear game that was perfectly pitched to a family market, with accessible puzzles of every type. Logic, word, math, observation, physical, skill.
A game that is flawless in it’s logic which makes its charm and accessability even better.
Each and every puzzle was solveable and had lovely ah-ha moments and there were plently of puzzles that children would really enjoy and get their teeth into.
Even as adults we really enjoyed the clarity in the puzzles.
The flow was excellent and the sense of exploration and wonder was never ending, continuing to the very last moments of the game.
The story was compassionate and continued through the game, weaved through the puzzles which were all perfectly in theme.
A lovely room, which I hope returns next christmas so more families can enjoy it!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via sending a message via “messenger” to your elfy friends!

Game Host:
Keiran was our game host and was a great game host, friendly and welcoming! He clearly has a passion for escaping!

Did we escape?
Yes! In about 24 minutes (in a 45 min room)

Website: https://enigmarooms.co.uk/wakefield/
Price:
2 Players £30
3 Players £39
4 Players £48
5 Players £55

The Escaporium – Crux Codecillus

The Escaporium – Crux Codecillus
Location: Halifax
Game Date: 27/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“Every member of The Illuminati has gathered for its Annual General Meeting. Locked away in the Board Room, the higher order had just wrapped up the meeting when the lights suddenly dropped, and one of them killed the King of the Illuminati, otherwise known as Plato!

As junior members of The Illuminati, you and your team will have to gather any evidence from within the Board Room to find out who the killer was, how he or she did it, and where they have scarpered to! However, there may be a sting in the tail of this case which means you will need to be out within the hour, or it will be curtains for everybody!”

The room looked great, with an impressive set that was befitting of being the board room. Very immersive, with plenty to look at and admire. There was plenty of attention to detail and quality in the set design and this continued right through to the end of the game.
A large space, which is more than big enough for the max amount of players. Well lit and with plenty of space to sit down and get the weight off your feet if needed!
A beautiful game that is perfectly themed and incredibly classy.

Game Play:
A linear game with some open moments, compromising of a good mix of puzzles. Logic, observation, word, physical, searching. The game leans towards logic and word, however, with some great puzzles that will really whet your whistle if you’re that way inclined!
Each and every puzzle was excellent in its logic, with no ambiguity at all and truely brilliant ah-ha moments, and with the speed that puzzles are delivered, these ah-ha moments come thick and fast.
The flow was second to none, and the game kept moving fluidly and smoothly until the moment we unlocked the exit door.
There were some excellent and very unique puzzles in the room, along side some well-tested standards (but even these were turned on their head and used in a unique way!)
The signposting in the room as perfect, whist not being intrusive or handholding it gave just enough to guide and leave you to make your own connections within the game.
A great, skillfully designed game, with enough to keep both large teams and smaller teams working and entertained.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Angela was our host and was perfect from the moment we stepped through the doors, a true enthusiast herself with over 150 games under her belt, she was friendly and welcoming! She delivered clues with precision timing, whilst still allowing us ample time to solve puzzles on our own.

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 55 minutes or so!

Website: https://www.theescaporium.com/
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Time Race – The Invitation

Time Race – The Invitation
Location: Bury
Game Date: 18/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Since we last played (and failed…) The Invitation – (click here to read) the room has had a complete revamp, with an entirely new set of puzzles, and an altered story too!

Theme:
“Professor Curtis Lockwood, adventurer extraordinaire, that was how he used to introduce himself to everyone. You remember stories he would tell of his adventures around the world, all the treasure he brought back, the damsels he saved. He was a hero to you.

It had been months since you last heard from him which is why it surprised you when his butler called you and told you to meet him at the mansion.

You arrive to find the place empty, no sign or Curtis or the butler. As you look around you remember about the secret gallery he used to take you as a kid. Quickly you head inside and find a letter addressed to you.

What secrets could this letter contain? What happened to Professor Curtis Lockwood?”

Physically the room hadn’t changed much, it was still a lovely looking space that was reminiscent of an opulent home. The setting had been changed from foyer to gallery and with some nice artefacts and accoutrements about the place, reminders of Curtis’ travels.
The room was lush and lavish,… and most of all large! Plenty big enough for 6 players and well lit. We never struggled to see.
A fairly immersive game, with story delivered throughout which adds to the immersion and game play.

Game Play:
A linear game that consisted of a good mix of puzzles. Logic, Observation, word, sound, searching being the main stays.
Each and every puzzle was incredibly enjoyable and whilst not brain-busting there were perfectly logical and had wonderful ah-ha moments and absolutely no ambiguity in the answers.
There is a lot to investigate and look at when you enter the room and as the game unfolds and everything becomes clear, there are some lovely moments where answers come from objects you’ve been looking at ALL through the game!
The flow was good and slick, with no sticking points (one puzzle has the potential to really slow things down, especially with too many cooks!)
Signposting was subtle yet good, with connections being mainly left to the player (and so they should be if the puzzles are logical!)
A really good and achievable game that really improves on what was in the space before!

