Cliffhanger Rooms – The Pharaoh’s Curse

Cliffhanger Rooms – The Pharaoh’s Curse
Location: Newby Bridge
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera & Sharan

the-pharaohs-curse.jpg

Theme:
“An incredible discovery in Egypt!

The recent discovery of a pyramid, presumably the resting place of a long-forgotten Pharaoh, has set the world’s imagination afire. Rumours of treasure and unimaginable wealth have been circulating in the media. You assembled a team of leading archaeologists to join you on your mission to reach the inner tomb and discover the identity of this mysterious Egyptian king.

Many teams have ventured into the pyramid before, but none have escaped. The mysterious disappearance of these explorers has led many to believe the Pharaoh had his burial chamber cursed.

You must discover the inner tomb, identify the Pharaoh, and escape within 60 minutes, or else you too may fall victim to the Pharaoh’s curse!”

The game looked good, simple in design but effective in creating the setting of the explorers tent and Pharoah’s resting place. The decor was finished to a high standard and there was nothing that could be mis-interpreted, yet the room still held character and intriuge.
The space was large enough for the maximum team size, and the lighting was good in the tent, and more atmopsheric once into the tomb, but this never impacted on game play.

Game Play:
A linear game that had a good range of word, searching, code-breaking, observation, math, logic and skill. Leaning very much to the word play element (which ticked my boxes!)
Puzzles were all very in their logic, and had all the tropes you would come to expect in an egyptian tomb. There was one puzzle that could benefit from some subtle signposting changes, just to make it more streamlined and clearer.
The ah-ha moments were lovely, engaging and fun.
Flow was great, with the game swiftly moving us from puzzle to puzzle and never slowing us down or sticking us. Signposting was good (save for the puzzle mentioned earlier) and led us clearly through the game.
A great game for enthusiasts and newbies alike… it would be a brilliant game to take a mixed group, and kids especially will love this room.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Wayne was our host and gave us a good brief and friendly welcome.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 38 minutes

Website: https://www.cliffhangerrooms.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £66
4 Players £80
5 Players £90
6 Players £96

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Cliffhanger Rooms – Bank Vault Heist

Cliffhanger Rooms – Bank Vault Heist
Location: Newby Bridge
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera & Sharan

bank-vault-heist
Theme:
“You are a member of a successful crime syndicate, and your specialty has always been safe cracking. Today, you’ll be facing your greatest challenge yet, as you and your team attempt a heist at the Hatton Garden safe.

Your inside man “Basil” has just completed phase one of the heist – he has ensured the building is empty and gained access to the manager’s office, where the door to the vault awaits. He has assessed the situation and has reported that this particular vault is going to be difficult to compromise. Basil has discreetly hidden clues, tools and hints around the office which you will need to complete your job as safe cracker.

Basil also reports that he has suspended the security system for 55 minutes. After that amount of time, the alarm will be activated, and you will have 5 minutes from that point to escape before law enforcement arrives.

If you do manage to enter the vault, you will have to make a crucial decision: take the available money and run, or stay just a little longer to try to significantly increase your take.”

Theming was a good as could be for an office, clean and finished to a high standard. There was some immersion within the room, but it was restrcited by the office theme. The space was large enough for 6 people and well lit.

Game Play:
A linear game, that had a good mix of puzzles, word, maths, searching, observation.
Puzzles were generally good, with decent Ah-ha moments… although a couple of puzzles were repetetive and a strain on the eyes, that was one puzzle I was grateful that we had a team of 4.
The Flow of the room was slow, with big connections being needed to be made, but it wound up towards the end of the game which made for a more impressive and exciting finale.
A good room that felt subdued by some of its stereotypical puzzles. It was still enjoyable and had some very nice moments.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Wayne was our host and gave us a good brief and friendly welcome.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 38 minutes

Website: https://www.cliffhangerrooms.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £66
4 Players £80
5 Players £90
6 Players £96

Cliffhanger Rooms – The Haunted Pirate Ship

Cliffhanger Rooms – The Haunted Pirate Ship
Location: Newby Bridge
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera & Sharan

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Theme:
“You are the crew aboard Blackbeard’s ship, haunted by the late captain’s ghost, who cannot rest until his debt has been paid. Treasure on board has been pillaged and plundered from enemy ships, but only a certain kind of treasure will help you and your crew. Before Blackbeard’s untimely death, 8 gold coins were stashed around the ship, the locations were never revealed but a series of puzzles and codes were left behind to ensure that only the most cunning of pirates could succeed.”

