A Non-Review post…Competition, Exciting stuff & What’s coming up!

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Happy hump day everyone! I’ve a few pieces of news to share so, I thought that I’d collate them into a hump day post!

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First off, we have teamed up with Immersive Events – Prison Break to bring a competition to win 2 free tickets for Saturday 28th July, all you have to do is head over to my twitter, like and retweet the tweet to enter

https://twitter.com/Britofanescape

The competition is running until the 17th July so get liking and re-tweeting! We’ll be in attendance on the 28th July so watch out for a review coming soon!

Secondly, we we’re kindly invited to the National Forest Adventure Farm, which we’ve been to a couple of times in the past for their Halloween “ScreamFest” event – which we really enjoyed!
They’re opening up a new outdoor escape in their corn maze, and the details were released today!

“Top secret plans for the World’s first escape maize maze have been unveiled at the National Forest Adventure Farm in Tatenhill, Staffordshire. The intricate paths of the maze have been used to create a James Bond style secret agent! The Escape Maze: Agent Academy opens on Saturday 14th July and will run through to 3rd September. To book tickets visit: http://www.adventurefarm.co.uk”

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As you can see, it looks very cool and it will be interesting to see an unusual take on an outdoors escape “room” – we’re looking forward to this, and hope the nice weather continues, keep an eye out for the review coming next Friday!

In between all that we’ve visits to The Escape Room Guys, Break Escape, Deception and Locked In (North Wales) to look forward to, to take us to the end of July… and then in August the much-anticipated House of Illusion Opens at Escape Quest and we have out bonanza birthday week of escaping!

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Lucardo Rawtenstall – Gem Runner

Lucardo Rawtenstall – Gem Runner. Game Date 27/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Having played Gem Runner at Lucardo’s Manchester branch all the way back in 2016, we were interested to see how Rawtenstall’s version compared, in both puzzles and set design.

Theme:
“The famous 190 carat Saratov diamond from Russia is being deposited at the central bank in Rawtenstall. Lucardo has hacked the security system, buying your team a one hour window to steal the diamond. Can your team pull off Rawtenstalls biggest ever heist?”

Theming was excellent, with the Bank being small, yet well decorated, clean and bright. There was nothing out of place or distracting yet there was just enough detail to create an immersive environment.
The theme continued into the vault, which was the most amazing use of space… it gave the room an incredible sense of space and upped the immersion and reality of the game!
The room was large enough for the max of 6 and well lit throughout.

Game Play:
An open game that became linear at crucial points. Puzzles were mixed and included Math, observation, word, logic, and a small amount of physicality.
The puzzles all had great ah-ha moments, and were perfectly solvable and logical. Some being quite clever in their logic & design. All the puzzles were kept in theme (bar perhaps one, but it’s too fun to nit pick over!)
The flow was impeccable, with subtle signposting (Which if you can recognise and follow, will help immensely!) there are no natural sticky points and you can tell this is a well tried and tested game.
It is similar to Manchester’s version and the more we played the more we remembered (Which led us to pick up pace considerably) – even though it had been 18 months!
A great beginners game, as the puzzles are logical and well put together them game will tax new players but not leave them baffled or feeling dense.
Enthusiasts will appreciate the unique setting and on theme puzzles.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Simon delivered a great brief and was a friendly and welcoming host, delivering perfectly time nudges throughout the game (I don’t think we had too many!)

Did we escape?
Yes, in 26 minutes!

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

Lucardo Rawtenstall – Corruption

Lucardo Rawtenstall – Corruption. Game Date: 27/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“You are a bunch of cops working on an operation to bust a notorious criminal gang known for car theft, robbery, kidnap and murder. Police headquarters have been tipped off about a hideout and will conduct a raid in 60 minutes’ time. The only problem? You’ve been corrupted and are working with the gang. You’ll need to sabotage the hideout, dispose of incriminating evidence and plant clues to lead your colleagues in another direction. Can you stay one step ahead of the law and escape without a prison sentence?”

Corruption’s decor was in no way what I expected! I have come to know and love Lucardo’s rooms and know what to expect from them, but this room surpassed all my expectations! Set in a “MOT Garage” – the immersion is 100%. Utterly 360 and everything is perfect and REAL. It even smells like a real garage, and there is a centre piece that I can imagine was a nightmare to get up the stairs. The theme continues through the room and the use of space is fantastic. A good soundtrack just adds to the immersion and the story is delivered through a unique method which is an exciting addition and something we’ve not really seen before! (NO SPOILERS!)
The room is large, and well lit. No problems there!

