Codetoexit

Code to exit – The Dark Ages

From https://www.codetoexit.com/

This team game takes you back to the time of the Legend of Camelot. By revealing the secrets of the castle, you will be able to rescue the mystical Excalibur. Once you have the mythical sword you are only a step away from acquiring the Holy Grail. You need team work, skills and excellent powers of observation to complete the mission in time and escape the room.

dark_ages_1

Team- Ster, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Code to exit

Our visit to Code to exit wasn’t planned, we happened to be staying at a hotel down the road and had a spare 2 hours before the wedding that we’d travelled up for. The time from discovering the company existed to being inside the room was less than 30 minutes, and they coped very well with us calling up and telling them that we wanted to play immediately!

Inside Code to exit there was a small waiting area with a couple of sofas, though we were only kept there for about 5 minutes for a quick briefing before heading down to the basement. In the entryway we could hear a bit of what was going on in the other 2 two rooms, but not enough to give anything way, just enough to know that the teams inside were having fun!

The Room

This room had great decoration and the puzzles were well designed to fit with the theme. We were given a few tips before going inside, the main one being that we might need to be patient and take our time with some of the puzzles and that was definitely true for one of the first puzzles that we found. It wasn’t difficult to work out what needed to be done, but it took a lot of patience to achieve and was one of those puzzles that can only be completed by one person.

It was a little frustrating and we passed it around between us a few times before finally completing it. I have to admit that was a bit disappointed to miss out on some of the other interesting looking puzzles that the boys solved while I was working on that one task, one in particular was something that we hadn’t come across before and sounded like a lot of fun as I heard them solving it behind me!

There was a lot to do in this room and the non-linear structure meant that we ended up tackling pretty much everything at once. At one point I started a puzzle and then put it down to help with a different puzzle and ended up completely forgetting to come back to it! But that busy, chaotic atmosphere is what we tend to enjoy as a team, discovering and sharing things and also dragging people away to help when a solution requires more than one person

The only time when we got really stuck was when we opened a box and didn’t see the tiny key inside, so it was our own stupidity rather than the flow of the game that slowed us down! The puzzles weren’t overly challenging, but they were fun and the fact that some of them took a bit of time meant that the room didn’t feel easy, even though we didn’t struggle too much and the escape ended with a puzzle which was great fun and fitted in brilliantly with the theme of the room.

Simon – When we were told that we would be playing the basement, I was a little wary and expected a dark, damp, poorly decorated room. Thankfully I was wrong! This room was really well themed and the space, although small, was used really really well. The variety of puzzles in here was fantastic, although I did feel a bit sorry for Ster being stuck on the one puzzle that she mentioned for a while. Were we in a different team, I think we could have really struggled to complete this room due to that puzzle. However, the rest of the game flowed really well – the automation was good and we felt a sense of achievement upon completion. A great room!

2018 code to exit

Escape time – 40 minutes

Score

This room was really enjoyable, the puzzles were interesting and flowed brilliantly and the theming of the room was great. The aspect of having to physically obtain the sword before being able to access the Holy Grail that we were after was great fun and the variety of different puzzles meant that the room was interesting and engaging to play.

Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

4/5

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Break Escape, Loughborough

Break Escape – Enchanted Forest

From http://www.breakescape.co.uk

A portal has been discovered that leads through to another world. The realm is under the control of a dark enchantress, and the forest sleeps. Can you wake it, and find a rare blue gem before the enchantress and make your escape?!

room-04_img01.jpg

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Break Escape

This was the second room that we played at Break Escape on this visit and, despite the fact that we’d booked with a 45 minute time gap between them, our host was great at getting us straight into this room after finishing Sands of Time, which we all appreciated as we had a fairly long journey home afterwards! He also gave us a shortened briefing for our second escape here, just covering the essentials as we’d had the general stuff before playing Sands of Time.

I’m really impressed with Break Escape as a company, our host has always been very friendly and welcoming and has also made our visits feel personalised. The graffiti up the walls left by previous teams is good fun to add to at the end, even if some of it is not entirely suitable for younger players! And we’ve always left feeling like we can’t wait to come back, so we’re hoping for some new rooms soon!

The Room

The beginning of this room was superbly themed! There is a brief section of getting through the portal before entering ‘Narnia’ which really made us all smile. It was brilliantly executed and the puzzles were good fun too, requiring a bit of thinking and teamwork which we all enjoyed.

This escape is incredibly well decorated and we spread out amongst the puzzles enjoying the fact that the room didn’t have a completely linear structure. There was one fiddly little puzzle which Ni and I passed backwards and forwards between us because it was frustrating and time consuming and very easy to get fed up with! There were a couple of other frustrating puzzles that we discovered right at the start as well but they were so frustrating that we didn’t spend all that long worrying about them as they gained us time back at the end rather than aiding our actual escape.