Theming was lovely, with excellent attention to detail and a high standard of finish, not a massive space, but a charming one with nothing out of place or distracting but plenty to look at and interactive.
Any more than 5 people may be a little bit tight, and lighting was good throughout.

Game Play:
An open game which compromised of word, math, observation, searching, code breaking, translating and some light physical tasks.
All the puzzles were excellent in their logic, with nice ah-ha moments popping up. This game had charm and kept on delighting us throughout.
Flow was excellent, with clear signposting that led us smoothly from puzzle to puzzle.
A great game for beginners and experienced players alike that was just satisfying, well honed and logical.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Wayne was our host and gave us a good brief and friendly welcome.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 20 minutes

Website: https://www.cliffhangerrooms.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £50
3 Players £66
4 Players £80
5 Players £90
6 Players £96

Lancaster Escapes – Escape the Noose

Lancaster Escapes – Escape the Noose
Location: Lancaster
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera, Sharon

witches

Theme:
“The year is 1612, and you have been arrested and tried for being a witch…and found guilty! You have one hour until you meet your fate; the hangman’s noose. However, before you the Pendle witches have left you clues and puzzles to help you escape. Can you find your way out before it’s too late?”

Theming was sparse but decent, with an attempt at immersion being considered, there was nothing out of place or that could be thought of as red herrings. The space was large enough for 6 players. The light was atmospherically low, and there were moments of complete darkness.

Game Play:
A linear game that had a good mix of puzzles, word, logic, observation, searching being the main puzzle types in this room.
The puzzles were logical, and straightforward, with nice ah-ha moments
The flow was good, with no particular sticking points, excepet for some moments of complete darkness that increased difficulty.
Signposting was a little better with some sublte signposting throughout the game, and no logic leaps.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via walkie talkie

Game Host:
Our game host delivered a good brief and story.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 23 minutes

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

Peak:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Off Peak:
2 Players £38
3 Players £51
4 Players £64
5 Players £75
6 Players £84

Lancaster Escapes – Framed

Lancaster Escapes – Framed
Location: Lancaster
Game Date: 01/09/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Sera, Sharon

police

Theme:
“You’ve been framed for the murder of a police officer and have been taken into the station. You’ve not got long until the real suspect can destroy all evidence linking themselves to the crime. Can you find the clues to escape, whilst also locating the evidence to work out who the real villain is?”

Theming was OK, the space was decorated well with enough detail to create a fairly immersive space. The space was large and well lit with more than enough space to accomodate the maximum 6 players

Game Play:
A Linear game that had some nice puzzles, consiting of word, logic, math and searching.
The puzzles were logical for the most part, but a couple required small logic leaps and some critical thinking.
Flow for the most part was OK, but was a bit sticky when we hit the points with logic leaps. The signposting was minimal.
The game was for the most part enjoyable, and had some nice moments, especially in the beginning of the game.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a walkie talkie

Game Host:
Our game host was the owner of Lancaster Escape and he delivered a good, fun brief and clues when we requested them

Did we escape?
Yes, in about 41 minutes

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

Peak:
2 Players £44
3 Players £60
4 Players £72
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Off Peak:
2 Players £38
3 Players £51
4 Players £64
5 Players £75
6 Players £84

Escapism Chester – Legacy

Escapism Chester – Legacy
Location: Chester
Game Date: 30/08/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

legacy

Theme:
“An old will has been uncovered from a distant relative. It explains that a vast number of jewels have been buried with them ready to be found by one of their heirs. However, it won’t be no easy task, there will be a few obstacles along the way and the crypt keeper patrols every hour.

Discover your legacy and claim what is rightfully yours!”

Theming was great in Legacy, with the outdoor graveyard leading into the vault looking great. The finish was excellent in the room and it was clean and tidy, with nothing out of place or being able to be misconstrued as a puzzle.
The space was lit well, and large, A team of 6 will have no problem in this room.

