Escape-Sheffield – Espionage

So I actually wrote this a while ago but couldn’t find the escape picture, so I’ll update this with our time when I find it, (I know we got out but not sure of our time, it was probably in the last 10 minutes though!)

Where?: Sheffield

‘It’s a conspiracy!

The hood comes off and you find yourself in a journalists office with no exit, who put you here and why?

Unravel the secrets of the room and escape.

This mission is for a maximum of 3 operatives’

I was quite excited when i heard that ‘Escape’ were opening in Sheffield, but it turned out that there was only one room we hadn’t already played at a different location, so we booked for espionage later that week. I don’t really have a huge amount to say about the theme, it was a very small office containing a desk, some items which I assume belonged to the journalist who’s office we were in, and various newspaper clippings on the wall. There isn’t a huge amount of wow factor that can be achieved in an office, but they had used the small space well. There was a little bit of a surprise for us later in the game though, which was one of my favourite parts of this game, but its better to keep it a surprise.

The game is for 2-3 players, which led us to think that the room would be pretty easy due to the maximum amount of players, however it turned out it was just down to the size of the room. The room wasn’t tiny, and would fit 3 comfortably, but any more would be in each other’s way. The game starts off in a journalists office, with us trying to figure out why we had been left there. It took us a few minutes to get started, after a quick sweep of the room we had found quite a few items that were clearly puzzles, but it was obvious that we didn’t have everything we needed to solve any of them yet. So after a slow start as we struggled to find a starting point, we got through the next lot of puzzles pretty quickly without any help, until around 20 minutes in when we hit what we thought was the final puzzle, which first appeared to be a rather tricky one, but was actually much easier once we got started, and far from being the last puzzle of the game, it actually led us into a completely different section of the game.

Twice during the game we thought we had escaped this room, only to be presented with more tasks to complete, and finally towards the end of the game the tone really changed, as we started to uncover some of the secrets hidden behind the story of this room.

Did we escape?

Yes!

Host, briefing and clue system:

Clues were delivered to our TV screen, our host (sorry I’m terrible at names) was great and gave us a little push in the right direction only when we really needed it.

Prices:

Adults – £20

Under 16s – £15

Website:

www.escape-sheffield.co.uk

Reviews!

So it appears that I spoke too soon when I said I was back to reviewing, and ended up in hospital for something completely unrelated to my back problems! I’m almost fully recovered now so this time I am actually back! Watch this space as I have reviews coming up for a number of games, as well as a few other things that are loosely escape room related!

Stuck In The Riddle – Murder Mystery

Where: Huddersfield

There’s been a murder! Whilst attending Lord Farringdon’s annual dinner his Lordship leaves the room for a short time and suddenly there is a loud gunshot! You were the last to see him alive so suspicion quickly turns to you. The quick thinking Colonel jumps to conclusions and bumbles you into Lord Farringdon’s study and locks the door behind you while the police are called.

You know you’re not the murderer, but you need to find out who is, where he was killed, and with which murder weapon so you can tell the police when they arrive to arrest you in an hour.

You have 60 minutes to find out who the real killer is, and the murder weapon they used, before the police arrive and take you away!!

A late 1930’s study, very well decorated with most of the furniture and the decor matching the era, and a lot of the puzzles were in line with the theme. The story in this game was very involved, and as we progressed we found out more and more things to help us identify the killer.

The game is for 2-8 players, and we played it as a 2, and whilst I’m glad we did as it meant we got to see all the puzzles, there were a few times that we felt an extra pair of hands would have been a big help. There is quite a lot to do in this room, while it isn’t overally difficult, there is a lot to get through which small groups of new players might find a little daunting. If your pretty new to escape rooms, I would take at least 4 or 5 players, if you have played a lot of rooms you should do fine with 2 or 3.

