Lucardo – Espionage

Summary
I’d heard a lot of good things about Lucardo and so when I knew I’d have a Saturday evening free in Manchester it was top of my to-do list. Espionage is a World War II themed room with very little linearity and mostly straightforward puzzles, great for beginners.

Review
Espionage is rated as the least difficult of Lucardo’s five rooms. A new subset of Team Judge was playing, with a total of two games’ worth of experience between everyone other than me, so it seemed a sensible choice. I had hoped to play The Dream on recommendation, but as we booked so late it wasn’t available.
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Modern Fables – The Escapist

Summary
In a warehouse in the deep depths of South Bermondsey lies The Escapist, a rough speakeasy where you can get rough drinks and meet rough people. Lavinia, one of the operators, has turned up missing. We needed to go and discovery what on earth was going on.

Review
I’ll try not to over-egg the pudding in terms of travel, but you could scarcely believe this venue is in Zone 2 – we took a bus to South Bermondsey station from whence it was a 15 minute walk, but it felt like we were much further out. We arrived just on time and after getting through the gate found ourselves in, well, a very rough-looking room with board walls and a bar in the corner. And Alfie, Lavinia’s assistant.
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Escape this Room – London Bank Heist

Summary
Quite a crop of pop-up escape games in London these last few months. Escape this Room has gone to a lot of effort to build something for a month-long run and London Bank Heist was a good example of attention to detail and had something for everyone in terms of puzzles.

Review
Team Judge hit Escape this Room in its final week of operations. As it’s now closed I’m potentially going to be a little looser than usual in terms of spoilers, though only a little as I have a feeling that they will turn up again.

The story here is that you are entering the bank in the role of engineers to sort out some problems with the vault.
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Time Run – The Celestial Chain

Summary
If escape room design had a school, homework questions would probably be things like “how can you make an adequate sequel to Lance of Longinus”, “what can you do to make the entire length of an escape game as close to a tense finish as the last 5/10 minutes of an hour-long game”, and “is Babbage really a garrulous chrome sphere or is he just chatty”. The answer to each of the above is found in the Celestial Chain. Frenetic, flawless, and fun in a way that pushed the boundaries of live action games.

Review
Team Pig made its way back to London Fields for our second encounter with Luna and Aubrey on a sunny May evening with high hopes. Last year we just about scraped through rescuing the Lance of Longinus with a few minutes before the portal closed. Tonight, reactivating the Celestial Chain was the mission to contain a vengeful goddess.
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Enigma Quests – School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Summary
A variation on “you’re in here, now get out”, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry makes progress more tangible and has great theming of its puzzles.

Review
Let’s leave the intellectual property question out of this particular review – it’s a good storyline, and the room theming and decoration were certainly on-point.
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Upcoming time-limited events in London

Whilst London is not exactly underserved for escape rooms, it’s very heartening that new options open all the time. Today though I’m taking a break from reviews and writing about four rather time-limited opportunities to play at locations which you might want to look into.
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Escape Rooms Angel – The Dark Side of the Moon

Summary
One of London’s newest rooms, sadly disappointed us with the theme and with a mechanical breakdown that terminated our game part way through. I suspect they’ll get over the teething problems in due course, but few of the puzzles made sense much less indicated what to do, and this isn’t saved by the amazing technology, set design, and build.

Review
At an enthusiasts’ meetup a few months ago, The Logic Escapes Me and I were discussing the relative merits of attending and playing rooms early in the run. I like the idea of getting in early to deliver a review which will help others decide whether they’d like to play or not. The opposing viewpoint is that you could get caught up in teething issues or untested rooms. And sadly, that was what happened to us this time around.
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Clockwork Dog – Loop

Summary
I wasn’t sure that Clockwork Dog could outdo their last attempt at a pop-up escape game. And yet they have. I’m still not quite sure how. We’ve rated it Generally Awesome, and you should go and play it, ideally before reading the rest of the review.

Review
First and foremost, this room is highly difficult to review without causing potential spoilers. If you read further it is at your own risk of finding out something you may not want to have known. I’ve put in some collapsed spoiler boxes but they don’t cover everything.
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Clue Adventures – Book of Secrets

Summary
Chock-full of puzzles, a room where if it isn’t nailed down (and maybe if it is) it’s a clue. Great build, wonderful host, and originality of theme. Just a little over-stuffed.

Review
This venue had been quite a while coming, and it seemed like months ago that I signed up to a mailing list which promised a reduction in price when they opened. The email jogged the memory and I put it onto Team Amaze’s list.

As the story goes, a legendary magician’s apartment in London is being demolished in an hour, and you are tasked with extracting his legendary book of secrets from the apartment before it was demolished.
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We Escape – Taken

Summary
A linear and very uncomplicated game which would serve as a good introduction to the genre for new players. Experienced players won’t get much out of it.

Review
Currently the only game in town – Cork’s We Escape is owned by a Hungarian, somewhat unsurprisingly. On a trip to my home town of Cork, a trip seemed indicated. I rounded up two cousins and my sister, who were joined by her two friends. On average the six of us had played just over 3 games each… formed of five zeroes and my 22 😀
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