Escape rooms, London

Escape Rooms – Project D.I.V.A

From http://www.escaperooms.co.uk/angel.html

The Year is 2038 and our civilisation is slowly conquering the solar system. The use of Artificial Intelligence is essential in paving our path to other planets and has even enabled us to begin terraforming Mars.

However a few nights ago ER-27, one of our defence and research stations that is orbiting Mars, went totally silent. D.I.V.A (Defence Interactive Virtual Assistant) the stations A.I. sent us a cryptic message with depictions of death and soon after the station started falling into lower orbit. If it keeps descending at this rate it will impact the surface, destroying all our our research and the station itself, both of which are vital to our future colonisation efforts, we cannot afford to lose them.

As our finest agents, we are sending you on a mission to intercept ER-27, get on board and destroy D.I.V.A and regain control of the station. You will need to infiltrate her core and remove her 4 hard drives to disable her then use them to reboot the system. The future of humanity depends on you.

Are you Ready?

Project_DIVA

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 14/8/17

(Reviewed by Ster)

Escape Rooms

This was our first visit to Escape Room’s Angel location and it was fairly easy to find. There was plenty of waiting space for two separate teams, though we were the only team there when we arrived.

The Room

The room was brilliantly themed and pretty big, which was fun as we started to explore and move through the space. There is a lot of information for this game given over an electronic device which is used to scan QR codes to access more information. While I really like the idea of this and it seems a great way to both find and store details throughout the game, the devices were slow which led to a lot of frustration and we seemed to get one piece of information far ahead of time which slowed us down as we tried to use something that hadn’t actually come into play yet.

The first puzzles in this room were good fun, the room was pretty dark and there was a lot of peering into the gloom trying to search for the puzzles we needed to complete next, which set up the rogue AI taking control of the ship theme quite nicely.

The middle section of the game was very different. 2 members of the team have to enter a different section of the room and solve puzzles by themselves there, which left 2 people just standing around waiting for them. Following that, there was a large puzzle that only really needed one person to complete. While I really enjoyed the uniqueness of the puzzles I felt like there could have been a few extra little things going on the keep the rest of the team occupied, especially as those involved in solving these aspects of the game seemed to really enjoy them.

The final section of the room was a little underwhelming to be honest, but there was some really nice theming at the end which did a great job of wrapping up the story.

Ni – Having done the London Bridge rooms, I was quite surprised that this room had very few puzzles to solve, and at quite a few points most of the team were watching just one person complete a physical puzzle. There were some good puzzles at the start, but I felt they faded away to an impressive set without much to do. That being said, it was definitely memorable!

Photo 14-08-2017, 5 17 44 pm_preview

Score

This room was definitely different and had some very interesting elements to it, but it didn’t quite live up to the quality of Escape Room’s other games at the London Bridge location. There was some frustrating elements and the handheld devices seemed to slow the experience down rather than enhance it. That being said, this is the perfect room for players who enjoy a more physical type of puzzle.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

2.5/5

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Escape rooms, London

Escape Rooms – Dark side of the moon

From http://www.escaperooms.co.uk/angel.html

In the 1960’s both the USSR and the USA made groundbreaking discoveries on their famous lunar missions. The Americans were the first to step foot on the Moon and the Russians Luna 3 space probe captured and released the first photographs ever taken of the Moon.

However both the Soviet and US governments kept some dark secrets from their missions. Declassified images revealed human activity on the dark side of the moon – the wreckage of a secret Nazi base. Since this new information came to light our own lunar telescopes have monitored the site and shown no activity…… until now. A few days ago, at an abandoned radio station in Berlin, we intercepted a cipher message which was traced back to the secret moon base. It read only one word, “bereit” meaning “ready”.

So today you, as our brightest agents, will ascend to the Moon. You need to find the enemy base and destroy what is left of it and anyone you find there. Our intelligence suggests an attack is imminent, you must complete your mission before time runs out.