I liked the idea of a key and padlock deposit box to put opened locks and their keys and if we forgot to use it, the wise owl in the corner would reminded us. Its main purpose is to stop anything getting in the way of the automated sections, which worked very smoothly, but it was also useful to stop anything getting lost or mixed up as we worked our way through. I found the wise owl a fun way of interacting with our host while keeping the theme more immersive, he was there to prod us in the right direction but also had a few sarcastic quips up his sleeve (or wing) which we all enjoyed.

The puzzles in this room require a bit of deduction and observation to complete and the whole team was brought together at the end, not because the puzzle required 4 people to complete, but because we found a strategy that worked and went for it! I found the puzzles in this room really enjoyable and while they weren’t too difficult, they took a bit of thought to work out and the answers weren’t always immediately obvious, which meant that we all felt challenged as we played.

There was a good variety of puzzles as well, less padlocky and more deduction, observation and riddles than the other rooms at Break Escapes, making it a really unique experience. The puzzles were also pretty well themed and, while the room wasn’t completely linear, different aspects did lead us in certain directions and there were some cumulative moments that gave the story a bit of structure.

Ni – This room is actually Narnia! Worth doing for the theming alone as it’s truly awesome 🙂

Simon – When I heard about the theme of this room, I was very keen to do it, and this definitely paid off. This room is really well themed, with the entrance being a particular highlight! Most of the puzzles are very cleverly constructed and fit with the game well, however there was one which we got a hint for, and I struggled to see how this would have been solvable without the hint. Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed the room. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely enjoyable! I appreciated our host’s sense of humour throughout and would recommend this room to others.

Break escape 29.10.18

Escape time – 43:25

Score

We all really enjoyed this room! The theming and decoration was brilliant and there was a variety of puzzles which were good fun while being challenging at the same time.

Difficulty

4/5

Overall

4/5

Break Escape, Loughborough

Break Escape – Sands of Time

From http://www.breakescape.co.uk/

There’s a strong rumour about a treasure hunter finding lost gems within a tomb known as The Sands Of Time. Dr Nubis could never escape which was believed to be because of his greed. He’s set an array of puzzles & traps to make sure no one else can get their hands on his loot. Do you have what it takes to go one step further?!?!

sands of time

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Break Escape

Two of us had visited Break Escape before and we returned with the rest of the team to tackle a couple of their other rooms. We were met by the same host, who was as enthusiastic and friendly as he had been on our previous visit, and while Break Escape has a fairly large waiting area, we have never spent any time there because they’re very efficient at getting teams to their rooms! There are comfy chairs and water available in the entrance though, which is where pictures are taken at the end as well.

The Room

We were given 2 torches when we entered this room and that was the only source of light we had while playing. I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be with 6 people as we struggled enough with 4! It took us a little while to get into the rhythm of pairing up to look at things, but to be honest we probably spent more time arguing about light than we did actually sharing it – clearly not one of our strong points!

The first part of this room created a few disagreements, partly because clues were spread around and we couldn’t quite manage to coordinate the torches so that we could see everything that we needed to! We also came across a fiddly little puzzle that took up one of the torches for a fair amount of time as we struggled to complete it. It probably wouldn’t take most teams as long as it took us, but after I completed 90% of it 3 times and then tried to pass the final stage on to Simon, who couldn’t complete the beginning of the puzzle but was tall enough to see the ending, we finally just passed the whole thing over to Ni, who is slightly taller than me and so could complete the whole thing by herself!

The puzzles in this room were interesting and some of them took us a bit of time to figure out, in between our torch arguments! They fit well with the theme of the room and required us to pause for a moment and think them over. We always enjoy rooms that require a bit of teamwork, and this was no exception.

Ni – The lack of light was frustrating, it definitely showed us our lack of patience with one another! The room (when we could see it!) was well themed and had a nice variety of puzzles to keep us occupied, lots of team work and pairing up, which I always appreciate. I also enjoyed how the room kept forcing us to go back on ourselves to go forwards, which made playing the room feel like watching the Lord of the Rings movies, you kept thinking you’d made it to the end…

Simon – I sometimes feel that the Egyptian theme has been overdone, but actually I think the darkness works in this room’s favour, as it means that the theming can be basic but still realistic. Ok, the lack of torches was a bit frustrating, but we managed. The puzzles in here fitted the theme well, although there was another annoying dexterity puzzle which I’m absolutely useless at. Apart from one other puzzle, I thought the level of difficulty was about right. I liked the way this room kept opening up and it pretty much felt like there was always something to do.

