Game date: 14/05/17
“Know this brave knight, man’s darkest hour is upon us. Following King Arthur’s death, the banner which held the United Kingdoms together has all but vanished. Houses of the North, South, East and West battle in a constant struggle for power, causing reckless destruction of everything we hold dear. The North is set to storm the capital, beginning what only can be imagined as centuries of needless war and devastation. However, there is just one glimmer of hope. To find a new King of England and reunite the seven kingdoms under one true leader. Legends speak of secret chambers built into King Arthur’s Castle, riddled with mysteries and guarded by Merlin’s magic. It is said that when the time comes to pass, the secrets of King Arthur’s castle will only speak to the worthy, the one who has what it takes to become the King of England. This is where your journey begins, brave knight. Here, deep in the heart of King Arthur’s castle…Can you evade Merlin’s magic, unravel the mystery and unearth King Arthur’s secret?”
We hadn’t planned to visit the Great Escape when we did, but after playing the two great games at Look Key Escape we really wanted to play another, and the Great Escape was only a short walk. We opted for king Arthur’s secret as we had already been planning to play all the rooms at some point in the future, and thought it might be good to play them in order, starting with the easiest.
I had heard that the theming at the Great Escape was very good, and now that I’ve seen it for myself, I can definitely agree. They are situated in a modern, office type building, which was smartly decorated, and the place was massive! Someone came down to meet us at the door and took us upstairs. Just like the rest of the building, the reception area was HUGE, and it wasnt just a reception, there was an actual bar serving food and drinks, one large area filled with loads of lockers, and a bar with iPads lined up on it so you could sign in, another side was a conference room, and in the main area were tables with various card and board games on them. My favorite part, and something i was excited to try here, was a PS4 virtual reality headset, surrounded by sofas where you could sit and play (obviously I had to have a go before we left) We arrived a little early, and were given the option to either have a drink at the bar, or go straight into the room, we opted to go straight in. We put out stuff into a locker, and were taken up more stairs (ALOT more stairs!) and into our own private briefing room by our host.
The king Arthur room isn’t the biggest room we have played, but literally every inch of the room was themed. There was no paint or wallpaper on the walls, but actual imitation stone bricks that looked and felt so real. The room was immaculately done, everything was made from thick sturdy wood, the floor was real wood, and the centerpiece in the room that played a part in some of the puzzles was amazing. It was like being on a movie set, the room was very immersive, and if we all hadn’t been wearing our every day clothing I may have actually believed I had gone back in time. The room contained a lot of hidden secrets, but there isn’t much i can say about these without giving away all the surprises. The music was good and fit in really well, and both the music and light levels changed and reacted to things that we were doing in the game. Every inch of the room had been decorated, there was nothing at all that looked out-of-place, no plug sockets or wires, and even our light sources matched the theme, and it was much more fun and fitting than using torches.
The only downside to the room was that it was VERY hot in there, to the point that halfway through I thought i was going to have to leave, but i managed to stick it out and im glad i could complete the game. The day we played was during the unexpected, excessively hot weather in may, so i would assume that under normal weather conditions the room would be a lot cooler, and if we had known it would be so warm outside, we would have been dressed more appropriately for it.
We were a little slow getting started in here, this was our first Great Escape room and we weren’t really sure what to expect. We actually figured out the first puzzle pretty quickly, but didn’t find the actual lock that the code was for until a while later, once we found this we were on our way, and things started to move a lot faster then. The room was pretty linear, but most of the puzzles involved team work and required having people in different places at the same time. There wasnt much searching to be done in the room, but the things that we did have to look for were hidden well. The actual types of puzzles didn’t have a huge amount of variety, and involved a lot of code-breaking and observation, and it was more a case of decode something, open a lock, decode something else, open a lock, but this was done in a different and interesting way every time, and brough different parts of the room into play. They were fun to solve, a good difficulty level, and once we had got going, we didnt really stop for the rest of the game. The room had some really clever and well done puzzles, and the starting puzzle and centrepiece puzzle were highlights for us.
Most of the locks in the room where the same, so once we figured out a code, we would have to try it in all of the locks, there wasnt too many of them though, so this wasnt that time-consuming, and as most of the locks led to a secret or a hidden compartment, it made it rewarding enough that it didn’t matter that we had to try a few locks, and we were excited to find out what we would discover each time we opened one. Overall the room flowed pretty well, was alot of fun to play, and the theming made it just a really fun room to be in, I actually wished I could take some of the props home with me!
Great Escape do things a little bit differently, the game is only 45 minutes, but you get to pick a character each that gives you a different perk. I won’t say what they all are, but they are different in every game, and there is always a character which will give you a bit of extra time. I liked this idea as it gave you further reason for being in the room, gave you a role and made you feel like a part of the story (although a few of the characters were a bit tough to choose between!)
There wasn’t a TV screen in the room, we could get clues using a walkie-talkie, and our time was measured by a sand timer, this was a nice touch, and fitted in much better with the theme than having a screen would have, but it also meant we only had a rough idea of how much time we had left.
It was recommended to us by our host that we play the games in difficulty order, and that this is how they intended them to be played. Experienced players may find this room a bit on the easy side, but it is definitely worth playing, and i would recommend taking 2-4 players depending on the experience of your group (or try one of the more difficult rooms – I can’t wait to see how they are decorated!) Newbies may be better off with 4-6 players to have a few more people for the trickier puzzles.
Host, briefing and clue system:
Kiera was our game host, She was lovely and had so much enthusiasm and energy. Her brief was really good and in-depth, and her storytelling was great, and really set the scene and built up suspense. She put so much effort into creating atmosphere and a build up to the game and we were really excited to get started. She ran our game perfectly, checking in on us every now and then and asking if we were ok. As mentioned earlier, we had a walkie-talkie to ask for clues. We didn’t need many clues, but when we did she pointed us in the right direction. She was there waiting to greet us when we escaped, with the same enthusiasm as before. Not bad for 9pm at night!
Did we escape?
Yes! In 45:00.
Booking and prices:
We booked online, about two hours before the time slot, we got a confirmation email and we even got a phone call to remind us to arrive half an hour before our game!
Off peak (Monday-Thurs 10am-4:30)
2 players – £50 (£25 each)
3 players – £54 (£18 each)
4 players – £68 (£17 each)
5 players – £80 (£16 each)
6-7 players – £96 (£16 each)
Monday-Thurs 4:30pm-9pm, Friday-Sunday all day
2 players – £52 (£26 each)
3 players – £57 (£19 each)
4 players – £72 (£18 each)
5 players – £85 (£17 each)
6-7 players – £102 (£17 each)