Game Play:
A game that was fairly open, with plenty to do. Puzzles were excellent, with logic, observation, physical, tactile, co-ordination. There were so many different types, and each and every one were perfectly in theme and influenced by the surroundings and situation. The puzzles had clear solutions, without being illogical and they all had lovely ah-ha moments.
Some puzzles were clear what we needed before we had found all the parts and some only became apparent once we had found everything. All the puzzles were perfectly solvable and all the different puzzle types kept the room moving forward, interesting and tactile.
The flow was exceptional, with signposting leading to each puzzle being clear, yet subtle and in theme.
The goal of the room is laid out within the story at the beginning of the game and gives you an excellent sense of progression, purpose and only serves to add to the immersion within the room.
A stand out room, which goes above and beyond what I’d come to expect of Lucardo (and that bar was high to begin with!) – A real world situation, a clear goal, concise story, interactive and interesting puzzles. Just brilliant. Do NOT miss this game!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen.

Game Host:
Dave, Simon and Adam were all present and ran the game excellently between the 3 of them! Never have we had so much attention! Simon delivered a great brief and was a friendly and welcoming host, Dave delivered perfectly time nudges throughout the game (I don’t think we had too many!)

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 42 minutes!

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

Lockdown Escape Oldham – Condemned

Lockdown Escape Oldham – Condemned. Game Date: 27/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian.

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Theme:
“During a road trip through the southern states of the USA, you come to a small town. You overhear the locals talking about a string of recent armed robberies and even murders. As you are about to leave, you are pulled over by the local sheriff and a handful of supporting officers. Before you know it, you have been arrested for the recent crimes and are imprisoned in the local jail. Already declared guilty you will soon face the death penalty. Your only hope is to escape. Can you escape your newfound fate and prove your innocence before the sheriff returns?”

Theming was good, a simple cell and Sherrif’s office but with a good amount of attention to detail and story within the decoration. Keeping it simple kept the focus on game play but with enough detail to create a good environment to create the scenario you’re playing in. Props and decor was all very much in theme and actually from the USA!
The room is large enough for 5 people, and well lit.

Game Play:
A linear game that used word, logic, maths and a small amount of physicality & searching to create the game.
The puzzles were nice, logical and had lovely ah-ha moments. One puzzle in particular – a meta puzzle came together right at the end of the game and had such a satisfying conclusion – very enjoyable!
The flow was good, with subtle signposting leading to each puzzle leading to a smooth game with no snagging points or mis-direction.
A perfect game for newbies in a team of any size! Enthusiasts may want to take a smaller team (It’s ideal to try for a 2 player room if you’ve only ever played in big groups!) – split up your normal team and make it competitive!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Adam & Leah helped us on our journey in Condemned. Friendly, chatty and delivering nudges at the perfect time. Excellent hosting!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 41 minutes or so!

Website:
Price:
2 Players £36
3 Players £48
4 Players £56
5 Players £60

MoviEscape – Merlin’s Magic Academy

MoviEscape – Merlin’s Magic Academy. Game Date: 24/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
If you love the Boy Wizard… you will adore  Merlins Magic Academy.
Actual working wands…. create potions… free the dragon!!”

The write up for Merlin’s Magic Academy is pretty light, and intentionally so, you find out more story as you progress through the room, so no spoilers. But it’s very old fashioned magical school, with all the tropes and things you’d find to expect in a Wizard’s School.

The decoration and theming were lovely, with old books and paintings adorning the walls, and floating candles!
I struggled a little with the light level in the room at the beginning (Ian was fine) but it soon gets lighter and brighter. The space is plenty big enough for the max team size (6) and very immersive.
The stand out piece in the room that is something most certainly best kept a secret, but we were both wowed, and as a finale to the room… it’s pretty damn cool! So, no spoilers on that part but rest assured…. it’s pretty impressive and something we’d not seen before!!

Game Play:
A linear game that had plenty of puzzles to do, observation and logic being the main puzzle types but there is a bit of searching and a couple of physical “type” of puzzles to keep the interest up.
Puzzles were all very logical, solvable and had nice ah-ha moments. Nothing to tricky or illogical made this a game that almost played itself!
The flow was great, and had no sticking points and there was enough signposting to create a slick game, with no frustrating moments.
A great game for beginners, enthusiasts will appreciate the flow of the game (although it won’t tax a team who’s played a few games, it’s still enjoyable)
The interactivity with certain elements in the room was good, and added another layer onto the game that just added to the experience. All in all a very good game that is about discovery and adventure more than tricky puzzle solving!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a special way within the room (I’m not going to spoil it as it’s a fun way to start the room!)