Break escape 29.10.18

Escape time – 42:31

Score

This room was pretty good fun, the fact that the only light inside was what we took in with us really added to the theme and the puzzles were interesting to complete. I think that there could have been a few more puzzles inside just to make it that little bit more challenging, but overall it was an enjoyable experience with well themed puzzles and a great escape at the end.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

3.5/5

Hour escape, Loughborough

Hour Escape – Escape The Gallery

From http://hourescape.co.uk/

You and your team have been caught stealing a priceless work of art.
Security are holding you until the police arrive in 60 minutes.
Do you have what it takes to escape the gallery in time?

escape-the-gallery-v4

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Hour Escape

We were a bit late arriving to Hour Escape, having had a slow moving journey down from Manchester, so I was a bit surprised that the room wasn’t ready when we turned up. It hadn’t been reset properly and our poor host was running around looking for a vital piece of the room that was missing, she was on the phone to a colleague when we arrived trying to track it down, so we sat in the waiting area for a few minutes.

It’s not the biggest place to wait, and on the day we went it was very cold which made us anxious to get going! There was quite a long introduction as the game has a secondary objective as well as escaping and we were tasked with finding money, gems, gold bars and rings while inside which would add up to time taken from our score if we brought them out at the end.

The Room

Inside, I really enjoyed the first puzzle, it could have become tedious but it was kept to a sensible length and we progressed to the next part fairly quickly. Once in the room proper, we were confronted with a room full of shelves and bookcases which were jam packed with the notes and gems that we needed to collect. It was easy to get caught up in finding these items rather than looking for puzzles but the team split quite naturally into treasure hunters and puzzle solvers so we didn’t waste too much time.

There were a few puzzles to work through in this room but there wasn’t anything that we got stuck on, meaning that we moved through it all quite quickly. After the initial treasure hunt, the next stage involved a puzzle which required all of us to solve as it would have taken a long time if one person worked through it alone. It wasn’t a complicated puzzle, it just took a bit of time to complete and was a nice way of bringing the team back together after the mad dash of finding treasure.

The final puzzle was maths orientated, which meant that Simon was in his element, and I busied myself solving a puzzle which we’d already worked out was a red herring, but I was having fun with so continued anyway! I definitely think that a team of beginners could struggle in here, especially with the distraction of the bank notes everywhere, but we didn’t feel particularly stretched and we burst out of the door a good 10 minutes ahead of the previous record.

Ni – This was definitely a tear everything apart room! It was actually quite light on puzzles and while the treasure hunting aspect was a good filler for when we hadn’t found the next puzzle, I did begin to get fed up with just finding things, rather than finding puzzles to solve. Probably a good beginner game, but not that much to stretch any seasoned escapers.

Simon – An interesting concept for a room. Ni is right when she says it’s a ‘tear everything apart’ room, and the focus did seem to be on the treasure hunting at times. This did mean that everyone was busy for most of the room, which can be quite unusual. The puzzles in here were ok – there was nothing that we’d not seen before, but that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy them. Overall, this was an enjoyable room. Although I can see why the finding aspect might put hardcore escapers off, this was a light-hearted room which could be enjoyed by most teams.

Stuart – I really enjoyed this room and particularly the element of collecting things while trying to break out. This made the room unique and it’s easy to see why people might get distracted, which adds another element to the game. As said above we were running late and it was really appreciated that they held the room for us and put our mind at ease. The host herself was lovely and very friendly. The room itself had loads to do in it and loads of places to search and look, which is great for bigger teams. The theming was good and the puzzles in places were challenging and some we had never seen before. For our team the room was a little too simple and didn’t have that one big challenge we often find. It was a nice and enjoyable game and perfect for new teams.

Hour escape the gallery 29.10.18

Escape time – 25:31

Score

This room was enjoyable, but not particularly difficult, though the treasure hunt provided an extra element to keep us all entertained as we blitzed through. I’d recommend the room to beginners who haven’t played a lot of games as the gems were fun and I liked that the second stage brought the whole team in together.

Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

3/5

Breakin', London

Breakin’ Escape – Heist Plan

From https://breakinescaperooms.co.uk/

You are part of a gang of street racers planning a major heist in New York City. Your goal is to hit the 5 major banks in Manhattan in one night, under the cover of an illegal street race where you will be participating with two of your tuned up cars.

Everything was set for tonight but all your plans went haywire when one of your rival gangs broke into your garage, stole one of your cars and wrecked the other one.