Dark_side_of_the_moon

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 14/8/17

(Reviewed by Ster)

Escape Rooms

Escape Room’s London Bridge location has two fantastic games that we really enjoyed playing, so we were excited to get going at their new location. The hosts were welcoming and there was plenty of space to sit and grab a drink before our game began.

The Room

Dark Side of the Moon has a unique theming, with the mission being to infiltrate a secret Nazi base hidden away in space. The first section of the room does really well in highlighting this theme and setting up the premise, but the immersiveness fell away a bit as we played as the story didn’t really progress and the décor became quite generic as we continued.

This was a very different game to other escape experiences that we’ve played before. There was a fair amount of running and some puzzles that required a good degree of movement, which could be a barrier for some players. That being said, once we became accustomed to the style of game play, I really enjoyed searching for where we would be going next and the anticipation of what we would discover. The space felt so big, due to the truly impressive layout, and I really enjoyed exploring so many different areas as we progressed through the game.

As an escape room experience, this felt a bit more like a story led game of laser tag that an actual escape! There weren’t many puzzles to solve and those that we did encounter weren’t overly taxing. That being said, we were in no way bored or left without anything to do due to the lack of puzzles, it was just a very different experience.

The finale was an interesting end to the game but to be honest, we were mainly confused and one member of our team was left bleeding and we had to detour to find some first aid supplies on our way home!

Ni – This was definitely not a traditional room escape, there were very few puzzles and instead a lot of running around to new areas. I did enjoy always being surprised at what was round the next corner, but did miss having to use my brain to get out. It was enjoyable, but not a favourite.

Dark side of the moon 14 July 2017

Score

This was great fun, mainly due to the fact that it was such a unique experience! As I ran through the game I found myself constantly amazed by how well the space had been utilised to make the room feel absolutely massive. The games at Escape Room’s Angel location focus a lot more on technology and this room is more like a live action video game than an escape. If that had been what we were expecting when we started then I think we would have enjoyed the experience a lot more as it was really good fun, but as a team that turned up looking to solve puzzles and really get our brains working, we did leave feeling a little underwhelemed.

Difficulty

2/5

Overall

3/5

Escape rooms, London

Escape Rooms – Room 33

From escaperooms.co.uk

It is 1675, China. You are the guard of KangXi, emperor and great ruler of the mighty Qing Dynasty. In the great palace lies the most precious artefact of the kingdom, a blue-and-white porcelain vase. It is believed that the presence of it in the emperor’s chamber will enable the Qing dynasty to last forever. One night, whilst on your guard, the vase disappears. The emperor is furious and blames you for its loss. He orders your execution to be carried out in the coming days.
At midnight you are led by a mysterious person to a time machine and told to travel to Room 33 of the British Museum, year 2016. Somewhere in this room, the exact blue-and-white porcelain vase is displayed. You have only 60 minutes to find, steal and return the artefact to the emperor while the portal of the time machine is still open. Can you make it in time?

EscapeRooms_Game_Poster_Room33

Team – Ster, Simon, Stu, Ni, Ros

Played – 29/10/14

(Review by Ster)

Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms remains a small but charming place, the walls are lined with pictures of previous teams and the hosts are friendly and welcoming. They also indulged our slightly hyper enthusiasm once they had given us our briefing, we were very excited to get going!

The Room

This room made an incredible use of space and had a very exciting starting puzzle! It was more physical than Pharaoh’s Chamber, the other game on this site, with crawling a mandatory part of the game, so possibly not suited to those who are less mobile, but it really added to the experience! The theme was great fun, the closer we came to stealing the vase, the louder we became!

I think that this room really played to our strengths as a team. The puzzles didn’t have a linear structure which left us free to just tear the place apart and we had a blast doing so! The puzzles were interesting and had elements which required all of our brain power, which was a nice mix with the physical aspects of playing.

There were a wide variety of different puzzles in this game – technological, physical, fiddly locks and also good old fashioned riddles. There were enough different aspects of the game that almost every time a team member threw out a question, another member instantly had the answer because they had noticed something in particular or had just been exploring a different part of the room. In that aspect, the room was amazing because everyone had their own moment to shine, there wasn’t one dominant player, everyone was involved and had their own moments of inspiration.

