Escape-Hull Sherlock/221B Baker Street

Game date: 08/06/2017

Where: Hull

Theme:

“Having been enlisted by Moriarty, your task is to break into 221B Baker Street, defeat Sherlock’s failsafes and retrieve an item of historic importance. Hurry though, Sherlock and Dr Watson are hot on your tail!”

Theres not a huge amount I can say on the theme, decoration was good, it was basically Sherlock’s living room, this section was done well, and the decor fit with the era in which it was set, however the later parts of the game were a bit bare and more could have been done with these, but this didn’t really have an impact on the game as it was only a small part of it. There was an extra objective to this room, we had to steal Sherlock’s hat, but we actually managed to open the door before doing this, and had to go back for it. By the end of the game, we had pretty much forgotten about the hat, whilst the actual game was fun, the hat didn’t really interest us, and I feel like the item of historic importance could have been something more interesting.

The game:

One game down, 3 to go, Sherlock was our second room here today, we played with 2, which like the rest of the rooms we have played here, was the perfect number for us. We had two objectives in this room, to escape, and to find and steal an item belonging to sherlock. Like a lot of the rooms we have played with both Escape-Hull and Doncaster, the starting puzzle was right in front of us, but it was also a place we never think to look, as we always assume its decoration. Once we figured this out, we got going a lot quicker, the room wasnt too difficult, and flowed well, it even had a few audio puzzles which was a nice change as we don’t often come across these.. The puzzles were logical and fun to solve, and we got most of them pretty well, although we did waste some time trying to figure out a number of long riddles we had collected throughout the game, however it turned out that we didn’t actually need to do this. We also came across one puzzle that was identical to one in the Da Vinci room at Escape-Doncaster, but luckily this was the only one, and nothing of major importance. The puzzles were mainly on theme, and contained a mix of number, observation, logic and code-breaking, and a we had to do a little bit of searching. None of the puzzles were hugely memorable, but they were fun, well thought out and satisfying to solve, and we enjoyed this room alot.

This would be a good room for new players, and I would recommend a team of 4, while experienced players should be fine as a two.

Host, briefing and clue system:

The same as our last game, Mike was our game host, and again he ran our game very well, we didn’t need a huge amount of clues in this room, but when we did, they were delivered at the perfect time. Like the previous rooms, clues were delivered to the TV screen in the room, and again Mike was happy to chat with us after the game.

Did we escape?

Yes! In 47:14 

Sherlock

 

Booking and prices:

You can book online, and there is a phone number on the website so you may be able to book over the phone. I like the booking system they use, as it lets you add multiple rooms to the same booking.

Price: 

Two players – £48 (£24pp)

Three players – £57 (£19pp)

Four players – £64 (£16pp)

Five players – £70 (£14pp)

Website:

www.escape-hull.co.uk

Escape-Hull The Darker Side Of Hull

Game date: 08/06/2017

Where: Hull

Theme:

You’re usually more than happy to take the night shift at Hull’s History Museum but after the disappearance of your colleague it’s certainly not where you want to be. Gather your team and delve deep into the museum to find out what happened to your colleague but be careful, you may discover more about Hull’s dark past than you wanted to”

The website advises Parental guidance due to this room featuring information on real murders that occurred in Hull (provided by local historian Mike Covell). Whilst being quite dark (which IS the theme of the room) it was quite interesting to actually learn a bit of Hull’s history whilst playing this room, and I can still remember some of the stories we learnt about in the room. It’s not every day you get a history lesson with your escape room!

This is the second museum themed room we have played, but unlike the hi-tech room The Heist we played at Enigma Doncaster, this was more of an old-fashioned museum. The room had a lot of padlocks and not much tech, but this made sense as it was a history museum after all. The room was well decorated, and was believable as a museum, the theme of it being quite nautical, and a lot of the exhibits and information focused on the fishing side of hull, with a huge old-fashioned anchor in there, several different types of model ships, boat tickets and tools. A few other aspects in focused on the timeline of events which happened in hull, dating back to the early 1200’s, listing key events in Hulls past, and the different kings and queens of the times. A lot of the ‘murder’ history was hidden to start with, and we uncovered more and more of this as we progressed in the game. The puzzles were all on theme, and a lot of the information and exhibits played a part in the actual puzzles, and were done in unique and interesting, but not instantly obvious ways.