Now you have only one hour to fix the engine of your broken car, find the car park where they have taken you second car and steal it back and then make it in time to the race and finish the job. Do you think your crew has what it takes?

heist plan

Team 1 – Simon, Stu, Mark, Jackie

Played – 11/8/18

Team 2 – Ster, Ni, Rachel, Ben, Anna

Played – 8/11/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Breakin’

Breakin was easy to find, just a few minutes walk from Highbury and Islington station and we were all really impressed with their waiting area, lots of seating and well decorated too. The doors to the rooms in this place are all really well themed and we were picking the room that we wanted to try next based on their door decorations!

There isn’t a great deal of interaction with the hosts here, a cheery hello when we arrived and a quick briefing before we went in followed by a quick photo opportunity on our way out and then we were left to our own devices on the sofas. We really liked this approach as our team was full of Londoners who were all heading off in different directions, so it was nice to have somewhere to chat afterwards without the pressure of needing to be out of the way for the next team as space really isn’t an issue here! The first team of Simon, Stu, Mark and Jackie found it a bit impersonal and would rather have had a bit more input from the host, so I guess it depends what you’re looking for!

The Room

This room was really well decorated and the puzzles were interesting and different, with some physical aspects that we had a great deal of fun with! We did get something stuck and have to call someone in to unstick us during a puzzle very early on, but it was just the nature of the equipment and it didn’t really slow us down as once we’d seen it be unstuck we could unstick ourselves the next time, and we were having quite a lot of fun with it!

The clues are given via a tablet mounted near the door and need to be requested via the walkie talkie. We only asked for a clue once so we didn’t really have much of an opinion of the system – it worked fine the one time we used it! The first team didn’t get on with it so well and found it a little frustrating. When a clue is requested a code is sent through that will unlock a clue on the tablet. Each puzzle has a number of clues and they seem to be given in a pre-set order, so team 1 were given 2 clues that didn’t help them at all before finally receiving enough information to continue which was quite frustrating for them.

The puzzles in this room are pretty linear, though we managed a couple out of order as we played through. While I’m not usually a fan of linear rooms, I did enjoy the story of this one and it was easy to get everyone involved with the different puzzles so it didn’t feel as restrictive as some linear gameplay can do. The story was also building to a conclusion, which wouldn’t have worked if the puzzles had been completed in a different order so the set up did work pretty well.

The penultimate puzzle was an interesting one, and I can see why the first team were frustrated by it (as always, their comments are below) but while I agree that it has its flaws – it’s fiddly, slightly repetitive and could probably be improved by higher quality equipment – I really enjoyed the way that, even in a team of 5, everyone found a role to fill. We ended up with 2 up front, 2 in the back and a communicator in between yelling instructions between the pairs and it worked really well. Admittedly, not everyone was necessarily playing a key role, but in a puzzle that took a little bit of time to complete, it was nice that everyone felt involved in some way and it fit really well with the theme of the room as a final task in the linear structure of the game. It was also pretty entertaining and it made us all smile when we discovered it, everyone falling to their different roles quite naturally depending on what they thought was part of their skill set.

The final puzzle was a bit of an anti-climax to be honest. I liked that it tied up the last part of the story, but it was a solo puzzle that 4 of us just watched which wasn’t the greatest ending to a room, but we really enjoyed the previous elements and it was an interesting way of finishing up the story of the game that did have us all smiling and laughing, even if it wasn’t challenging all of our minds as we did it!

Ni – I had a great time in this room! The majority of the puzzles are physical puzzles, which I am fond of, and meant they were things we don’t often see. It definitely isn’t a taxing room for keen escapers, but we did all have a real laugh as we played through, and we came out smiling, which always impresses me!

Simon – There were some interesting ideas and puzzles in this room and we quite enjoyed the first half of the game. Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, we had major problems with the penultimate puzzle – the equipment was not as accurate or as reliable as it should have been, causing us to need to call members of the team into the room to fix this multiple times, breaking our immersion in the game. Had this part of the game been shorter, I don’t think we’d have had an issue, however we spent about a third of our time on this section. Unfortunately, for our team, this experience soured the game overall.

Stuart – This room started off so well. The puzzles were enjoyable and we saw a couple of puzzles we had never seen before. As a team who don’t like to ask for hints, getting 2 hints for things we’d already done was frustrating and time wasting. The puzzle mentioned above in the review was the most annoying part of an escape game we have ever done. It was a nice idea but relied too heavily on equipment working well (which it wasn’t) and the players doing things in a certain way (which was too easy not to do!). Hosting was poor and not engaging, the constant interruptions to fix the broken puzzle ruined the game and the ending was anti-climactic and disappointing.