Game Host:
Anne Marie was our game host, and ran the game really well! She was friendly and delivered hints when we asked!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 46 minutes!

Website: https://www.moviescape.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £40
3 Players £57
4 Players £72
5 Players £75
6 Players £84

Make Your Escape – Utopia & Dystopia

Make Your Escape – Utopia & Dystopia. Date 14/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian.

This is gonna be a long one, “Utopia” and “Dystopia” fit so perfectly together that it is only fair to give them a joint review!

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We were very kindly invited to Make Your Escape to play their brand new games “Utopia” and “Dystopia” – They’re not open to the public just yet, but when we played them they were pretty much spot on and ready to go, so look out for them opening in the near future!
We were highly anticipating these 2 rooms after the heavy story telling in “The Signal” and the sheer genius of “Spellbound” – but would “Utopia” and “Dystopia” live up to expectations… read on to find out!
“Utopia” and “Dystopia” are at their heart, battle rooms, but as there were only 2 of us, we chose to play the 2 games back to back, taking on the grim Dystopia first, followed by the pristine and clinical Utopia. This is the order recommended by Make Your Escape and I would urge anyone who is willing to do them back to back, to play in that order.
*As they games are not officially open, theme descriptions are written purely from my memory so as soon as I get the official blurb I will post that up instead, as I am bound to have forgotten/missed something!

DYSTOPIA

Theme:
“Dystopia is set in an alternative Future in Derby, cast out from the Bliss of Utopia, you’re put into a world that is in disarray torn by the disintegration of society and the disappearance of members of the DJM, and we’ve been sent to investigate these missing members.”

Dystopia looked great, with just the right amount of decay, and a great colour palette to compliment the theme. Immersion was excellent, with the use of video, audio and lighting all creating the perfect atmosphere. Story was delivered throughout the game which only aided in the immersion and creation of a real world. The space was large and well lit once into the main game!

Game Play:
A game which expertly moved from linear to open. With excellent puzzles throughout, mainly focusing on logic, observation & word, with a little bit of physicality thrown in. What was wonderful was the interaction with the world, through all its puzzles it was very hands on and used the space, decoration and props to really integrate the puzzles into the story.
Each and every puzzle was clever, yet logical and solvable with wonderful Ah-Ha moments, there was no ambiguity which, leading to clear answers gave a wonderful feeling of progress throughout the room.
The flow was outstanding, with excellent signposting and not sticky or illogical moments.
The amount of story that is delivered via the puzzles and in the room is so detailed, this is really a room to saviour and experience every single second, definitely not one to rush!

Clue System:
Clues are delivered via a screen.

Game Host:
Our game host was perfectly in character as a janitor of the apartment block in Dystopia. He played it brilliantly with just the right amount of sass and enough dysphoria to make us slightly unnerved & apprehensive of the world we were about to enter.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 50 Minutes!

UTOPIA

Theme:
“Utopia strives to make society perfect, whilst battling the DJM movement in Dystopia. Their perfect world is about to be turned upside down by the DJM and you’re trying to get to the bottom of what is going on!”

Sterile, Clinical, Futuristic. Utopia looks pristine, with bright white walls serving as a complete contrast to the dank setting of Dystopia. The immersion again was excellent with the use of lighting, sound and video leading to a real world environment. Utopia is pretty too, the slickness & simplicity in the design of the room is wonderful.
The space is large, and very well lit. Story was delivered throughout the game which only aided in the immersion and creation of that real world.

Game Play:
A more linear game than Dystopia, Utopia relies heavily on it’s use of technology, but still, puzzles were paramount in this game, with them focusing on word, logic, math and physical puzzles.
The puzzles were all logical, with clear answers and great interaction with the technology giving wonderful ah-ha, and great story driven moments.
The puzzles were all perfectly in theme for the world and story and really helped to solidify the world and story together. It felt much more of a cohesive real world than any other highly tech game I’ve played!
The flow of the game was excellent, and signposting was clear and simple. Tech buffs will love this room, and its excellent narrative will thrill with its twists and turns (which must be played to find out! No spoilers here!)

Clue System:
Clues are delivered via a screen.

Game Host:
Our game host, again was completely in character as one of Utopia’s clinicians, she was robotic, unnerving and ethereal. Which set the tone perfectly for the world we were about to enter.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 59 minutes! It was a close one!