Ni – I enjoyed this room, we had a lot of laughs with the physical aspects and I think everyone in our team found something to decode, which is always a great plus – not having anyone standing watching. There was a wide variety of types of puzzles, as well as difficulties, so something for all of the team.

2014 Escape Rooms Room 33 - 29th Oct

Score

This room was non-stop! There was never a moment when we were stuck on what to do, we were constantly involved with a puzzle somewhere and all of the puzzles were different.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

4/5

Bristol, Escape rooms, Riddlr

Riddlr Escape Rooms– Séance

From riddlr.co.uk/

Will you perform a Séance at 13 Paper Street?  The eminent paranormal investigator Clarissa Stubbs disappeared last year while exploring an abandoned house known for paranormal activity.  When retracing her footsteps and attempting to discover what happened, you and your team awaken the same foul phantoms as she did that fateful night.  Can you make your escape or will you join Clarissa on the long list of forgotten souls who were foolish enough to venture into the crooked old house on Paper Street?

Window Leave Dilapidated Decay Building Ruin

Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu, Ros

Played 22/07/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Riddlr

Full disclosure – We were given 4 complimentary tickets to play this game, though we’ve tried not to let this influence our opinion of the experience. We witnessed 3 other teams either departing or arriving while we were there and they were treated with the same friendly welcome that we received!

Riddlr were very friendly when we arrived and we spent a few minutes discussing different rooms that we had played while we waited. The lobby was very spacious and they monitor their games from here, which meant that when we arrived and there were two teams nearing the end of their experiences, the first team to escape were allowed to peer over the desk at their friend’s progress for the last few minutes of the game, which I thought was a great experience for them and not something that I have ever witnessed before!

The Room

The theming of this room was incredible, I was a little freaked out before the timer had even begun just due to the décor of the room! We’ve never played a horror room before, being the member of the group who scares the most easily, I tend to avoid rooms with this kind of theming, so we don’t have a similar themed experience for comparison. That being said, this was one of the best implements of a theme that I have ever come across! The music, the lighting and the decoration were just superb.

This game was a truly immersive experience, made possible by the way that any help players might require is received through a haunted mirror holding pre-recorded clues, so we didn’t hear from our hosts at all. The puzzles were linear, which isn’t usually our favourite set-up, however it was necessary for the story of the game and it really added to the atmosphere to have the whole team huddled around one element of the room, especially during the section of the game when we were navigating using a single torch!

There was a nice variety of puzzles, a few padlocks but also some automated elements which were great for providing jumps!  There was only one puzzle that we got a bit stuck on, we knew the solution we just weren’t sure how to implement it, everything else seemed to flow together pretty intuitively. While the room wasn’t easy by any means, we didn’t find it too difficult to navigate – the average completion time is 55 minutes and we were out in 25. Though it didn’t feel easy while we were playing and we in no way felt short changed by escaping so quickly (I for one was glad to be back in the real world!) I think it just happened to be a room that really played to our strengths as a team.

Simon – It was really obvious, even from standing outside the room, how much effort had been put into theming this game, and it paid off. I’m not particularly a fan of horror games, but this one was enjoyable, with a good mix of puzzles. Although it is most definitely in the horror genre, I wouldn’t say it was absolutely terrifying, so I’d recommend it for a group like ours who would normally avoid this kind of game.

Ni – I really enjoyed this room, they did a great job of building the theme and we all got sucked in. It had a good mix of puzzles that always kept the whole group occupied. I’d definitely recommend going even if you don’t like being scared.

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Escape time – 25:18

Score

This room was terrifying but also amazing. We were all really impressed with it! From the décor of the room to the immersive experience, everything about this room was brilliantly done. It has been one of my favourite escapes that I’ve played – even though I was mostly terrified throughout!