2018 Breakin Escape 2 - 10th Aug

Team 1 escape time – about 50 minutes

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Team 2 escape time – 38:03

Score

As a team, we have pretty divided opinions of this room! The second team really enjoyed it and had a great time, the puzzles were different and good fun and the room worked really well with the new players that we’d taken along – we’re looking forward to going back in the future! The first team thought that the theming was great and enjoyed the majority of the game, but really hated the ending.

Due to our different opinions and experiences, we’re giving this room 2 different scores as we can’t agree, you’ll have to visit and decide for yourselves!

Team 1 scores                        Team 2 scores

Difficulty                                 Difficulty

2.5/5                                           3/5

Overall                                     Overall

2/5                                              3.5/5

 

 

 

 

 

Disley, Extremescape

Extremescape – Lost Tomb

From https://extremescape.co.uk/

Your team of adventurers & archeologists, enter an abandoned gold mine in the heart of the Mexican mountains, your mission is to find the hidden gold.

Legend says that the holder of the hidden gold of El Narangel will find the Lost Tomb.

The miners left subtle clues & hints, if you use all your skills you may find the hidden gold and ultimately the Lost Tomb but be careful they the miners won’t give up their gold easily.

lost tomb

Team  – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/10/2018

(Reviewed by Ster)

Extremescape

Extremescape is in a pretty unique location and we did start doubting if we were heading in the right direction before we saw the signs leading us down a fairly narrow trackway to a car park with an amazing view of the surrounding hills!

When we arrived our host was very friendly and welcoming and we had a few minutes to chat about our favourite escapes as every member of our team wanted to go to the toilet before we started – one of the downsides of a 90 minute room!

The Room

This room is brilliantly themed and decorated, first starting in an abandoned gold mine and then moving on to a Mayan tomb through an amazing puzzle which had us all excited as we yelled at each other in a pretty confined space and laughed at the practicality of starting in the middle instead of somewhere slightly more logical! The entryway to this escape houses a fantastic puzzle and our hosts even took us back through to show us what would have happened if we’d got it wrong, and I think it’s worth getting it wrong to experience what happens, it’s just brilliantly done.

After the first puzzle we were searching through an abandoned gold mine, which had two puzzles in particular that wowed us all, even if Stu did keep complaining about getting wet (he wouldn’t stand back)! If we started down the wrong path, or attempted a particularly ridiculous solution to a puzzle, we were chastised by a voice that echoed around the room and gently mocked us, which we all found pretty entertaining. Actual clues were delivered via a screen that also showed our time. At one point we took a turn for the particularly stupid, despite Ni’s best efforts to stop us, and the clue that flashed up just told us that we were all doomed now, which made us laugh a lot considering how ridiculous our mistake was, though we were told at the end that 90% of teams make the same mistake so we didn’t feel quite so bad about it!

The gold mine was a lot of fun, we did have a few moments of everybody standing still and wondering what we were supposed to be doing, but those moments were also spent marvelling at how well themed and decorated this place is. The automation is also absolutely brilliant, everything worked perfectly and any room that begins with every member of the team saying something along the lines of; that was bloody brilliant, is off to a pretty good start!

The Mayan tomb had some great puzzles in it too, as well as some more wonderfully engineered automation, even if I did spend the entire time in there creeping around very cautiously because our friendly hint giver had told us that there would be spiders inside! We came across one puzzle which really played to our team’s most serious weakness – describing things in a way that the others understand. After a few minutes of looking at each other in complete confusion, we had to resort to everyone running around looking at everything themselves because, as we’ve discovered in previous escapes, we have very different ways of describing the same things!

We burst out of this room thinking that there were more puzzles to solve because even the room for the debrief is brilliantly themed! Our hosts were as fantastic at the end as they had been at the beginning and very efficient in printing off a new leaderboard so that we could include it in our team picture and also had one to take home with us.

Simon – This is a room that definitely has the wow factor. From beginning to end this game impressed at every turn, with amazing theming, fantastic automation and great variety of puzzles. This is a game that I would highly recommend and I am definitely looking forward to making a return trip for their other (by the time we make it) two games.

Stuart – This room is located in a very unique location. As we drove down the long driveway, I did start to wonder to myself what type of room we would find at the end? The answer was a game that amazes and surprises from the word go and easily ranks in the top 3 games we have played to date! The theming is spot on, the puzzle and searching elements balance perfectly and the hosts were lovely and welcoming! I look forward to returning.

Lost Tomb 29.10.18

Escape time – 58:22

Score

As we walked away from this room we were already planning a return visit to play Pirate Ship, the scale and the level of theming in this place are pretty much unmatched in any other escape that we have played and the puzzles were great fun to get stuck in to. It definitely ranks firmly in our top 3 games and I can’t wait to see what else they have in store here!