From the start the room flowed really well, the story continued throughout the game, as we investigated the study we found more information to help us figure out who the killer was. Think of being inside a game of cludeo, that’s what this game is, in order to escape, you need to find the killer, the murder weapon and the room in which the murder was committed. This aspect of the room is what set it apart from the other ‘murder mystery’ games we have played, you actually had to collect clues and figure out who did it to escape, rather than just being told at the end who the killer was, or the last clue just having the answer on it. It made it a lot more immersive being involved in the game and being part of the story.

While most of the puzzles fitted with the theme and the era, there were a few that stuck out, one being a digital LCD display, which looked really out of place in this old fashioned room, and a few other puzzles didn’t really fit in with the game or the story, and we found ourselves questioning the relevance of them and why we would be doing this. There was quite a lot of number locks to start off with, and with there only being two of us, the trying every code in every lock to became a little time consuming, added to this was the fact that we seemed to have lost the ability to read numbers correctly, and found ourselves a few times having read a number wrong that I myself had written down.

The room was a good difficulty level for us, we felt like we had got loads done, and nothing was too difficult that we were stuck on it too long. One puzzle that really stuck out for us was something that we have never seen done before, i wont ruin it, so all i’ll say is this was our first smell puzzle and we were impressed!

Overall, we really enjoyed this room, it has a wide variety of puzzles and a strong story which tied everything together nicely.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Jake (I think? Sorry I’m really bad with names!) was waiting to greet us when we arrived, he was super friendly and chatted to us before and after the game, clues were delivered to a TV screen, and he ran our game really well, giving us a nudge in the right direction when we needed it.

Did we escape? 

Yes! In 53.09

Website: 

www.stuckintheriddle.com

Price:

2 players – £34 (£17 each)
3 players – £48 (£16 each)
4 players – £60 (£15 each)
5 players – £70 (£14 each)
6 players – £78 (£13 each)
7 players – £84 (£12 each)

8 players – £96 (£12 each)

Back In The Riddle

Anyone who reads my blog may have noticed that i haven’t posted anything for quite a while, so first I would like to apologise to anyone whose rooms i have played and have yet to review, they are coming and i am back on them all now. Here’s a little about me to explain where I’ve been for the last few months. It’s a very long story but i’ll give the shortest version i can.

Since the age of 12 I’ve been going to the Doctors complaining of back pain, this was never really looked at and i was constantly told i was ‘too young’ to have a bad back, i put up with it for years, until it got to the point where paracetamol was no longer working and i was put on cocodamol for the pain, but my back was never looked at. A few years ago my back pain had progressed to the point that i was now on butrans patches for the pain, which had become a lot worse i was finally sent to a specialist who actually took a look at my back, and within minutes told me i had scoliosis (a curve in my spine) She sent me for x-rays to confirm this, but afterwards i was forgotten about and all the appointments i was waiting for never came through. A few years later (late last year) the pain had gotten so severe that i was put on morphine, without this I couldn’t walk, and was in too much pain to do anything, over the last few months I’ve been backwards and forwards to doctors and hospitals, i have to visit my GP every week, and have had more x-rays, MRI’s, seen a number of specialists and been sent to a pain clinic, and referred for physio with a spinal specialist as the regular physio wasn’t helping, at the same time doctors have been trying a number of different pain meds to see if anything else would work, this has taken almost half a year out of my life, and i have been unable to do much as the pain continued to get worse. The x-rays showed that my curve has progressed 10 degrees in the last 2 years, and while i am still waiting to see various specialists, the pain is now controlled to a point where most days it is bearable, i still have some days which are really bad and i cant do anything, but i have a bit more of my time back and am able to start doing things again.

So as soon as i can, i will be posting reviews for any games which are not up yet, updating the escape room directory on here and list of other reviewers, and some general updates to the website. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for reviews from all around Yorkshire and the surrounding area!

The Escapologist – World of Wizardry

So first of all…I haven’t posted any reviews for a while, so sorry to anyone whose games I have played and are waiting for the reviews. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I have a few on going medical conditions which have been a lot worse this last month and have been swapped around on my medication, along with that I’ve also been ill, so I’ve just been back and forwards to the doctors, and in bed a lot of the time. I’m a lot better now so I’m focusing on getting caught up on my reviews!