Website: http://www.makeyourescapederby.com/
Price:
As soon pricing is released for Utopia & Dystopia I will update it here.

 

Cryptology – Ramaseize. Room 250!

Cryptology – Ramaseize. Date: 14/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“After years of planning and excavations the tomb of the nefarious Ramses has finally been unearthed. But this is no tomb full of traps; it is a peerless conundrum full of strange machinations.

If you could manage to extract the three ancient relics rumoured to rest here you would become part of history, but you are not the only ones on the trail…

Your foreheads are drenched and the air is taut with fear. There is not much time for you to act before the unscruplious treasure hunters cross the desert and bury you alive just to claim the glory for themselves.

Will you lay your hands upon the relics of the past? And will you even be able to escape before the glocks are pointed to your heads? Your hourglass is running low…”

Ramaseize is large! A big space that encourages exploration, the lighting is quite dim but you are provided with torches that give plenty of atmospheric light. The dimness doesn’t impact on gameplay, it only adds to the immersive experience. The decoration is lovely, with a real handcrafted feel which is wonderful, you can feel the love that has gone into creating Ramaseize.

Game Play:
A fairly linear game that encompassed plenty of different puzzle styles, observation, math, word, physical, logic. There is something for everyone and some tricky moments woven in.
Now, I am not one to normally speak about personal experiences within the room, but one puzzle in the room stumped me good and proper, and left Ian exasperated, and both myself and our game host in near hysterics. THAT is one moment I won’t forget for a long time – now back to our regular programming.
Puzzles were all logical, solvable and satisfying, they all has lovely ah-ha moments and pushed the game along.
The flow was excellent, with clear signposting leading us to the next stage of the room, without being too leading or “hand holding”
The sense of discovery was excellent, this is so important in “tomb” themed escape rooms and Ramaseize got it spot on.
A solid game, that is wonderfully logical, a lot of fun and a joy to play.

Clue System:
Clues were provided by the oh so sassy “Acluebis” who is in the room with you! Excellent.

Game Host:
Mark was our game host and ran our game perfectly, hinting us when we needed it and also bringing the sass (which honestly made the game hilarious and so enjoyable!) He also treated us to some balloons to celebrate our 250th room! Thanks Mark!

Cryptology Ramaseize

Did we escape?
Yes, in 55 minutes with all 3 relics!

Website: https://cryptologyrooms.co.uk
Price:
2 Players £45/50 (weekdays/weekends)
3 Players £60
4 Players £76
5 Players £90
6 Players £102
7 Players £112

Escapologic – Howitz

Escapologic – Howitz. Game Date 14/06/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“A tragic loss. A happy family destroyed. A desperate man, irresistibly drawn to dark forces. As the door slams shut behind you, you’re trapped in the world of Eli Howitz, an enigmatic figure whose gut-wrenching story pervades every millimetre of the room.

Just what happened in Eli’s toy shop? You’ve heard the rumours. You know the horror stories off by heart. But how much truth is there in the police report? Can there really be ritualistic carvings on the walls? They say there were glowing symbols, and toys that whirred, clicked, and span on their own….”

Howitz has recently had a full revamp, with tweaks to the story and a major overhaul in the game-play area, if you want read my review of the original Howitz, it’s here.

Set decoration is great, run down, dingy, and a little creepy without being dirty or too dark. There’s a great fun-house twist in the decoration, and it continues to the last moment. The room is spacious enough for 5 people, although there is one small space… but fear not… isolation is the key to this small space.
The room has some great set pieces and decoration and really is a 360 degree affair, with such brilliant immersion being created through the environment and soundtrack. Story is subtly delivered through the room and there is a satisfying ending.

Game Play:
Escapologic are renowned for their hands one tactics in the design of their puzzles and Howitz was no exception, along with this ever so hands-on approach there were some super logic, observation, sound and searching puzzles. One moment that relies heavily on team-work was a joy to solve.
Each and every puzzle was excellent in its logic, and had wonderful ah-ha moments.
Signposting was subtle, but there and there was a lot of humour interwoven into the gameplay that kept the scare factor down (saying that, it’s still a spooky room!)
The flow was excellent, with the only stalling points being the searches (but then we’re awful at searching, a bigger team would have no problems) and the game flowed incredibly well and logically.
A fantastically creepy room, and the perfect game for people wanting to dip their toes into a more chilling escape experience.