Difficulty

4/5

Overall

5/5

Enigma Quests, London

Enigma Quests – School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

From https://enigmaquests.london/

Ever wanted to have magical abilities? You now have a chance to graduate from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and prove everyone that you are a true witch or wizard!

This is not an easy task, and will require you to be focused as never before. Your team will face obstacles and tests requiring cooperation and some bravery. Remember, every minute counts!

On your quest to becoming a witch or wizard, you will learn new skills and gain knowledge to help you pass all exams and defeat the dark forces. Are you ready for the challenge?

1007_Image

Team 1 – Ni, Rachel, Ben, Martin, Fiona

Played – September 2016

Team 2 – Ster, Simon, Stu, Ros

Played – 15/2/17

(Reviewed by Ster)

Enigma Quests

Enigma Quest isn’t housed in the prettiest of buildings, but they have a great waiting area with puzzles and table football to keep you entertained while you wait and there’s plenty of space for multiple teams to be hanging out there together without getting in each other’s way.

The Room

This room focused heavily on the theme. The room is brilliantly decorated and there was even a sand timer instead of a countdown clock, which I’ll admit was actually quite frustrating as we couldn’t accurately tell how much time had passed, but it added nicely to the wizard school atmosphere. There were robes in a corner of the room to allow wizard fans to really get into character and the premise of trying to pass different wizarding exams was a fun one.

We had 6 exams to complete, all in keeping with the wizard school theme with some wand work required for our charms exam and a dark cauldron bubbling away in the corner for our potions exam. I’ll admit that I didn’t take part in the defense against the dark arts exam and I’ll warn any arachnophobes now, it was because of the large model spider that I refused to go anywhere near!

At the completion of each exam we received a token of our success and once we had 6 tokens we had graduated from magic school. The story was great, and for fans of theme this room is a great experience. As slightly more experienced escapists though, the room did feel a little empty. 6 exams means 6 main puzzles and there were points where I felt that there wasn’t really a lot for me to do.

That being said, the fact that we were completing 6 different exams meant that we had a wide variety of puzzles to solve as each exam was on a different subject. There were quite a few search and find type puzzles, which I think suit the beginner escapee rather than a more experienced player, we rattled through it without any major hiccups.

Simon – The theming here was very well done, although there were a few props which were looking a bit worse for wear – always the downside of using paper items. The ‘lessons’ concept was executed well and added a good amount of variety to the room, however none of the puzzles felt particularly special or challenging. Not a bad room at all, however not one that’s going to live on as ‘one of the greats’. Worth going to, if you’re a fan of the theme though.

Stuart – Theming of the room was good but as I am not a big ‘Wizard and Witchcraft’ fan it was a little lost on me. The puzzles and lessons were a good way to make the room a little more unique. Unfortunately, once you have done a large number of rooms this one will become forgettable. If you are new to escape rooms or like the obvious ‘Wizard and Witchcraft’ film you will probably enjoy this a little more.

2016 Enigma Quest

2017 Enigma Quests - 15th Feb

Score

This would be a great room for beginners who enjoy the theme. The costumes, the exams and the experience of being a trainee wizard are all great fun! The puzzles themselves don’t really test an experienced player enough to make the room feel particularly challenging, so I think that the theme is the big draw here and it is implemented very well!

Difficulty

2/5

Overall

3/5

clueQuest, London

ClueQuest – Revenge of the Sheep

From https://cluequest.co.uk/

Professor BlackSheep is back again to destroy mankind as we know it by turning us all into sheep! And this time he is not alone – he’s got an evil side-kick and together they have built a dangerous device: the SheepMutator.

Mr Q believes that the new technology used by the Professor poses a serious threat: by mutating the human genome, the SheepMutator can turn anyone who is in the range on its evil rays into a placid sheep! To make matters worse, the Professor has managed to set up several such devices in key locations around the planet – one of them having been set up right here, in London.

Agents, you will have 60 Minutes to locate and find a way to deactivate these devices before they go online and it’s too late for mankind!

sheep

Teams

Team 1 – Simon, Stu, Mark, Jackie

Team 2 – Ster, Ni, Lizzie, Jamie

Played – 2/7/16

(Reviewed by Ster)

ClueQuest

I’ll be honest, ClueQuest is one of our favourite companies as a team. The rooms are always fun with a good degree of challenge and the hosts are always welcoming and friendly. Members of our team completed this room on two different occasions and everyone that went thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

The Room

This is advertised as being the hardest room at ClueQuest and the level of challenge really did step up from our previous two plays here! There are fewer padlocks in this room, it’s a lot more technological with a few automated elements that were really fun to work out.