Game Play:
An open game that was beautifully constructed, with plenty of different puzzle types, observation, word, physical, searching, logic, smell, skill.
The puzzles were all on theme, and great in their logic with lovely fun ah-ha moment that gave an excellent satisfaction and no ambiguity in the answers.
Flow was great with clear, clean signposting that guided you to the puzzles and left you in no doubt of the answers but left you towork out the puzzles in a logical and enjoyable way.
There was a mechanic used in the room which was cheeky, but when all was said and done was a unique twist that surprised us and left us fooled but amused!
Enthusiasts, take a 2 as this is a game where you’ll want to experience all the puzzles and goodies this room has to offer. Newbies, 4 will be plenty!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Our Game host was friendly, welcoming and delivered clues with excellent timing

Did we escape?
Yes, in 45 Minutes

Website:
Price:
Peak:
2 Players £40
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £70
6 Players £90

Off Peak:
2 Players £36
3 Players £45
4 Players £56
5 Players £60
6 Players £72

Breakout Manchester – Enchanted

Breakout Manchester – Enchanted.
Location: Manchester
Game Date: 29/08/2018
Team: Amy, Ian, Simon & Jess

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Theme:
“You are in the Wizarding section of the local library. You notice a book you’ve never seen before. Drawn to it, you start to thumb through the dusty pages of the book…

The next thing you know you wake up in an enchanted forest! After walking for what seems like hours, and encountering many strange creatures along the way, you find yourselves at a house made of gingerbread and sweets. Should you enter the house or stay away? Will your sweet tooth get the better of you? Can you escape the trap laid out for you, before the witch returns to eat you?

Beware! This challenge is a little Grimm and may not suit the faint of heart!”

Enchanted was decorated nicely, if not a little cluttered. There was lots to look at, touch and explore, but not much of it impacted on game play. The space was well in theme and atmospherically lit. The space wasn’t too large and any more than 4 people would be a squeeze.

Game Play:
A mostly linear game that had a decent mix of puzzles, word, logic, (light) physical, observation.
The flow was steady, once we got into the main area of the game, a split start meant that half the team had nothing to do for a while which was a bit stifiling to the flow of the room.
Signposting was limited, with some of the puzzles requiring us to make subtle and small leaps of logic to gain the answers, once those leaps were made the puzzles were enjoyable and had nice ah-ha moments.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Our game host was excellent, delivering a brilliant brief and excellent clues throughout

Did we escape?
Yes, in 51 Minutes

Website: https://breakoutmanchester.com
Price:

Peak
2 Players £40
3 Players £57
4 Players £72
5 Players £80

Off Peak
2 Players £36
3 Players £48
4 Players £60
5 Players £70

Xscape Now – Houdini’s Mysterium

Xscape Now – Houdini’s Mysterium
Location: Telford
Game Date: 25/08/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

XscapeNow! ed

Theme:
“It seemed like it would be fun.

The local museum was putting on a Houdini exhibition and had invited a magician to demonstrate some of Houdini’s magic and escapology. They promised that you’d learn how to escape.

There was certainly plenty of Houdini’s props around – chains, crates and milk cans. But from the moment you met him, something about Corbin the magician didn’t seem right. He was shifty and kept saying that there would be no escape tonight.

Then he was gone; disappeared into the ether, leaving you trapped.

Can you summon the spirit of Houdini to aid your escape?”

Theming was lovely, with the museum setting creating an immersive, and reflective space. There was plenty of seating around to take the weight off and the pictures adorning the walls all gave insight into Harry Houdini himself and helped aid the immersion.
The game was large and well lit, and finished to a high standard and this continued throughout the game.

Game Play:
Naturally, in a game concerning Harry Houdini, one expects to be handcuffed for a small amout of the game… let it be said that by PERSONAL preference, we are not fans of handcuffs as they tend to hurt a fair bit – so this became a problem as we missed a key search and were in the cuffs for the entire hour.
The game was quite linear in nature and had several different puzzle types, word, decoding, observation, maths, logic, and codebreaking.
The puzzles were good, and sound in their excecution and some fitted well with the Houdini theme. It felt that a couple of puzzles were thrown in by NERD as time sinks, and granted us with long, drawn out solving that what compounded by the fact we were handcuffed!
The flow was decent, and time sinks aside the game moved along at a good pace. Signposting had moments of brilliance (which had been put in by the owners!) and moments of madness (which I assume are NERD!) – there were connections and leaps that I would never have got unless I was told (maybe we were addled from a week long binge though, another day we may have clicked onto the room much better)
All in all this is a decent room, and I can see through our cuffs and with some critical thinking, knowing that being cuffed for the hour really impacted on what would have been a fun and enjoyable room, sans the handcuffs!
Moral of the story is… don’t be like us and be too shy to ask where the handcuff key is!
Enthusiasts, rise to the challenge and take a small team, newbies, a larger team will bode well!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Gordon was our game host and was incredibly welcoming and friendly, and delivered us hints well, especially when we had a massive math malfunction (which happens often!) We would have defintely been locked in forever if Gordon hadn’t helped us out!

Did we escape?
Yes, but by the skin of our teeth with 30 seconds left on the clock!