Clue System:
Um, we didn’t have any hints, and we forgot to ask how the hint system works!

Game Host:
Our game host was Alex, and he was excellent, professional and friendly, and we were joined by Ryan, the new owner of Time Race who is clearly passionate and delivered an achievable game and a very enjoyable experience!

Did we escape?
Yes! in about 37 minutes

Website: https://timerace.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £38
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

 

Time Race – Vault 17

Time Race – Vault 17
Location: Bury
Game Date: 18/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

bigstock-Destruction-55789646-min.jpgWOAH….I hear you… Amy… You’ve already played (and failed) Vault 17… why in the world are you playing, and reviewing the room again?
Well, Time Race are under new management. With that came change, and with a lot of talk and rumours on the enthusiast circuit… I knew I HAD to go back and re-visit BOTH Vault 17 and The Invitation  to see the the changes implemented had improved, impacted or impaled the rooms.
For my original Vault 17 review, click HERE

Theme:
“It was 30 years ago that the first bomb dropped. The war lasted just 18 days. You were lucky…you made it to Vault 17. In the Vault, generations have been born and raised in the dark. Vault 17 has become your home.

That was at least until today. The Vault’s final power core has decayed so far that the Vault scientists believe that there’s only 60 minutes of power left. If you and your team don’t take the risk and make it to the wasteland, the Vault will become your tomb, as the Vault door is too heavy to manually operate. Will you make it out in time?”

Asthetically the room looked identical to how I remembered it from our first play though so I will put the same as what I wrote originally:

Theming was fantastic, immersive and incredibly well done, heavy metal doors and rotting mildew ridden walls only added to the feeling of being trapped in a post apocalyptic world.
The room generally is large and would easily accommodate groups of 6, it is maze like though and is a journey to discover where each door is going to lead! There are moments of small spaces within the game however, something to be of note if any of your team are claustrophobic, however the game play makes these tight spaces avoidable for anyone of a claustrophobic nature.
There are moments of darkness within the game but for the most part the light is good. Light sources are provided, but only 1 per team!
An excellent soundtrack rounded out the complete dedication to this rooms theme, with a radio broadcast playing throughout the hour, and time updates throughout.
With nods to Fallout, this room will please anyone who is a fan, or who likes post-apocalyptic themes!

Game Play:
The game hadn’t massivly changed and in it’s essence was still the same game, only tweaked and refined.
Still very much a linear game that consisted of observation, searching, math, physical, logic, word and teamwork.
A slick game that still retained many of the original puzzles but in a more coherant, less meta way. With many of the kinks ironed out.
Puzzles were great, with nice ah-ha moments that we relished in (and laughed at our stupidity in parts)
The rooms flow was excellent now, with much better signposting leading to coherent puzzle solving and clear unambiguous answers.
The room still retained its smarts, and ther ewas a real sense of acheivement and and discovery when playing the room.
A much improved game and one that is now acheiveable, but still challenging, yet rewarding.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered by Lex, who was easy and clear to hear

Game Host:
Our game host was Alex, and he was excellent, professional and delivered clues with excellent timing.

Did we escape?
Yes!!! in 57 minutes

Website: https://timerace.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £38
3 Players £54
4 Players £68
5 Players £80
6 Players £90

Lucardo – University of Magic: Dragon’s Heart

Lucardo – University of Magic: Dragon’s Heart
Location: Rawtenstall
Game Date: 14/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“An announcement has been made in the University of Magic – the Dragon’s Heart has been stolen! Without this, magic as we know it is at risk. Rumours are circulating that it was seen in Oggles Magic Shop. Your task is to use your magical powers to enter Oggles, recover The Dragon’s Heart and return it back to the University of Magic. Dark forces are involved, so take care on this quest.”

UOM looks amazing, with a fully immersive set that has left no stone unturned, with 360-degree set design and intricate attention to detail, it’s easy to get distracted looking at all the pretty accoutrements on the shelves around Mr Oggles’ shop! A secure and robust build, that was plenty large enough for the maximum team size of 6 and well lit, but still atmospheric.
A lovely soundtrack accompanies the room, which was magical and well fitting to the theme but not intrusive.
A gem of a room to look at and play in, we were thoroughly immersed in the world of University of Magic yet again.

Game Play:
An open game, that is filled with lovely on-theme puzzles.
Puzzle types were varied, but leaned more towards observation, practical, and logic puzzles.
A  highlight of this room was the practical nature of the puzzles, with a lot of them consisting of creating real magic and mixing potions!
The puzzles were all perfectly logical, and had wonderful ah-ha moments without being taxing or brain-busting. Quite often the puzzles were a result of previous exploration and observation. When all the pennies dropped the ah-ha moments came with aplomb.
Whilst not a puzzle-heavy room, in that puzzles are not arbitrary and superfluous, there is still plenty to do. UOM is a pure experience, with every puzzle being intrinsically linked to the room, theme and story. That experience gives UOM another level of game play- this interaction with the room itself was excellent, and really aided in the immersion.
The flow was excellent, with smooth game play and no natural sticking points.
The flow of the room encourages exploration and interaction, and this was a wonderful addition to the room, everything is tactile and realistic.
Signposting was excellent, with just enough within the room to guide but not hand-hold.
An excellent game, that is going to please any player, from newbies to enthusiasts, and those in between!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Simon was our game host and his enthusiasm and passion flooded over into his hosting, giving us a warm welcome and delivering great clues with precision timing.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 40 minutes.