The puzzle type set up the room for fairly linear game play, something that worked particularly well with our second team which included members who were playing their first ever room – possibly not the best choice to start on but it still went fairly well! The puzzles all built up to a pretty impressive finale and while I don’t usually enjoy linear rooms, it really felt as if we were working towards something the entire time that we were in there which made the experience very enjoyable rather than restrictive, as linear games can sometimes feel.

There was some interesting use of augmented reality at one point in this room, which got a little frustrating but was also good fun and something that I haven’t experienced before. The technological puzzles continued with the use of a tablet which worked flawlessly – something that I am very impressed with because in most other rooms I’ve played that have relied on technology, the technology has broken at least once!

It was a challenge, but it was a really fun challenge! The atmosphere of the room was great and I really enjoyed how different it was from the other ClueQuest rooms with a selection of puzzles that were completely different and required a different way of thinking.

Ni – A nice variety of puzzles and great use of tech as well. Definitely felt as though my brain was having to work quite hard, but a very fun challenge, which ClueQuest always manage to provide.

Simon – Another great room from ClueQuest! This was the first of their games that I played at their Kings Cross location, and it was evident how much effort went in to the theming of the room compared to their previous location. The room itself is relatively small, but there are so many things to do in here that you’re always busy. It’s definitely one of the harder rooms I’ve played, but the puzzles all seemed well constructed and logical. A highly enjoyable game!

Stuart – One thing you can guarantee with ClueQuest is a good and challenging room – this was no different for this game. Good storyline, good puzzles and all round a solid escape room. Very enjoyable!

revenge of the sheep

Score

This room was great fun. The theming was brilliant and linear structure of the puzzles really enhanced that. The puzzles were great quality and there was a lot to get done, both teams escaped, but neither had much time left on the clock!

Difficulty

4/5

Overall

4/5

clueQuest, London

ClueQuest – Origenes

From https://cluequest.co.uk/

Professor BlackSheep seeks to recreate the original genetical experiment that turned him into a sheep. He has launched a cyber attack on our old mainframe in the hope of extracting secret data, along with the genetical research he’s missing.

In order to stop the Professor from breaching our firewall, you and your team will have to access Mr Q’s old base. The only way in, however, is to shrink down to the size of a mouse with the help of the Shrink’o’Mat.

Word of caution, agents: the technology you’ll be exposed to is…a bit unstable and still experimental. You’ll have only 60 minutes to counteract the cyber attack and secure the mainframe before the Shrink’o’Mat’s effect wears off and things get messy.

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Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 29/9/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

ClueQuest

This visit to ClueQuest was a little different to our previous visits as we were playing this room as part of a competition and therefore played the room before it officially opened. There were 20 teams in the competition, all having won the chance to tackle Origenes by achieving a time in the top 5 for one of the other ClueQuest games over a month long period. Our team had already completed all of the ClueQuest missions, so we won entry by playing the outdoor mission that ClueQuest put on to allow teams in a similar position to have a chance at winning entry too, we were really grateful that ClueQuest put on the outdoor mission as we were very excited to have a go at Origenes!

On arrival, we were shown to the ClueQuest conference room to wait while the previous team completed their mission and we spent some time discussing the other ClueQuest missions that we had played. It was a very different experience to previous visits, particularly being interviewed before and after playing (I don’t think any of us managed to come off as particularly charismatic on camera and we struggled to think of anything interesting to say for quite a few of the questions – sorry to anyone who ends up watching those videos!) but it was very exciting to be getting a sneak preview! Our hosts were friendly and welcoming and we really enjoyed discussing Origenes and the other ClueQuest missions with them.

The Room

The first part of this room requires quite a bit of teamwork and I think involved a fair amount of, maybe not shouting, but possibly talking more loudly than usual as we worked out what was going on. I really enjoyed the first puzzle, it was different and frustrating but in an entertaining way rather than in a way that annoyed anyone. I didn’t think that it was overly complicated to work out but the solution required a bit of time and teamwork to complete, which was a great start to the room with everyone working together on one puzzle.

Once the first hurdle had been overcome, the real work began. Or, possibly not quite as we kept getting stuck! One aspect of this play that made our experience quite unique is that, due to it being a competition, we weren’t allowed any clues that would give us an advantage over other teams, this meant that when we got stuck, we really got stuck! We kept obsessing over a detail that meant absolutely nothing and spent a good long while just staring at each other not being able to work out what came next. In any other play of this game, one pretty simple clue would have pointed us in the right direction, but in our situation I think that we came the closest we have ever come to actually arguing during an escape as we were getting so frustrated!