The game:

This is our second visit to Escape-Hull, and we were booked in to play the remaining 4 games in a row. This game is for 2-5 players, we played with 2. I’m glad we played this room as a two, there was a lot to do, but I feel that with a larger number of people we would have got in each others way (this wont be the case for everyone, as there is plenty to do, and even as a team of 5 there would be something for everyone, but we like to do everything ourselves). Just having the two of us meant that the starting point of the game took us a bit longer, but it also made it more fun, a lot of teamwork was required here, and you really had to help each other out to progress in the game. We did really well in this room, we never hit any major road blocks, and flew through the room which flowed beautifully. We did get tripped up at one point down to our own stupidity, as we repeatedly kept getting two names mixed up, and spent ages trying to solve a puzzle using the wrong name, and both us and our host couldn’t understand why our code wasnt working, but eventually we clicked on and rectified our mistake (after giving ourselves a telling off for not enough paying attention) and we were back on track. There was a good variety of puzzles in this room, word, logic, practical, math, a lot of observation and quite a bit of searching. The puzzles were alot of fun, satisfying to solve, and each one gave us a little bit more information about the dark past of Hull. The way all the exhibits and actual facts in the museum had been incorporated into the puzzles was great, and we had alot of fun in this room.

This room shouldnt be too difficult for newbies, and I would recommend 4 or 5 players as there is a lot to do, experienced players should be fine with two.

Host, briefing and clue system:

The same as last time we were here, Mike was our game host, and again he ran our game very well, we didn’t need a huge amount of clues in this room, but when we did, they were delivered at the perfect time. Like the previous rooms, clues were delivered to the TV screen in the room, and again Mike was happy to chat with us after the game.

Did we escape?

Yes! In 50:43 

Darker side of hull

 

Booking and prices:

You can book online, and there is a phone number on the website so you may be able to book over the phone. I like the booking system they use, as it lets you add multiple rooms to the same booking,

Price: 

Two players – £48 (£24pp)

Three players – £57 (£19pp)

Four players – £64 (£16pp)

Five players – £70 (£14pp)

Website:

www.escape-hull.co.uk

Escape Reality – Jungala

Game date: 06/06/2017

Where: Leeds

Theme: 

“You have discovered an old board game in your attic and once opened you are engulfed by a vortex and transported into an alternative realm. After only seeing a glimpse of the terrible world inside you are thrown back into reality. Vowing never to approach the game again you attempt to leave but the door has been locked trapping you in. You have no choice but to complete the game or be trapped inside the other realm for eternity. You only have sixty minutes to complete the game or be trapped inside the other realm for eternity!”

The decoration in the living room section of this room was great, a room that could have been taken straight out of the 90’s, with flowery sofas and ornaments, and old-fashioned wall paper, and we felt like we were actually there in the living room playing the board game. The jungle section of this room wasnt as impressive, and I think a lot more could have been done with this section, the walls were painted completely black, with a few cobwebs on them. There was little in the way of decoration, a table, a few props and rocks scattered about. This section lacked that great sense of immersion that the living room part of the game created, and I feel they could have added something in here, although the puzzles were mostly well thought out and fit well with the theme.

 

The game:

Our second game of the day at Escape Reality, and now our second visit, the game is for 2-6 players, and again we played with 2.  Jungala is rated as the easiest game, the only one with 3 out of 5 stars, but we were warned that people actually found it more difficult than some of the ‘harder’ rooms, and the escape rate wasnt very high. We did end up needed in few clues in this room, some of them we probably could have managed without, as we had just not checked our working out, or overlooked a small detail.