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

5/5

Escape rooms, Mindquest, Orlando

Mind Quest – Diamond Heist

From mindquestescapegames.com/

The Perfect Robbery.

The Star of Dream of Dreams Diamond has been stolen! Montgomery Bank & Trust is a known front for money laundering and other criminal activity. We have reliable intel that indicates the Star of Dreams is secured somewhere on their premises, presumably under the watchful eye of the bank’s president, Charles Montgomery, III. It’s up to you to break into Montgomery’s office, locate his secret vault and confiscate the diamond before he returns. We need your help to ensure the Star of Dreams is recovered by its rightful owner!

422

Team- Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – April 2017

(Reviewed by Ster)

Mind Quest

The MindQuest team were really friendly and welcoming and there was plenty of seating in the waiting area with free bottled water. They have quite a few different games available but we were told that Diamond Heist was the favourite game of another group of British tourists that had visited so were excited to get going. The team were also fantastic when we ran out of this room wanting to play another game and they got us into Cyber crash almost immediately!

The Room

Rooms in Orlando are generally a little different to the rooms that we have played in Europe as most allow for at least 8 players at a time and many are suitable for 10. We played this game with 4 and that was a pretty good number for us, any more and I think that we would have been left doing quite a bit of standing around and watching.

The premise of this room was great fun, the diamond that we were trying to steal was outrageously large and theming of the whole game was really well done. We had a few debates while playing about whether or not different clues would turn out to be red herrings, but nothing that derailed our play.

The puzzles in the room were good fun, nothing ground breaking but with some interesting elements that required a bit of lateral thinking. I particularly enjoyed the moments that really made us think outside the box. Moments of, why on earth do we keep finding all of these…? And then realising that there was a purpose that none of us had predicted!

Ni – The puzzles weren’t that hard but we really enjoyed it and it always makes a difference to how much I enjoy a company when the hosts are friendly.

Stu – This rooms highlight is it’s finale with the giant diamond. The room was well themed with some challenging puzzles. With 4 people it worked, with more it would have been too crowded I feel.

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Score

We really enjoyed playing this room. The premise and theming were great and the puzzles were enjoyable to work out. There was one moment when we were a bit stuck about what we needed to work on next, but overall the problems were enjoyable and not too difficult to solve, they just required a bit of thought and the application of some logic.

Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

3/5

Clockwork Dog, Escape rooms, London

Clockwork Dog – The Loop

From https://clockwork.dog/

Are you ready to enter the unknown?

Be the first to test a pioneering new technology, in an experiment that will change the course of human history.

Welcome to Frontier Engineering — a private research and development company working on nuclear transmutation, quantum tunnels and the applications of dark energy.

loop-optimised

Team 1 – Simon, Stu, Mark, Jackie

Team 2 – Ster, Ni, Rachel, Ben

(Reviewed by Ster)

Clockwork Dog

This room is currently in residence at The Panic Room in Gravesend but it was a pop-up when we played, operating out of a shop in North London. The small premises with just the one game on site meant that the experience was immersive from the start and our hosts opened the door in character, which was a great touch that we really enjoyed.

After the game both hosts were very friendly and happy to talk about the game with us. It was really interesting discussing the elements that we found intuitive or really tricky and then being told how other teams found the same puzzles. We were also given a report of how long we took to achieve the different puzzles which was great fun for comparing our experience with our other team that had already played this escape.

The Room

It’s difficult to say too much about this room without giving away spoilers so I’ll talk about things in fairly vague terms! The room was quite sparsely decorated but the puzzles were clear to find and we managed to solve one of them in the fastest time that they’d ever had – an achievement that I put down to three of us in the room being teachers!

Overall there weren’t loads of puzzles and we tended to find ourselves either in two groups tackling a couple of problems simultaneously or in some cases all crowded around one puzzle and working it through together. The small number of puzzles was in no way a negative for this game though, each one was complex and well thought out with no elements of just stumbling across a key and seeing which lock it fitted. They were puzzles that required careful thought and there was a lot of different elements packed into them which we really enjoyed.

