Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Escape Rooms (Spoiler Alert)

Last night four of us went to Escape Rooms near London Bridge. You cannot turn up for a game, you must pre book the experience. Slots are released a couple of months in advance and do fill up quickly. We had a 7:15pm slot for the pharaoh's chamber game. We arrived promptly at 7pm and were given a short briefing as to how the game would work and were supplied with a torch, a pen and paper and a walkie talkie to communicate with the games master. All belongings must be left in a locker (free of charge) and water / toilets are available.

The room was larger than I imagined and well lit. There is nothing scary in the game so have no fear. There are seven pharaoh's around the room all with a light above their head. The idea of the game is to light up all seven lights using less than three hints from the games master in under one hour to escape. Around 40% of teams are successful and those that are have their photo put up on the wall.

On entry we found a key inside a pyramid. The key unlocked a door, which had two pictures. The game was a "spot the difference" and once the difference had been found you had to hold your finger on both pictures to unlock a box. We were given a prompt for how to unlock the box. Inside the box was a piece of plastic. In fact several boxes and doors had plastic, which ultimately formed a puzzle and lit a pharaoh. The pyramid with a key was part of three pyramids, which all had numbers on the bottom. These numbers were the combination to a padlock on another door.

Inside this door was a map. We had four figurines, which had to be placed correctly on the map to open another box with plastic pieces. The formula was pretty complicated and we had to use a game master hint for this challenge. In the middle of the room was a rubix cube, which had to be built from very vague instructions. There was also a cryptic message, which resulted in feeling for numbers to open another combination lock.

Inside this door was a panel of lights, which corresponded to the patterns on the rubix cube. Again, we had to use another hint at this section as we were running out of time. There was a pillar in the room with a guide, we worked out we had to stand on various patterns on the floor to unlock the final door. In this door we had to return a possession to a pharaoh and grab a book, which the skeleton had stolen and return it to the book shelf. This unlocked the final door and we were literally on the buzzer.

In all the game was really fun and the hour flew by. However, it is quite difficult and does require you to think outside the box. We couldn't have completed it without the hints and without a little pushing in the right direction along the way. The game masters are good though at helping out without actually giving you the answers.

The prices differ depending on how many players and the games are designed for three to seven players. Although the bigger the group the harder I can imagine it is to co-ordinate. If you fancy doing something totally different in London then I would definitely give this a go. It isn't the kind of thing you will do every week but it was fun to challenge our minds and try something new.