Where: Selby
Theme: 

“Have you ever wanted to experience walking through a Platform as they do in The Film Harry Potter? Are you a Muggle or as powerful as Dumbledore? Well now is your opportunity to see what Magical traits you have. From simple spells such as Aberto (pronounced as Uh-bare-toe) with a flick of the wand. Testing out your knowledge and magical skills trying to complete the room…With wands in hands, potions poised and spells spoken; find ways to crack codes and decipher puzzles within 60 minutes and pass the final test of the school year. Will you be a graduate of the World of Wizardry? ” 

The Escapologist is a little different to most of  the escape rooms we have been to, on the ground floor is a gorgeous steampunk themed bar/restaurant – which just looks amazing – filled with super comfy and unusual seating, it would be a lovely place just to sit and have a drink even if you weren’t planning on playing the escape rooms. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to have anything to eat – the food looked lovely – but hopefully we will next time we go.

The actual escape rooms are upstairs, somehow this is the first wizard room we have played (although we do have a few planned now) so we weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but we were prepared for a lot of ‘Harry Potter’ type puzzles.

Starting off at the train station, we needed to find our way to the school of wizardry and track down our missing wand. The room itself – like the rest of the building – was clean and well decorated. Everything fit well into the theme and all the little details had been thought of, imagine a classroom at a school of wizardry and this exactly what you’ve got here.

Game:

We played as a two, however most of the game wasnt linear so there is plenty for everyone to do whether you have 2 or 6 people in your group. Having played mostly linear games for the last few months, it was a nice change, although it did throw us a little to start off with when we were opening locks and not pulling out another puzzle, but once we clicked on that there were multiple things we could be doing, we had another look round and began spotting tons of things we had originally missed.

The flow of the game was a little strange for us, as none of the puzzles followed on from each other, we found ourselves stopping quite a few times, to wander round wondering what we were supposed to do next, this could just be down to the amount of mostly linear games we have played.

The puzzles themselves were a good mix, word, logic, observation and code-breaking, and a mixture of difficulty levels, and all of them magic related in some way. Some were simple and easy to solve, but relied on you actually spotting it….this part being a little more difficult. Other puzzles were more complex and a little harder, but right in front of you so you couldn’t miss them. One puzzle in the game didn’t really make sense to us, and when explained to us afterwards we still didn’t quite understand the logic, we could see what we were supposed to do, and we had solved the puzzle, but we couldnt understand how we had managed to get to that conclusion, as the clues seemed to be pointing us to do something slightly different.  The last puzzle was a nice, fitting way to end the game.

Overall, most of the puzzles were fun to solve, and apart from not knowing what to do next, we never really got stuck too long on anything (excluding the one mentioned above). If your only into linear games, then this might not be the room for you, but its a family friendly room and suitable for new players with a little help – maybe 5 or players -(there is definitely plenty to do at once) but challenging enough that experienced players will still enjoy it , for those who have played quite a few rooms, I would say you would do fine with 2 or 3 players.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Clues were sent to our TV screen in the room, they were all written in a sort of spell/poem style, so all the clues were 4 lines of rhymes, which I loved as it felt less like someone was talking to you from a control room than the usual ‘you need to look under the rug’

Nicola ran our game really well and we received clues exactly when we needed them so we were never stuck on the same thing for too long, all the staff we spoke to were helpful, friendly and happy to chat to us, and you could see they really care about the rooms and their customers.

Did we escape?:

Yes! In just under 53 minutes!