The tension really built as we worked through this game and I think those of a nervous disposition could be in danger of panicking as they get to the end! There is also a section that involved the whole team in a confined space which was essential for the story of the game and led to a very unique and clever twist but that not be suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia.

Stu – This game concept is unique and very clever. Without saying too much, the game throws a huge curveball in just at the right time. As the game goes on your urgency to escape increases more than it would in every other game. The concept and structure are the highlight of this game, though the types of puzzles vary they aren’t overly complex for an experienced escapee.

Simon – I loved this game! A fantastic mix of puzzles and loads of different ‘technical equipment’ to play with, which is something I particularly enjoy. The room was very tense and part of the gameplay helps to ramp up that tension even further. Throughout the room we all seemed to have something to do and everyone felt involved in the end. A great room, highly recommended.

Score

The Loop was fun and fast-paced but the puzzles required deep thinking which really helped us to be completely immersed in the experience. The story of the game really added to our enjoyment especially as in quite a few escapes that I’ve played the story is mostly irrelevant to what you are doing and seems just tacked on the end but in The Loop, the story is a central part of the experience. It was a great, uniquely thought out game and I’m really glad that it has found a permanent home so that more people can experience it.

Difficultly

3/5

Overall

4/5

Escape London, Escape rooms, London

Escape London – Escape the seven seas

From www.escape-london.co.uk/

You and your crew have been locked away in the brig. Does your team have what it takes to escape your cell, break into the Captains chamber and steal the treasure all for yourself? Glory and riches await

escape+rooms+london+(2)

Team  – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 7/7/18

(Reviewed by Ster)

Escape London (Shadwell)

Escape London was easy to find and our hosts were friendly and welcoming when we arrived. They briefed us, along with another team starting at the same time, in about 3 minutes flat, which was fantastic! And then we were led into our respective rooms and given another couple of snippets of information before the door was locked.

The Room

The theme of this room was fantastic, with brilliant decoration and an interesting start which required a good level of teamwork. As we did this room at the height of summer, the air conditioning was also greatly appreciated, especially compared to some previously played rooms which left everyone sweating and fumbling any code locks! The room was pretty darkly lit, which could get annoying at times, but also encouraged us all to work together as we passed lanterns back and forth to get a better look at different clues and which really added to the atmosphere of being locked up in the ship’s brig!

The puzzles in this room were non-linear, which is always our favourite type of room, and we all zipped around investigating the different puzzles with enough to look at that no one was pushing anyone out of the way for something to do. There were some really interesting puzzles in this room that were great fun to solve and we only got stuck right at the end due to some slightly imprecise placement which really slowed us down.

I really enjoyed the different puzzles and the way that they encouraged us all to work together. Nothing was too tricky and the solutions had pretty intuitive answers so it always felt as if we were moving forwards. It was a really fun room and I’m definitely looking forward to trying some more games at Escape London!

Ni – I really enjoyed this room, I think it’s one of the only rooms we’ve ever done where we all had something to do the whole time and there were some really fun puzzles that we’ve never seen before. Great theme and just all round enjoyable!

Stu – The theming of this room was brilliant and completely immersive. Some of the puzzles weren’t as obvious which made this room more challenging. As the game went on frustration kicked in, however this didn’t take anything away from the game. Really enjoyed this room overall.

2018 Escape London (2)

Escape time – 35 minutes

Score

This room was really enjoyable. Brilliantly themed and with interesting puzzles which were great fun to solve. We were a little frustrated when we tripped up on the last puzzle but the other solutions came fairly intuitively to us, meaning that we didn’t have any moments of standing around waiting for a moment of inspiration to hit, which is always the sign of a great room!

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

4/5

 

Escape rooms, Escapeology, Orlando

Escapeology – Budapest express

From escapology.com

Moving through the cabins and gathering evidence, the killer knows you are hot on their trail and has decided you are their next target. With you out of the picture they would be free to escape when the train stops.

