Escape-Doncaster ~ Area 51

Game date: 07/04/2017

Where: Doncaster

Theme:

“Area 51 – Roswell is a highly debated subject. Imagine something similar on your doorstep….Does your group have what it takes to determine if it is a conspiracy or the real thing???”

With the Area 51 theme, I was expecting aliens, but in fact it turned out we were in a lab trying to escape from aliens, so the room was science themed, and consisted of a lot of metal lockers, drawers and benches, the majority of the puzzles fit within the science/sc-fi theme.

The room was very clean, the walls had been painted solid colours, and had a few posters on the walls, I feel a lot more could have been done with the space and with a little more effort put in the theming would have been great.

 The game:

The game is for 2-5 players, we played with 3. I’m not sure why they don’t allow 6 players, as the rooms are large and bigger than a lot of rooms we have played that allow 6.

There were a lot of almost identical locks in the room, most required a 4 digit code, and once we found a code, there was rarely (apart from the very first puzzle) any indication or clue to which of these locks the code was used for, meaning us trying every single code we found in every lock (there were plenty!)

On first entering the room, we spent around 5 minutes wandering round struggling to find clues, then I spotted something which gave me a code (this one was indicated thankfully) opened the first lock and solved the first 3 puzzles pretty quickly. I liked the way that the puzzles got harder as you progressed, and some of them were original however we hit a brick wall when we reached a puzzle which pretty much required us to have musical talent, we knew exactly what we needed to do, but unfortunately none of us had the ability to listen to music and play it back with the correct notes! We wasted a good 15 minutes doing trying to play something that was repeated to us, until we were finally told which notes to play,  other than complete guesswork, none of us had the skill or ability to do this, we may as well have been trying to ride a unicycle. After we had finished, our host actually asked us what we thought of the puzzle, so we told him, and he agreed that he didn’t like the puzzle, and people struggle to do it, but his boss wouldn’t take it out.

Overall I enjoyed it, but a little more time spent on the room and it would have been great. I would recommend taking 5 people if you can, as it costs the same for 3 people as it does for 5, but we didn’t find the room too difficult with 3. There was  good mix of puzzles in the room, and the actual flow of the puzzles was good and we were never really unsure of what we should be doing, but it was interrupted a lot with trying codes in different locks. The puzzles were a mix of logic, a lot of observation, none were so difficult (minus the music one) that we felt frustrated or were stuck doing one thing for a long amount of time. We did start to become frustrated with the constant clues and hints, but more on that below.

Host, briefing and clue system:

 The guy that briefed us came across very nervous, while he was polite and friendly, and got all his points across, there were several times where he didn’t seem to know what he was trying to say, and it was quite awkward to sit through, both during and after the brief, there was several periods of uncomfortable silence where he just stood looking at us (he did say he was from another of their sites and came to run the game, so some of it could be down to being unfamiliar with the place, although if I remember correctly he said he does this often)

He took us into the room before telling us the back story (again, he didn’t seem to know what to say) so we were already looking round for clues and found it difficult to concentrate on what he was saying.

Clues were delivered by a TV screen in the room – in both word and picture form – which played a sound when something came up on the screen, there was no limit on the number of clues you could have, but we were given clues for a few things we had already done, and more annoyingly, a lot of the time clues appeared before we had even had chance to find out what we were doing was wrong. For example, we opened a cupboard and took something out, and then a clue appeared telling us what to do with it, before we had even tried to use it, it got increasingly annoying and in the end we just ignored the to screen and the clues until we were really stuck on something. Again this could have been down to the host not being familiar with the game as he is from a different site, but we prefer to have clues when we need them, and be given chance to try our own ideas and find out if they work or not, and not be walked through a game.

Did we escape?

Yes! in 47:33

area51border

 

Booking:

We booked online, im not sure why it costs the same for 3 people as it does for 5, and after  we realised this we felt we may aswell bring another two people just for the sake of it already being paid for, unfortunately it was the day before and everyone was busy at short notice. It was easy to book online, we chose a room, then chose our time and received a confirmation email. I couldn’t find anything about arriving early for a brief, which I’m used to a lot of places doing, so I asked about this and it is included in your time slot, so just go for whenever you book.

Prices:

It’s £66 for 3-5 players, with an £18 discount for groups of two, making it £48

Website:

http://www.escape-doncaster.co.uk

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