Price:

Peak – Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Off Peak – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

  • 2 players – off peak- £40.00            peak- £48.00 
  • 3 players – off peak- £54.00            peak- £60.00
  • 4 players – off peak- £58.00            peak- £72.00 
  • 5 players – off peak- £60.00            peak- £80.00 
  • 6 players off peak- £66.00             peak- £84.00

Website:

www.the-escapologist.com

Stuck In The Riddle – The Dungeon

Where: Huddersfield

Theme:

“The king is dead! In the late hours of last night your father, and the king of England, tragically died under suspicious circumstances. Suddenly a troupe of guards, commanded by your cousin, burst into your room while you sleep and take you to the dungeon to lock you up – as the rightful heir to the throne you suspect your cousin is planning on murdering you so he can claim the throne for himself”

Most sections of the game were very well done, we played this game not long after it opened so everything was in great condition, the dungeon was what you would expect, Medieval style chests, table and decorations. The floor had a carpet printed with stone tiles, which was the strangest thing to touch, as you were expecting real stone but instead of being cold and hard, it was warm and soft. The props were well made and looked authentic, making the room quite immersive in some parts, however one section of the game appeared to not really have any theming at all and I feel something more could have been done with this area.

Game:

So I was a little surprised when I received an email from a new escape room called ‘stuck in the riddle’ considering the similarities in our names, and just as surprised that I hadn’t come across it myself. According to the website, have 3 rooms planned which already have themes, but have opened with just one and the others will open at a later date. We are always happy when new rooms open up nearby, so got booked in as soon as we could.

We played this game as a 3, normally I prefer playing as a team of 2, but for this room i was glad we had the extra person with us. The start of the game relied on good teamwork and communication, we were all able to reach certain items, and had to share information to complete this part of the game. The game flowed quite well, there was a few easy puzzles, a few more difficult puzzles, and some which took us a long time to solve. Some of the puzzles in the game had multiple ways which they could have been attempted, and nothing to point out which was the correct way, so we spent far too long on these trying out all the different ways they could be solved until we found one that gave us an answer that worked in one of the locks. I don’t mind complicated puzzles, or puzzles that require you to try different things to solve it, but puzzles that have endless ways they could be solved and nothing to point to the correct way tend to waste a lot of time. Apart from a few of these puzzles, the room flowed pretty well, a good difficulty level for us, and a good mixture of logic, observation, math and practical puzzles, with a fair bit of code breaking. The puzzles mainly stuck with the theme, however a UV torch puzzle stood out a little bit, as everything else had been right on theme, it seemed a little unfitting to have UV torches in this Medieval dungeon. Overall the room was fun to play, a few of the puzzles could be improved a little over time to take away some of the guesswork, but this game didn’t really have that ‘first room’ feeling about it which you often get when playing the first built room of a new company. Experienced players should do fine with 2-3, however the game may be a little tricky for new players, while I feel that 7 players might be a little crowded, especially at the start of the game, i would take 4-6 as the extra brains may be very useful.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Tom (the owner) as our host, he was friendly and seemed to care about his rooms. Clues were delivered to a TV screen, and Tom ran our game really well. Clues were sent to a TV screen in our room, and Tom ran our game really well.

Did we escape? 

Yes! In 57:46 

dungeon

Website: 

www.stuckintheriddle.com

Price:

2 people – £34 (£17 each)
‘3 people – £48 (£16 each)
4 people – £60 (£15 each)
5 people – £70 (£14 each)
6 people – £78 (£13 each)
7 people – £84 (£12 each)

Locked In Games – Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Where: Leeds

Theme:

“Step through the wardrobe into the bleak, eternal winter of Narnia. The White Witch is determined not to let anyone get in the way of her quest for power, least of all a family of human children. She has set a deadly trap for Lucy, Peter, Edmund and Susan and without your help, they have little hope of escaping from her evil clutches. Can you work out how to free the Pevensie children from the dark dungeon in the White Witch’s icy castle? Or will they perish before taking their rightful place at the thrones of Cair Paravel?”

The theming in the room was lovely, a very pretty room and a really nice place to spend an hour. This would be a great room to play as a family and people of all ages will appreciate it. ‘Narnia’ was very well decorated, and a lot of attention to detail had been put in, there’s just so much in this room and they have really worked hard to ensure every last inch of the room fit the theme. Every puzzle and prop was well maintained and fit in seamlessly with the story.