The starting puzzle was immediately obvious, and we did that one pretty quickly, but after that we came across two puzzles where we knew what we had to do, but couldn’t figure out where to get some of the information from. It turned out we needed to use the same thing for both puzzles, but in a different way, and it was something that we didn’t even think to check as it seemed too simple! The puzzles in this room involved a lot of logic, some maths, practical and a small amount of code breaking and observation. There was a little bit of searching to be done, and most of the puzzles were really fun to solve, we got some of them straight away, but some of them had multiple ways in which they could have been done, and led to us over thinking a lot of the puzzles in this room. There was one puzzle in particular that was so simple we never would have got it on our own, and we spent a while trying to solve it in different ways. A puzzle towards the end also tripped us up, most of the puzzles in the room made sense, but this one wasnt very logical, and we had actually really enjoyed solving the first part of this puzzle, but the second part didnt make much sense to us and it was difficult to see how you would have got to this conclusion without a clue, as there was another was another way of doing it that seemed the far more obvious solution. This room actually took us longer and we needed more clues than the more difficult  Iron Kingdom room that we played before hand. Despite a small number of the puzzles being far too ambiguous, the majority were rewarding to solve, they had a good variety, and we enjoyed the slight practical element the game had.

The room was fun and is worth playing, but experienced players will need to be careful, as you are at risk of over thinking everything. For new players I would recommend 4 or 5 players, even though it’s the easiest room here, it is a little tricky in parts! For experienced players 2 or 3 should be enough.

 

Host, briefing and clue system:

Like the other rooms we played here, you get an iPad with your timer on it, and you can also use it to scan QR codes next to the puzzles and get a hint, but doing this has a time penalty which is added on to your final escape time. It also shows you how many puzzles will be in the game. 4 games in and we still havent used the iPad, preferring to stick to the penalty free hint system of having our host come into the room.  If you havent read my pervious reviews about Escape Reality, when you escape you have to use the iPad to scan an exit code, which then records your time, and I still think this is most stressful part of the game, and a very anxious couple of seconds while you try to line up the iPad, so make sure you have the iPad in your hands when you leave or you will find yourself running back for it!

Since writing my last review, I have checked who our game host was, and we had Callum for both this room and the Iron Kingdom. Again, he was great, really friendly and helpful, made us feel welcome, and was always straight into the room when we needed a hint, he was waiting for us outside when we escaped, and chatted to us for ages about the rooms after our game.

Did we escape?

Yes! In 54 minutes!

Jungala

Booking and prices:

We booked online, you can book several different rooms or time slots at once, just make sure you click on the right location as they are all on the same website!

Price:

2 Players – £44 (£22.00 each)
3 Players – £60 (£20.00 each)
4 Players – £72 (£18.00 each)
5 Players – £85 (£17.00 each)
6 Players – £96 (£16.00 each)

Escape Reality have a 20% discount code on their website, use ESCAPEREALITY20 when booking, it may not be around for long though!

Website:

www.escapereality.com

Escape Reality – The Iron Kingdom

Game date: 06/06/2017

Where: Leeds

Theme: 

“Within the largest continent of the world, known as the Iron Kingdom, there exists seven noble families. In the heart of this Kingdom lies the Throne, the main source of conflict between everybody in the land. Whoever sits on the Throne rules the entire continent, a position desired by many, a position in which people will go to extreme lengths to hold. News has quickly spread over the land suggesting that the new King is not the rightful heir to the throne. The discovery has caused an eruption throughout the Seven Kingdoms and a battle for the throne has broken out. You must find out who is the rightful heir to the throne. Who are you going to support? Which house are you going to fight for?”

This room is definitely the best ‘medieval’ room I have played. The room had a lot more padlocks than the other two rooms we have played here, which we expected due to the theme, keypads and switches would have looked really out-of-place in this room. The room was quite large, nowhere near the size of down the rabbit hole, but more than big enough, and so much work and detail had been put into it. Everything was made of wood and metal, the room consisted of a lot of wooden chests, tables and chairs and thick wooden doors, they were all really high quality and so well made, the room was so immersive, the music was spot on and i could really believe we had gone back in time. I was amazed how sturdy and well made everything was, and how much attention to detail had gone into making this room so great.

All the props and puzzles were right on theme, the game had a lot of practical elements to it, where we had to physically do things, and they had managed to make every one of these relevant to the story.

