You may have heard of Phileas Fogg, the legendary Victorian explorer and inventor. An eccentric chap to say the least, having dismissed his former valet for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F instead of 86 °F. He has made an extraordinary bet of half his personal fortune of £20,000 (worth over £2,000,000.00 in today’s money) that he can travel around the world in 80 days (stemming from an article in The Daily Telegraph stating this journey is now possible in that timeframe). But there’s a complication, the bank of England has been broken into and Detective Fix of Scotland Yard is convinced Fogg is his man and is in hot pursuit.
Team- Ster, Emma, Cat, Emma
Played – 3/1/19
(Reviewed by Ster)
Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures
This experience is unbelievably well themed and the premises is massive, allowing for a real sense of travelling a long way as we passed from room to room. After playing, we had free run of the snooker and games rooms and stayed for a drink in the bar. It’s definitely a place that’s well equipped for parties and groups, with a large tea room available as well!
We were welcomed initially by an in-character host and the experience started with having photos taken in front of a green screen, which yielded great results and we had an opportunity to buy copies at the end of our play.
One thing that I would advise checking before playing is accessibility. I’m sure there are provisions in place, but there are a couple of physical elements to this game that some might find challenging, so definitely ask ahead!
This isn’t a traditional escape room, it’s got a heavy story element and each area has one large puzzle to solve rather than lots of little puzzles, so we were met by a live actor who led us through the experience with a great deal of enthusiasm. There were several locations that we visited and each involved a group challenge with the possibility of finding an artefact if successful, as proof of our travels around the world.
We started in ‘Venice’ and were very impressed with the set design and decoration, something that was of an incredibly high standard throughout the experience, across all 10 puzzle rooms, each decorated with a different country in mind. We played as a 4, so we were joined by a team of 8 who we didn’t know but we had great fun playing together as we progressed through the rooms.
Each country had a different type of puzzle; some were search and find, others involved a bit of team organisation and a couple were pretty active. Overall, there was a great variation with the difficulty, in part dictated by the amount of time our host gave us to complete each challenge. Not that any of the puzzles were overly difficult, it’s an experience that caters towards families as well as groups of adults, but almost every puzzle felt as if we had only just manged to solve it in time. Our host did a great job of creating an exciting atmosphere and it was impossible not to get drawn in to the mild sense of panic, especially when he told us that he was only giving us 2 minutes to solve a puzzle that we knew should take longer!
There were a few story interludes in between puzzle solving, Detective Fix of Scotland Yard was hot on our heels as we moved from place to place and our host carried the story brilliantly. We eventually ended up presenting the artefacts that we had discovered to the Queen, providing another excellent photo opportunity and bringing the story to a fantastic conclusion.
While every part of the experience offered an enjoyable challenge, there were a few rooms that really stood out from the pack. The oriental room seemed massive and involved lots of running around, it was hard to believe that all 12 of us were actually in there while we were working, I’m sure that there were some people I didn’t see in here at all! The saloon themed room also offered a tricky puzzle that required great team coordination and communication, which was good fun even with people we didn’t know as it was towards the end of the experience so we’d had time to get to know each other and could work well together by then. The big stand out though, was the Artic room. I think I’d do the entire experience again just for this one puzzle – it was so much fun! A great room to end on as well as it wasn’t the kind of puzzle that created a stressful atmosphere, just lots of laughter!
One thing that was very clear as we played is that this is easily an experience that can be played again. The puzzles involved physically doing things, be that searching for something or moving puzzle pieces around, so having completed them before wouldn’t necessarily give you an advantage when tackling them with different people. We were also told that no other team had yet managed to recover all of the artefacts, so I’m sure that some teams find it a lot more challenging that we did, it all depends on the group dynamic.
Artefacts recovered – 100%
This experience was fantastic! The set design was incredible and the acting, particularly of our host Kofi, was brilliant. The puzzles weren’t all that that high in difficulty, but that isn’t the point of this experience, it’s the atmosphere and story that really make it stand out. That isn’t to say that the puzzles don’t provide any challenge, just don’t expect any traditional escape room brain burning moments to get stuck on, it’s a fast paced game that will take the allotted amount of time regardless of how well you solve the puzzles. The only disappointment was the price of the pictures at the end, we had to settle for a team selfie in the foyer instead of an official photo!