Website: https://www.xscapenow.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £46
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Xscape Now – Red Planet Panic

Xscape Now – Red Planet Panic
Location: Telford
Game Date: 25/08/2018
Team: Amy & Ian

rpp

Theme:
“Your mission to Mars has been a success so far, but now your life is in danger!

The Red Planet is being bombarded by a meteor storm and Mission Control has predicted a direct hit on your base. They have issued an order to evacuate and to head back home.

Can you get your rocket launched before the meteor strikes? Your life depends on it!”

Theming was good, stark and clinical, but finished to a high standard. The space was immersive and minimalist, which left no worries about red herrings or distractions.
The space was large and well lit with more than enough room for the maximum team size

Game Play:
A liner game that consisted of observation, word, logic, physical and searching puzzles.
The puzzles were all logical and some had nice ah-ha moments and pleasing answers that were not ambiguous in nature, mostly in keeping with the them of the room, and enjoyable.
The flow was smooth. Not too sticky or stalling, signposting could have been clearer, there were a few moments where a little bit more would have clarified some puzzles, but at other moments it was good.
A game that would be a great intro to escape rooms with plenty of fun, on theme puzzles.

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Our game host was great, very welcoming and delivered a good brief and ample clues throughout the hour.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 44 minutes

Website: https://www.xscapenow.co.uk/
Price:
2 Players £46
3 Players £63
4 Players £76
5 Players £85
6 Players £90

Tulley’s Escape – Nethercott Manor

Tulley’s Escape – Nethercott Manor
Location: Crawley
Game Date: 24/08/2018
Team: Amy, Ian & Jane

nethercott.png

Theme:
“The old manor house is entwined with local legend, the living don’t remember the Nethercott’s, the family’s hay day was long ago. Local folk talked, whispers were heard, rumours began, lights were seen within.

The Nethercott’s are long gone but something remains, an essence, a smell, a feeling, it’s in the fabric, in the walls, under the floor boards … it ticks, it creeks … take a trip into the past, uncover the family’s many secrets and glimpse their fleeting souls?”

Nethercott is HUGE. This is a game that just keeps on giving, with many, many spaces to explore. It really deserves the title of “Escape Manor”
The theming was astounding, think “theme park” and you’re along the right lines. There certainly is no expense spared in terms of attention to detail and thought put into this room, it is impeccable. From the court-yard to the kitchen no minor detail is overlooked, creating a living, breathing and 100% immersive space.
It’s really unfair to compare Tulley’s to any other escape room as what they’re building is truley world class, and would stand up against anything the major themeparks could build, it’s a Disney standard and quality product.
Nethercott’s set was as close to perfection as they come, creating the utmost in atomsphere. Creepy, edgy, but not scary and OH so much fun (think along the lines of Addams Family, or The Haunted Mansion rather than Shocktoberfest or Farmaggedon!)
Lighting was atmospheric, but never too dark to impede play.

Game Play:
An open game that was packed full of every type of puzzle imaginable. Sound, Smell, Touch, Physical, Logical, Observation, Skill, Memory, Decoding, Word (oohhh plenty of words!) just to name a few! All the puzzles were incredibly logical, exemplary in their excecution and on theme.
There were times when we were all working on something completely different, speeding through puzzles and working our socks off, such is the flow of the game. It’s an incredibly fast paced game, in which if you’re standing round doing nothing, then you’re doing it wrong! This gave the flow of the game a slick feel and allowed us to power through the puzzles with (relative) ease.
This game is going to have something for everyone to enjoy, solve and conquer since there are SO many puzzles to solve.
The interaction within the room was great, giving the space more character and realism, sometimes aiding us, and at othertimes giving us a spook!
The ending of the room is absoloutley delightful, and incredibly fitting to behold, and quite charming!
Needless to say, this room is a must MUST do and a real challenge, but it is OH so enjoyable. Enthusiasts, take as small a team as you dare, prepare to work hard and reap the benefits.
Newbies, take a bigger team, revel in the atmosphere and solve as much as you can!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a disembodied voice…

Game Host:
Tim was our game host, he delivered a thorough brief and good clues throughout the game

Did we escape?
Yes, in 51 minutes

Website: https://www.tulleysescape.com
Price:
Weekdays:
2 Players £56
3 Players £78
4 Players £96
5 Players £110
6 Players £120
7 Players £133
8 Players £144

Weekends:
2 Players £60
3 Players £84
4 Players £104
5 Players £120
6 Players £132
7 Players £147
8 Players £160