Solve the riddles and puzzles, gather the evidence and solve the murder before it’s too late!

Do you have what it takes to find the killer before they find you? Time is of the essence!

Budapest express

Team – Ster, Simon, Ni , Stu

Played – April 2017

(Reviewed by Ster)

Escapeology

Escapeology had plenty of space to sit and wait and with so many rooms available we were able to play one room and find another room with them that we could play immediately afterwards, which is an opportunity that we never find playing in England! The hosts were friendly and enthusiastic and set up the theme of the room well before we started.

The Room

This room was different to most escape rooms that I have played before because we had to identify the murderer from a list of suspects to escape, which meant at times it felt a bit like a live action game of Cluedo! Each puzzle that we solved gave us another piece of information about one of the suspects and we had to put all of the information together and work out who was responsible.

The theme also meant that the room was quite narrow, it genuinely looked like the inside of a train, but that meant that it took a bit of awkward manoeuvring to get around each other at times. I really liked the aspect of moving through the train though, it really brought the theme to life and we kept lifting the curtains to observe the snowy landscape outside!

There was a lot to look at inside, plenty for everyone to get stuck into and a few of the puzzles brought everyone back together to work something out.

Simon – A great setting! The whole idea of being set on a train was a big change and was accomplished fairly well. There was an interesting variety of puzzles and there weren’t any points where we felt completely stumped, but we were still challenged.
The final puzzle was a nice climax and our years of playing Cluedo (and Ster’s expertise for that kind of puzzle) was great. Overall, a unique game which worked well.

2017 Escapology Florida (2).jpg

Score

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

4/5

 

Escape rooms, London

Escape Rooms – Pharaoh’s Chamber

From escaperooms.co.uk

You have successfully passed through all the 12 black hell gates. You are deep in the heart of pyramid – Pharaoh Khufu’s chamber. You are the 100th raider of this tomb; the 99 who have come before you are believed to have perished in the chamber though no bodies have been found. It has been rumoured that their souls have been sucked into Khufu’s tomb to act as his guards for eternity.

This chamber is cursed; all who remain in it after 60 minutes will die. You have 1-hour to find the treasure and escape; otherwise you will, as the others, be forced to remain at the Pharaoh’s side forever. Can you light the Flame of the Gods and escape?

pharoah

Team – Ster, Simon, Stu, Ni, Ros

Played – 20/8/14

(Review by Ster)

Escape Rooms

Escape rooms at London Bridge is pretty small. The room that you walk into has photos of previous teams all over the walls but the actual games are downstairs where there’s a bit more space but nowhere to sit and wait. The hosts were friendly and enthusiastic, though there wasn’t much setting up of the theme beforehand, just a run through of a rules.

The Room

This was my first experience of an escape room that didn’t just revolve around padlocks. We were quite new to escape rooms when we played this and when we first walked in we genuinely had no idea what to do! We got into the rhythm of it a bit more as the hour wore on, though we found that some of the puzzles weren’t very intuitive and at one point we were all sat on the floor just looking at each other in confusion! We needed a couple of hints to escape this room and one of the hints we received over and over again because we were just so stumped about how to use the information!

The room had a great atmosphere, it was quite an immersive experience and built a lot of tension which did eventually culminate in someone screaming! The puzzles weren’t linear, but we ended up solving most of them one at a time as a whole group rather than using the divide and conquer method which we usually favour.

Stu – This game was ok. It had its positives with the different types of puzzles and different challenges it held as well as providing a different theme we hadn’t come across yet. Obviously this all kept our interest. However I think the frustration of a couple of the challenges and some of the challenges requiring an explanation of what to do left me feeling rather blasé about the whole experience.

2014 Escape Rooms - 20th Aug

Score

Pharaoh’s chamber was a great atmospheric room that offered a lot more than just searching for padlock codes. It required a completely different skill set to the other room at the London Bridge Escape Rooms location, which made it really interesting to play with the same team.

Difficulty – 4/5

Overall – 3/5