Website: https://lucardo.com/rawtenstall
Price:
2 Players £44
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Western Approaches – War Museum Escape Room

Western Approaches – War Museum Escape Room
Location: Liverpool
Game Date: 05/12/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

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Western Approaches is located in the War Museum, a real secret bunker in the heart of Liverpool! What a hidden gem the museum is, if you go to the escape room, the museum is well worth a look arouns too.

Theme:
“Inspired by the story of the Martins Bank gold where during World War 2 the bulk of England’s gold was moved to Martins Bank in Liverpool.  Some of the gold is thought to have been stored at Western Approaches and some believe it is still there.  Can you solve the mystery of the missing gold and escape the secret bunker within the allotted hour?”

The room is as immersive as it gets, located in a REAL secret bunker that housed many many workers during WW2. Even walking down to the escape room puts you in the mood, passing the real signage and rooms that were used in real history.
The room itself was decorated quite simply, and there was nothing that was put there to mislead or distract, period furniture and props further added to the immersion and the use of these props in game play was a wonderful touch.
The room was large enough for the max of 6 players and was lit very well.

Game Play:
A strictly linear game, that compromised of a good variety of puzzles, word, observation, logic being the mainstays, and a dexterity/skill puzzle that will be sure to test groups to their limits.  The variety in the puzzles will mean that every member in the group will get a chance to show their “smart side” and will shine at their own point in the game.
All the puzzles were very good in their logic, with lovely ah-ha moments that were crystal clear and they were all fun puzzles to solve with clear conclusions.
The signposting was subtle but good and clear, and intrinsic to the room. Newcomers may not pick up on it, but it is there and helps the game flow
The flow was good, and once we got going there were no natural choke points or ambiguity.
A good, enjoyable game that would be a great first escape, coupled with the museum and super realistic setting, it’s welcome addition to Liverpool’s escape scene.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Andy was our game host, and ran our game well. He was friendly and personable. Georgia alo gave us a quick tour of the museum and was great, friendly and professional.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 39 mins

Website: https://castlerockescapes.simplybook.it/v2/
Price:
2 Players £32
3 Players £43
4 Players £55
5 Players £65
6 Players £72

Compendium – Wrong Turn

Compendium – Wrong Turn
Location: Bury
Game Date: 20/11/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Elaine & Mike

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Theme:
“You and your friends are driving along route 66 when you notice your gas running low, a friend suggests to make a turn at the next set of crossroads to see if there is a gas station… you don’t find a gas station but decide to explore the one place you have discovered by taking that WRONG TURN…. Will you escape or will you spend your life regretting that wrong turn?”

The room looked great, with total immersion and an amazing level of attention to detail, this is one of the most detailed and realistic sets we’ve had the pleasure of playing in!
The room was accompanied by a good amount of story delivered via the setting and the puzzles.
The use of space was very creative, with the pressure being put on physically throughout the game, giving an impending sense of unease.
The room is atmospherically lit, but strategically placed torches and candles give enough light to see by, and the space was large enough for 6 people (as long as you’re all friends!)
There is a percived “scare factor” – and whilst we jumped a couple of times, it wasn’t a scare fest, but it certainly had a very creepy and uneasy atmosphere (which I loved!)

Game Play:
A fairly linear game, that encompassed observation, logic, teamwork, searching, tactile, and light physical puzzles.
Jam packed with puzzles, we were kept busy for the entirety of the game, each and every puzzle was great it its logic and there were some lovely ah-ha moments that came about from a real team effort and critical thinking.
There were a few puzzles that were twists on the norm, and this was nice and refreshing as we were not taking puzzles for granted.
The climax of the room was a frantic affair, and could have easily turned into mayhem, what a great way to pile on the pressure and create an exciting ending out of something so very simple!
The flow was great, with the puzzles gently nudging us forward whilst still allowing us to proceed and explore at our own pace (and the exploration in the room was awesome)
Signposting was good, with enough to guide but not be hand-held throughout the game.
A great game for beginners and experienced players alike.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Jennifer & Alex were our hosts and were super, friendly, accomodating and passionate about escaping. This lead to them delivering a good brief and a detailed backstory. Clues were delivered with excellent timing throughout the game.

Did we escape?:
Yes, in 48 minutes!

Website:
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £54
4 Players £70
5 Players £82.50
6 Players £90