 

The game:

We were only here 3 days ago, when we had first come to escape reality, I had unexpectedly finished work early, so we booked two rooms last-minute and headed on through. We loved them so much that we booked two more when we got home, for a few days later. So this is our second visit to Escape Reality in a few days.

The game is for 2-6 players, again we played with 2. This was a really good number for us in this room, and despite it being one of the harder ones here, we did really well in this room, and I loved every second of it, and im glad we had a small team so we both got to see everything in the room.

This game was everything I had been wanting, and I was actually a bit sad when it was over. The puzzles were difficult at times, but perfectly logical and solvable, and fit in perfectly with the theme, a great variety of code-breaking, word, observation, practical and logic puzzles, with just the right mix of padlocks and tech. We flew through this room, needing very little help. The room had some really unique puzzles, the starting puzzle was so clever, i have no idea how they did it, and it was so easy to do, but at the same time could be difficult to figure out, as its something you may not have seen done before, or even thought was possible to do.

There were a few puzzles in the room that were a bit awkward to do, such as one where we were required to push buttons in a certain order, we ended up asking for help, we had been sure we had it correct, and it turned out we did, but we needed to press the buttons harder than we had been, this wasted a bit of our time, as we had the correct order for a while, and we had been pressing them pretty hard to start with, in the end I had to practically lean on them to make it work. Another puzzle we had an issue with (this one was more down to us) was towards the end, we had solved the final puzzle, but not realised and changed the order of it, ended up asking for a clue again only to find out we had it right to start with, and had just not left it long enough, so we spent another 5 minutes moving things round for no reason.

The puzzles in the room were so much fun, and were really satisfying to solve, I loved every minute of it, and didn’t want the game to end. After playing the two high-tech rooms here a few days ago, it was really nice to play this more traditional room, but it still had just enough tech to add that bit of extra magic to the game, and done in such a way that wasnt out-of-place in theme. After solving the final puzzle, there was one last thing to do in order to open the door, it was so simple, but so clever, and it had actually been part of the back story and wrapped everything up nicely, we remembered the story and what we were here to do, so we got it instantly, but I can imagine it being quite difficult to figure out.

I would really recommend this room to anyone, for me it was definitely one of the best rooms ive played, newbies I would take 4-5 players, there are some puzzles in there that can be tricky, and experienced players should do just fine in a team of 2.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Like the other rooms we played here, you get an iPad with your timer on it, and you can also use it to scan QR codes next to the puzzles and get a hint, but doing this has a time penalty which is added on to your final escape time. It also shows you how many puzzles will be in the game. 3 games in and we still havent used the iPad, preferring to stick to the penalty free hint system of having our host come into the room.  If you havent read my previous reviews about Escape Reality, when you escape you have to use the iPad to scan an exit code, which then records your time, and I still think this is most stressful part of the game, and a very anxious couple of seconds while you try to line up the iPad, so make sure you have the iPad in your hands when you leave or you will find yourself running back for it!

I can’t remember our hosts name! I must have asked so many times so I didn’t forget, and still can’t remember, I think its time to start taking a notepad with me just for writing down names. Our host was great, he chatted to us for ages about the rooms, was so quick getting to the room when we needed a clue, and he was already waiting for us when we got out.

Did we escape?

Yes! In 53 minutes!

The iron kingdom.jpg

Booking and prices:

We booked online, you can book several different rooms or time slots at once, just make sure you click on the right location as they are all on the same website!

Price:

2 Players – £44 (£22.00 each)
3 Players – £60 (£20.00 each)
4 Players – £72 (£18.00 each)
5 Players – £85 (£17.00 each)
6 Players – £96 (£16.00 each)

Escape Reality have a 20% discount code on their website, use ESCAPEREALITY20 when booking, it may not be around for long though!