Clue System:
Clues are delivered via a Ouija Board. (terrifyingly so – this is one aspect of the original game they’ve retained)

Game Host:
Tani was our host and she was lovely and quirky (most of the Escapologic staff are vivacious unique and wonderful!) she ran our game well and was obviously paying incredibly close attention to what we were doing!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 31 minutes, with no clues!

Website: https://www.escapologic.com/
Price:
OFF Peak:
2 Players £40
3 Players £57
4 Players £70
5 Players £80

OFF Peak:
2 Players £50
3 Players £69
4 Players £84
5 Players £100

Enigma Rooms Wakefield – Escape from Wonderland

Enigma Rooms Wakefield – Escape from Wonderland. Game Date 24/05/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“You awaken back in Wonderland, can you find your friends before the Red Queen arrives?”

A simple theme of “Wonderland” conjures up so many visuals and the room didn’t disappoint,  beautiful immersive decoration that was perfectly on theme and just so charming. All the things you expect from wonderland are in here in the most enchanting way possible, coupled with a lovely soundtrack really creates a lovely space to play in.
The space isn’t huge to begin with but does open up later in the game. There’s plenty of eye candy to look at and interact with, without detracting from the main game or being confusing or distracting.
An absolutely gorgeous room that we were both entranced with from the moment we stepped through the door!

Game Play:
A fairly open game that only brings the game back down to linear at important moments. Puzzle types were varied, with observation, logic, codebreaking, riddles, maths, physical, teamwork & searching.
The puzzles were all perfect in their logic,  with wonderful aha moments that were exciting and logical.
The flow was excellent, with subtle signposting leading to a smooth game with no snags or sticky points.
Each and every puzzle was perfectly on theme, and had a wonder & joy about them that really captured the feel and magic of Wonderland. All a joy to solve, with a difficulty level that required some out of the box thinking, but made perfect sense. We didn’t want this escape room to end and came out on a real high!
I would recommend to enthusiasts to take the smallest group possible as you’ll want to see every puzzle and moment in this game. Newbies, take a 4 or 5 there are a couple of tricky puzzles that could benefit from a couple of extra brains in a less experienced team.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Keiran was our game-host and was outstanding, delivering an excellent brief and even better story! Cluing us at exactly the right times to nudge us in the right direction it was clear he was paying the utmost attention to our game. Brilliant hosting.

Did we escape?
Yes! in 42 minutes!

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

The Live Escape – Underground

The Live Escape – Underground. Game Date: 24/05/2018. Team: Amy & Ian

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Theme:
“After the Nazis occupy the Yugoslavian capital city of Belgrade, during WW11, partisans, communists and patriots are forced to hide in a network of underground tunnels. They set up a munitions factory under the noses of the Germans and begin to smuggle weapons out, in preparation for the armed resistance to come.

After years of toiling and living underground a number of clues begin to raise suspicions that the leader has sinister intentions for you and the other workers in the tunnels.

Escape is the only way out and your mission is to travel through the underground tunnels and collect 3 guns in order to escape.

Hand pick your most trusted confidants and make your bid for freedom.”

We’ve played a fair few WW2 themed escape rooms and this stands out as one of the most immersive and unique. The space itself is perfect, being situated in actual underground tunnels!
Spacious and with automatic lighting (so areas stay dark when not in use, brilliant!) the atmosphere within the room is incredible! Be aware though, with the natural setting of the room it does get a little grubby – don’t wear your Sunday best!
A great soundtrack gets the pace going and only adds to the immersion.
The space is large and will comfortably fit the max of 6. The decoration is minimal, but with enough to keep you engaged throughout the hour.

Game Play:
A linear game that compromised of plenty of puzzle types, observation, logic, translations, codebreaking, maths & a small amount of searching.
Puzzles had good ah-ha moments, and were good in their logic and perfectly solvable. The design meant that most people will get their moment to shine within the game.
The flow was good, yet there wasn’t massive amounts of signposting there was enough to push you through the game at your own pace.
A nice game, that will please enthusiasts for its story and immersiveness. Newbies will enjoy this game, although there could easily be a few moments where I could see them needing clues.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a chute into the room! Very unique

Game Host:
Olivia was our host, and again was enthusiastic, attentive and friendly. Delivering our single clue right on the edge of frustration! An asset to the company!

Did we escape?
Yes, in 43 minutes.

Website: https://www.theliveescape.co.uk/
Price:
2 players = £42
3 players = £57
4 players = £72
5 players = £85
6 players = £102