That’s not to say that we didn’t enjoy the puzzle, we were just really quite slow on the uptake! This room has some really interesting puzzles to work through that we all enjoyed getting stuck into, including a few things that we’ve never seen before and really impressed us. There were quite a few puzzles that required a high level of teamwork, something that we always enjoy in an escape.

This is a fairly linear room, so most of the time we were all focussed on one puzzle, which had both positives and negatives. There was one puzzle in particular that ended up taking all of our brainpower to solve, as we sat on the floor disagreeing on how best to describe a variety of strange symbols. That really highlighted the different ways in which we think and would probably have been easier if we’d actually been working in pairs as we would have understood each other better!

The theming and story of this room is great, I loved the way that the room has been decorated and the ways that the puzzles related to the story were brilliant. The final puzzle was quite frustrating, but once we’d worked out which team member was best suited for which role, we managed to solve it without too much difficultly after a pretty rocky start. It also fit really well with the theme, even though we were panicking at that point as we were running out of time!

Ni – I thought this was a great looking game as well as being a lot of fun to play. It’s definitely one of the harder rooms I’ve done and does require a lot of team work. The variety of puzzles – especially the physical aspects, were well thought out and very enjoyable.

Simon – It’s clear on entering the room that so much effort has gone into the scenery and setting, and this definitely pays off. There are some really clever uses of different props and items related to your size and this puts a unique spin on this game. The puzzles themselves were definitely difficult, so I wouldn’t recommend this game for first-timers. Generally there was a great variety of puzzles and these were enjoyable to solve, however two puzzles meant that I couldn’t give this room the 5 out of 5 that it almost deserves: One puzzle felt very much like a copy of another in the room. The other was great for the first time, but it required three ‘rounds’ and just felt a bit samey. Having said that, this was a fantastic room and I would highly recommend it.

Stu – Once again, another classic escape room from ClueQuest. As mentioned in the review we did this as part of the competition and therefore we weren’t able to have any clues. This did add a different element to the experience but unfortunately also a lot of frustration. The room was brilliantly themed and the puzzles were extremely challenging at times. I’m not sure it was my personal favourite of all the ClueQuest games but it was definitely a game that ranks highly overall.

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Escape time – 60:17 (Extra time was allowed for more accurate ranking of teams)

Score

This room was just great fun! The theme and the story were brilliant and the puzzles were enjoyable and challenging. I’d say it’s the hardest of ClueQuest’s rooms but probably my favourite due to the design and the variety of really interesting puzzles.

Difficulty

5/5

Overall

4/5

Adventox, London

Adventox – Escape From Alcatraz

From https://www.adventox.com/

Frisco, 1962. It feels like you have been locked up here forever, in Alcatraz, the most notorious of all maximum-security prisons. Never has anyone escaped from this prison alive. But with all preperations in place, tonight might be your chance. But beware: An opportunity does not automatically lead to success. Out in the bay, the tide is murderous and the sharks are hungry. You have to avoid the guards and keep a clear head to make your escape attempt a success.

Adventox.png

Team – Simon, Stu, Mark Jackie

Played – 29/5/17

(Reviewed by Simon)

Adventox

This is an interesting location for a game as it’s inside a shopping centre just opposite Westfield Shepherd’s Bush. The venue has plenty of room for waiting teams and the hosts were welcoming when we arrived. One thing that the staff were particularly good at was setting the scene – they built up the game and the scenario, escaping from Alcatraz, pretty well. Even to the extent of warning us that we should be careful as we escape – don’t let the guards catch us. This really elevated the tension of the game and kept us quite on edge when the staff would come and rattle the door!

The Room

This room started in a way that I always quite like – your team is separated into two and put into different cells. Although this can sometimes mean that one group has nothing to do whilst the others solve part of the game, it seemed to work fairly well in this game – both groups were kept busy for the majority of the time before escaping. The puzzles were fairly well done, making sense in a real world situation, which played to the strengths of our team fairly well.

Once we had escaped, the room opened up more, leading to our escape from the island. This was definitely the more difficult part of the room, requiring much more of a mental approach compared to the beginning of the game. I felt that this added interesting variety to the room, although it wasn’t to the taste of some of the members of the team.

We managed to escape, and our method of escape was a pleasant twist at the end of an interesting game.

Stuart – This was overall a good game, with challenging moments. The start was very original and made things interesting for sure and the way the atmosphere was created really made it feel like we were trying to escape. I would highly recommend this room and look forward to doing more games with Adventox.

Score

Overall, this was definitely a tense game and this tension added to my enjoyment of the room. The room was a good challenge and was themed well. There were some brain-burning bits towards the end of the game, by which point some of our team were flagging, but I don’t think it hurt the gameplay of the room.

Difficulty

4/5

Overall

4/5