Website:

www.escapereality.com

Escape Reality – Down The Rabbit Hole

Game date: 03/06/2017

Where: Leeds

Theme: 

“You and your friends were enjoying yourselves at a party when, suddenly you found yourselves transported into another world. Whether it was the drink, the food or some bizarre phenomenon that caused this rapid change of fate doesn’t matter now as you are all in danger. This dimension does not work as you would expect, in fact things can go quite topsy-turvy very quickly if you are not careful. You may not realise at first but there is an evil twist to the game. Have your wits about you, this room will try its best to tease and taunt you. Your team’s challenge is to escape sane and unscarred, whilst finding your way around this peculiar place.”

This was our second game at Escape Reality, and after seeing the first room, I was expecting something equally impressive. Again, I wasnt disappointed, theming was great, all the props were very well made, and looked liked they could have actually come straight from wonderland, the walls were painted with Alice style artwork, and one aspect i really loved about this room where the things scattered on the floor, in one area the room was filled with various game pieces and it was great fun digging through them all. The game started off very pretty, but the further in we got, the more weird and disturbing it got, and we knew we were pretty deep into the game when we walked into a room full of severed limbs. This game was huge, it just kept going and going, every time we thought we were nearly out, we found that we had more to do! After a while I started to think that it was never going to end. The puzzles all fit really well into the wonderland theme and all related to the back story in some way.

 

The game:

The game is for 2-6 players, again we played with 2. We really could have done with a few more people on this one, as the game got progressively harder as we went through it.

We entered the game through a tiny room consisting of a single puzzle, a puzzle that was quite obscure and the logical answer to it turned out to be incorrect, we spent far to long on this one, but we were determined not to ask for help on the first puzzle again. In the end we did, and after the puzzle had been explained to us, we still didn’t think we would have figured it out.

After this we got going, and the room flowed really well from this point, for a little while anyway. The room was very linear, and we solved the next few puzzles easily. I enjoyed this section of the game, we had entered an area where things were not as they seemed, and it really got our brains working solving them.

This large chunk of the game had some really fun puzzles that we just loved solving, but after getting past this we began to struggle, the puzzles got a lot harder and made less sense, and when we got to a beautiful, huge wooden centerpiece that played a part in a puzzle, we really slowed down, the clues to the puzzle gave us multiple out comes, but only a few of these were correct, so we have solved it in the order they appeared, when this didn’t work we had to ask for a clue, and it turned out we just had to try all the different variations. The puzzle following that made no sense to us, and even when explained to us after the game, I was still left thinking ‘ why would we have done that?’ especially when the solution appeared to be something else. They had also used colours in this puzzle, but it wasnt clear enough what some of the colours were – red and orange for example, looked the same. Things got a lot easier after this, and we only got tripped up again at the end of the game, when we were required to do a tiny bit of searching. There had been nothing to look for in this game or the last one we had played, and we just had to move a few props out of the way, but because of the lack of searching, once I came across something we could use I assumed that was all we needed so stopped looking.

Overall the game had some really fun puzzles, even if one or two were a little frustrating, and we had a lot of fun playing it, the feeling of getting deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole was reflected brilliantly in the props and decoration, and this room was just huge! The puzzles were a mix of observation, math, word and logic puzzles and there was just so much to do. One thing that slowed us down and interrupted the flow of the room, was the long walk back to the starting point to press the hint button, then walking all the way back with our host, we probably lost at least 5 minutes doing this, not a huge amount but in a small group this could be the difference between getting out or not. Obviously this got further and further away and became a much longer walk as we progressed, it was so far away, we couldn’t actually hear each other even when shouting.

I wouldn’t recommend this room for new players as there is so much to do and some of the puzzles are a little difficult, I would play one of Escape Reality’s easier rooms first, but if you do play it, i would take a full team of 6. Experienced players would still be better off with a team of 3 or 4.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Like the previous room we played here, you get an iPad with your timer on it, and you can also use it to scan QR codes next to the puzzles and get a hint, but doing this has a time penalty which is added on to your final escape time. It also shows you how many puzzles will be in the game. We didn’t use the iPad in this room either, (again down to not wanting the time penalty) so I’m not sure what kind of hints it gives you or how in-depth they are. When you get out you have to use the iPad to scan an exit code, which then records your time, this was probably the most stressful part of the game, and a very anxious couple of seconds while you tried to line up the iPad, so make sure you have the iPad in your hands when you leave or you will find yourself running back for it!

