This room has a good premise and a few clever flashes of tech, but is let down by too little to do, unexciting puzzles, and loads of red herrings.
This was our second of what was planned to be two (but ended up as three) rooms in one day at Lock’d. Having polished off Grandpa’s Last Will we were expecting a step up in difficulty. Our excellent host gave us the initial briefing – the premise was needing to break into the museum and recover three statuettes which would also (for some reason) release the exit door.
Continue reading “Lock’d – Museum Warehouse”
Billed for new players, Grandpa’s Last Will is a pleasant room for new players. Not too linear and quite straightforward and manageable.
My mission, having chosen to accept it, was to book 13 people of Team Judge into one, two, or three escape rooms over three sessions on a quiet Monday in October. This was similar in difficulty to the room: an initial call and email to investigate whether 25 person-games worth of sales might elicit a discount went unanswered, and when I went ahead to book online, to my horror the other two rooms were blocked out after I booked the first one at 11am. More calls and emails went nowhere, so when they randomly reopened for booking a few days later I snapped them up. Problem 1 out of the way.
Round 2 was on arrival. The address and postcode on the website are not well-liked by Google Maps, which directed me to a different street and around the corner. To be fair, Lock’d has a very clear map on its website of where you need to go in.
Continue reading “Lock’d – Grandpa’s Last Will”
Simply brilliant. An hour of pure, unadulterated fun. I had been waiting 25 years for the time I got to actually play the Crystal Maze for myself — and it was everything it was billed to be.
In a world where lots and lots of people accumulate lots and lots of stuff, experiences have been suggested as the new “want”. The Crystal Maze captures the zeitgeist perfectly: Gen X and millennials who watched the TV show in the late 80s and early 90s, all the while wanting to take part, now have the opportunity (and the disposable income) to do so.
I booked our trip nine months in advance to coincide with Emmy’s birthday and the presence in London of some of the further-afield members of Team Judge. A long time to count down. Would it be worth the wait? I was certainly hyping it up in my and my team’s heads…
Continue reading “The Crystal Maze (London)”
Wonderful hosts make this a memorable game. Innovative puzzles. Quite cramped inside. A couple of defects.
Battersea is probably best known for the dogs and cats home, but a recent addition to the local businesses is Do Stuff Escape Games. Sharing space with the Grove, an amazing gaming pub with all sorts of cult memorabilia strewn around, it’s a recent addition to south London’s escape room stable. Team Judge was taking up the Groupon offer to try it out.
Tipped off by the various reviews, we arrived in good enough time to order from the bountiful menu of burgers (lamb, beef, horse, venison, chicken, and veggie all feature) and these were most enjoyable.
Continue reading “Do Stuff Escape Games – Hostage Hideout”
Highly linear, lots of different and new kinds of puzzles to enjoy in a sci-fi themed adventure. Accessible for beginners.
A week later and a player shorter, Team Judge (linkaneo, reb, and I) returned for our second visit to Escape London, on this occasion full of Nando’s. The staff were as pleasant as ever and made small talk until the appointed time.
The story here is investigating an alien invasion incident in a restricted area. I’m not sure why we only had an hour to do it, although it might have been because we’d get nicked, or abducted, or something. It didn’t really matter, as you will see.
Continue reading “Escape London – Area 51”
A twist on the normal “you need to get out” model, this game has an extra way to separate the best teams. Challenging game with a great many padlocks. Extremely friendly and attentive staff.
Off to West London this time and after a very filling Five Guys (is there any other kind?) in Westfield White City, Team Judge (reb, linkaneo, emmy and myself) were excited to visit new-to-the-market Escape London. We took up their 50% off discount for booking before they opened (it’d have been rude not to) and this was the first of three rooms to play.
We were very warmly welcomed on arrival and after a few rather Spartan experiences at other venues it was nice to see jugs of water and the like on reception. Paperwork signed and all other formalities dealt with, it was time to get going.
The goal in this room is to escape, but also to “get rich” by filling a chip case with as many casino chips as possible.
Continue reading “Escape London – Casino”
A strongly linear adventure with impeccable theming. Limited light means a need to concentrate carefully. Despite being Omescape’s lowest-difficulty room, it’s not one for new players. Puzzles, technology, and build quality are excellent with virtually no reliance on padlocks and not a key in sight. Five players is probably too many.
Team Amaze booked both copies of Biohazard Laboratory for a total of ten players. On the day we lost Bubbles who had to drop out at short notice, so after asking around the rest of Team Amaze and drawing a blank, we picked up Emmy from Team Ninty to fill out the second team. She had transport issues on her way up and therefore it was 8 minutes into our slot before everyone was on site. Mig and Vicky led team Alpha featuring Emmy and Will whilst Agent P and I were on Team Omega. [Both teams were 5 players, we just haven’t got alter-ego names for everyone else yet =p]
Our host gave us the short version of the welcome so as not to delay things further. He kindly did not deduct this from our time clock, and we got underway with the explanation of our mission – poisonous agents have been introduced into the water network and we needed to go into the sewers to add the antidote and get back out again, collecting some MacGuffins on the way.
Continue reading “Omescape – Biohazard Laboratory”
Extremely immersive pop-up location, themed exquisitely to a limiting venue. Amazing hosts. Mixture of puzzles including search, logic, calculations, combination locks, and the obligatory trapdoor. Best room I’ve played to date.
Note: This room is no longer in operation (and this review got caught up in a backlog, hence why it’s been nearly two months coming). I’ve taken somewhat of a liberty and am a bit less cautious about spoilers in the review as a result. I accept it’s possible that Clockwork Dog may try the same thing again sometime in the future, in which case I guess I’ll cut it back or deal with the consequences, but I think they’re planning something different.
I read about this room’s short tenure over on The Logic Escapes Me in early June. With an escape planned with Team Nintendo and no room booked, I proposed this location to the group but got overruled in favour of Professor Oxford’s Experiment by nintendomad. Still had a good feeling about Clockwork Dog and therefore I polled Facebook for interest. With positives from reb and linkaneo who would be playing their third game, this became a Team Judge outing.
Continue reading “Clockwork Dog – Langstroth’s Last Riddle”
Relatively basic and straightforward room with a Steampunk theme. A few complex puzzles but something for everyone. Pleasingly non-linear. High level of combination locks.
Team Ninety joined me for this challenge with a couple of players new to the format. The venue is in the basement of a nondescript building on Oxford Street, near the Tottenham Court Road end.
We arrived a little early and were invited to take a seat on the couch with a few metal puzzles to play about with whilst we waited. And waited. The reception area was comfortable with a very soft couch. Eventually our host came to introduce himself and take us through the process.
Continue reading “Escape Land – Professor Oxford’s Experiment”
A Generally Awesome award winner, The Penitentiary is a challenging game that you need to bring your A-game for. Technically excellent, well-themed, and a genuinely difficult one to get through. New to escape games? ClueQuest is up the road…
Having knocked out Escape Plan a couple of weeks ago, Team Amaze was looking for a step up, and Omescape looked like just the ticket. With two sites in California and a shoal across China, this new arrival to the UK had plonked down a stone’s throw from ClueQuest and has brought across two of its popular scenarios as well as adding a third.
Arriving in good time, some wood puzzles were available to play about with at reception. With black walls and simple theming, we were put in the mood for the game pretty quickly.
Continue reading “Omescape – The Penitentiary”