The Game:

We started off the game in a smaller room containinga few puzzles, and spent far too long in this section of the game, which really impacted us in the later half of the game – we really could have used all the time we had wasted – there wasn’t a huge amount to do in here, but one of the puzzles happened to be something we are not too great at, and we managed to overthink it quite a bit, and it turned out we could have got this done much quicker. Be very careful in this first section, as their isn’t really a way to receive clues, and no TV screen so you have no idea how long you have been in there for until you make it to the next part. I imagine that this section is intended to be completed quite quickly, and i’m assuming that we spent a lot longer than normal in here). It won’t come as a surprise (and i wont be spoiling anything by saying this) that to get to ‘Narnia’, we had to go through a wardrobe, I loved the way that this had been done, as we had to do something very specific to do this, but I’ll leave that part as a surprise.

As pretty as the room was, we really didn’t ‘get’ this room. It was hard work for us to actually complete it, and we needed a fair bit of help. The puzzles themselves weren’t too difficult, but knowing what we should be doing when was an issue for us throughout the game. The one thing I didn’t like about this room, is that almost straight away we had a huge number of things to work with, and everytime we managed to solve a puzzle and open up a lock, we ended up with more things, we never knew when we had all the pieces of something, and there was never much of indication of what we should be doing at what point. The game didn’t flow great for us, we were constantly having to be told what things we needed at that point in time, which is what we needed the help with – once we had picked out the things we were supposed to be on, we had no problems actually working the puzzles out, but everytime we solved a puzzle we would receive a new stack of things which weren’t all relevant at the time. There were a few things which we had got very early on in the game, but couldn’t actually use until the very end. We were collecting things which were parts of puzzles, and everytime we got a new item, we had to go back through all the stuff we had found and see if we could use it yet. I imagine that this would be ok if you were in a larger group, but for two of us it was very time consuming and really interrupted the flow of the room. We ended up with so much stuff all laid out all over the floor at the end of the game that you could hardly see it.

That being said, the puzzles themselves were fun to solve, once we had been told what we should be using, and a good mixture of word, math, observation, logic and practical (ish). I feel that the game would have flowed much better if a lot of the items were received in a better order, as this was a pretty linear game, there was no reason to have so many things right from the start other than to confuse you and throw you off.

The game was a little stressful at times, and we often felt we were just sifting through things, but the actual puzzles themselves were clever, and like all the rooms here, broought so many aspects of the room into play, every puzzle was right on theme, nothing out of place and we absolutely loved the final puzzle (one of the few things that we did know when we had all the pieces) and a few of the other puzzles stuck with us. A lot had been done in really clever ways, incorporating actual objects in the room into each puzzle, the theming and the puzzles were so well done, it was just a shame that the room didn’t flow as well as it could. It could just be that this really wasn’t our style of room, but i feel a few tiny changes to the order of things and the room would have flowed really well for us, but don’t take my word for it, everybody is different and will enjoy different types of games. Experienced players would be ok in this room, with anywhere between 2 and 4 players, depending on how confident you are with this sort of game, a few extra pairs of hands would have really helped us in here, new players i would take at least 4, 5 if possible, due to the amount of things actually in here.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Huma was our game host, she was lovely and ran our game really well, and was more than happy to chat with us about the games after. She went through everything with us, made us feel welcome and excited to get into the room.

Clues are delivered to the TV screen in the room. The rooms have mic’s so we could always ask for help if we needed it. Huma was a huge help in this room, and I’m pretty sure we would never have made it out if it wasn’t for her help, hinting at what we needed to be doing at certain points in the game.

Did we escape?:

Yes! In 58:14!

Price:

2 Players – £40

3 Players – £45

4 Players – £56

5 Players – £65

6 Players – £78

Website:

www.lockedingames.co.uk