If, like us, you don’t like the idea of receiving a time penalty, there is also a switch in the room that you can press, and your host will enter the room and give you a clue. You can do this as many times as you want with no penalties.

Prateek was our host again, he was always there straight away when we needed a clue and again he was friendly and happy to chat with us about the room afterwards.

Did we escape?

Kind of.. we were right at the end of the game and had figured out the last puzzle, but thanks to me not looking round enough we missed where we were supposed to put the answer, and we ran out of time walking back to the start of the game to ask for a clue, but we got to finish the game anyway as we were so close.

Down the rabbit hole

Booking and prices:

We booked online, you can book several different rooms or time slots at once, just make sure you click on the right location as they are all on the same website!

Price:

2 Players – £44 (£22.00 each)
3 Players – £60 (£20.00 each)
4 Players – £72 (£18.00 each)
5 Players – £85 (£17.00 each)
6 Players – £96 (£16.00 each)

Escape Reality have a 20% discount code on their website, use ESCAPEREALITY20 when booking, it may not be around for long though!

Website:

www.escapereality.com

Escape Reality – Machina

Game date: 03/06/2017

Where: Leeds

Theme: 

“A team of high‐tech scientists and programmers have assembled to perform ground breaking experiments in developing the first instance of true artificial intelligence known to man.You have just been accepted into the team of scientists and have arrived at their headquarters. After a few days you realise that scientists are suddenly leaving and that these robots are showing frightening human‐like emotions. You decide that you need to leave as quickly as possible as something peculiar is happening, but all of the doors have been locked, trapping you and the rest of the team inside. Can you escape before you reluctantly become a part of the experiment?”

We had high expectations for the theme of the room, the website claims Escape Reality to be the world’s number one escape room game! We weren’t disappointed, the room was amazing, it was one of those rooms that I wish I could go back and play again. It was very immersive, the music and lighting were spot on, the floor was covered with metal tread plate, and there was a huge structure in the middle of the room that looked like something out of a video game. It felt a little bit like we were in the future, there was so much tech in the room, half of which i had never seen before. Even the key pads they used were like something out of a sci-fi film. Another aspect that made it all the more immersive, was the lack of laminated paper clues, everything was printed on some kind of ceramic or tile, and it just felt so much more real than the usual printed paper.

The game:

The game was for 2-6 players, and we played with 2. It was a little tricky with 2, but not too difficult, and it is mainly down to our poor maths skills that we struggled. Playing as just a couple really shows you your strengths and weaknesses, and unfortunately for us, our seem to be quite similar. Despite this, I’m glad we didn’t play the room with more than this, as I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on doing some of the puzzles, even if a few extra brains would have helped – there are a few puzzles I can pick out that some of the others we have played with would have got really well.

I really liked this game, and part of me wishes that I hadn’t chosen this as our first game, we weren’t sure what to expect from Escape Reality, and think we would have done a lot better if we had played a different room before this one. The room was unlike anything we had played before, and it took us most of the game to get used to it. That being said we had to start somewhere, and this would have been the case no matter which game we played first.

Annoyingly, we really messed up at the start of this game, we found the first puzzle pretty quickly, and it was so easy that im still angry at myself for messing it up! Basically we had to take away a number from a large (ish) number, and we spent 20 minutes trying to put the code we had into a keypad, we ended up asking for a clue, as we were sure we were doing the right thing and couldn’t figure out why it wasnt working. Our host just told us to check our maths, and we quickly realised we had just added up wrong! This was really frustrating for me, as I should have known better to check our maths to avoid making such a simple and stupid mistake, and we could have been halfway through the game by this point.

With that aside, we flew through the rest of the game, which flowed beautifully, and we had a lot of fun solving the puzzles, most of them were really original and had a lot of variety, a mixture of math, logic, observation, word, code-breaking and practical, often with a single puzzle incorporating a mixture of these elements. There was practically no searching to be done, and most of the room was automated, I can only remember seeing one or two padlocks. A lot of the room involved physically doing things, connecting things correctly, putting things in the right position or place, and actually having the objects in your hands made it so much fun and really immersive. Exiting the room was a highlight for me, and done in such a way that we could figure out the exit code whilst running to the door!

Due to the iPad clue system (more on that below) the puzzles were numbered, which to start with I didn’t like the idea of, but as we progressed I actually found that I quite liked knowing how much we had left to do, we knew exactly how far through the room we were, and while i prefer playing games which give you clues when you need them, it did help a lot when deciding if it was time to ask for a clue, and stopped us spending too long on one puzzle. It also made it more exciting when you reached the final puzzle, knowing that if you could solve this you were out!

New players may struggle a bit with this room, so I would recommend 5 or 6 players, and 2-4 for experienced players.

Host, briefing and clue system:

Escape Reality use a clue system that I havent seen done before, you get an iPad with your timer on it, and you can also use it to scan QR codes next to the puzzles and get a hint, but doing this has a time penalty which is added on to your final escape time. It also shows you how many puzzles will be in the game. I’m not sure what kind of hints it gives you or how in-depth they are, as we didn’t like the idea of time being added on for needing help, so we never used it. When you get out you have to use the iPad to scan an exit code, which then records your time, this was probably the most stressful part of the game, and a very anxious couple of seconds while you tried to line up the iPad, so make sure you have the iPad in your hands when you leave or you will find yourself running back for it!

If, like us, you don’t like the idea of receiving a time penalty, there is also a switch in the room that you can press, and your host will enter the room and give you a clue. You can do this as many times as you want with no penalties. I wasn’t sure about this at first, as I thought having someone come into the room would ruin the immersion a bit, but it turned out that it’s so much easier to get a hint from an actual person rather than a TV screen, plus if something goes wrong you can let them know instead of trying to communicate with hand gestures. Our host never told us exactly what to do, and it was more a case of ‘have you tried this’ and a lot of the time we found we were on the right track and had just missed a small detail.

Prateek was our host, (Someone else did our brief, but I didn’t catch his name) he was always there straight away when we needed a clue and was waiting for us outside the room when we got out. He was friendly and happy to chat with us about the room afterwards.

Did we escape?

Yes! I forgot our time was on the iPad, so didn’t think to check it when we were done! But we got out in time, although we must have had a few minutes left at the most.

Machina.jpg

Booking and prices:

We booked online, you can book several different rooms or time slots at once, just make sure you click on the right location as they are all on the same website!

Price:

2 Players – £44 (£22.00 each)
3 Players – £60 (£20.00 each)
4 Players – £72 (£18.00 each)
5 Players – £85 (£17.00 each)
6 Players – £96 (£16.00 each)

Escape Reality have a 20% discount code on their website, use ESCAPEREALITY20 when booking, it may not be around for long though!

Website:

www.escapereality.com

Enigma? The Heist (Test game)

Game date: 25/05/2017

Where: Doncaster

Theme: 

“You’re a team of cat burglars with your eye’s on the world-famous Enigma Diamond. Will you escape with the diamond, escape with just your freedom or be caught in the act and do hard time?”

After playing all the Enigma rooms in both Doncaster and Sheffield, I was excited to hear that there was a new one coming to Doncaster, and we just had to play it, and we were lucky enough to be one of the testers!

So you might have noticed that the game date is a bit out-of-order here, as we played this room as a test game and I wanted to wait until the room was officially open before posting this review. As this was a test game, we were aware that the room wasn’t quite finished yet, and there would be a few finishing touches that would be added before it opened, although when we played, the room was already done to a high standard so I would love to see how it looks when its done! Because of this, obviously i wont be mentioning if there’s a bit of wall that’s not been painted yet. Minus the finishing touches, and making sure everything works, this will hopefully be the final version of this game and all the puzzles are already in there.

The decoration in the room was really good, you could see a lot of work had been put into it, and it was almost as though someone had actually taken a small piece of a museum and put it in this building. Everything was finished to a high standard, and it had actual display cabinets with ‘artifacts’ on display. The puzzles were right on theme, and most of the props and decorations in the room were incorporated into them. The room was well-lit, and the music fitted well with the story. Due to the theme choice, there wasnt really much of a story to discover as we progressed through the room, but we did learn a few things about the exhibits that were on display!

The game:

Like the rest of Enigmas rooms, the game is for 2-6 players. We played this one with 4 and it actually ended up being the same 4 of us that played Ward 13 here a few months ago. Parts of the room were quite difficult and im glad that we didn’t go with less. 4 was a good number for us in this room, and we all contributed to the group in some way.

In keeping with the theme of this room, we found there were very little places to search, as it’s a museum, and there wasnt really any furniture in the room, it was mainly display cabinets and pillars containing artifacts. This room was very different to the other rooms, and different to any room I have played so far. It was all automated, there wasnt a single padlock in sight. Each time we solved a puzzles, it would trigger something, or something would unlock, and we would discover a new secret. The room was really well done, as on first glance it looked like there wasnt much in the room its self, however as we progressed we discovered more and more that had been previously hidden, and it turned out that a lot of the things we needed had been right in front of us, we just didn’t know how to use them yet. To say that there was so much tech in the room, it all ran smoothly and everything flowed really well.

The room was quite difficult, and involved quite a bit of reading, some of the puzzles were a little tricky, and a mixture of math, logic, a lot of observation, and a few hands-on type puzzles. The first puzzle was quite a difficult one to start with, and we spent far too long on this one, (around 20 minutes!) we had actually figured out what we needed to do pretty quickly, but had been over thinking the order in which to do it, and this part of the puzzle turned out to be easier than we were making it.

Once we had got figured out the first puzzle, we were on our way and flew through the next lot of puzzles. We were doing great until we hit one of the last puzzles of the game, it was really tricky, and we spent quite a while trying to crack it. We knew what we had to do, but actually doing this was quite complicated and took us a while to get it right, this was a pretty big puzzle, and brought loads of different aspects of the room into play. After we had solved this, we were onto the final stretch of the room, and everything that happened in the next few minutes was definitely a highlight of the game for us. Right at the end, the diamond appeared from nowhere, and we grabbed it and made our escape!

Despite being difficult, the puzzles were really satisfying to solve, and usually caused something unexpected to happen, which made solving each one very rewarding. This room was so much fun to play, and all the tech was amazing! After playing so many rooms full of padlocks, it was a nice change, and I loved all the surprises!

I wouldn’t recommend playing this room as your first room, but if you do I would take a full team of 6. Experienced players may still be better off with a team of 4 or 5 as some of the puzzles are quite tricky.

Host, briefing and clue system:

The same as when we played the other rooms at Enigma Doncaster, the clue system consisted of a door bell on the back of the door, which we could press when we wanted to use one of our lifelines, (this game is more difficult than the others, so we had 3 lifelines instead of the usual 2) a clue/hint would then be displayed on the TV screen in the room, and made a ping noise when our game host sent us a message. I like Enigmas clue system as it means you don’t get unwanted clues, but it does add a bit more pressure knowing you only have a limited amount of clues, so you have to be careful with them and make sure you really are out of ideas before using one. We also had an extra brief, to explain that lack of padlocks in the room, and to be careful if we see any lasers, yes… Lasers! That’s all im saying!

As always, Nick was great, ran our game very well, and chatted to us for ages about the room afterwards, he had put so much work into this room, and seemed genuinely excited about the room, and interested to hear what we thought.

Did we escape?

Yes! We stole the diamond and made it out, im not sure of our exact time as we got so wrapped up in talking about the room I for got to check, but we didn’t have more than a few minutes – or maybe even seconds – left!

 

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Booking and prices:

You can book online or over the phone. Booking is simple on the website – you choose your room, then choose your time slot from the ones available, the room lasts an hour, but the time slots are an hour and a half to allow for briefing and a group photo at the end.

Price:

6 players- £72 (£12 per player)
5 players- £65 (£13 per player)
4 players- £60 (£15 per player)
3 players- £48 (£16 per player)
2 players- £40 (£20 per player)

Website:

http://www.enigmarooms.co.uk