Quest for the Throne – Lakes Escapes

THEME: Years ago your younger brother concocted a plan to have you exiled from the kingdom so he could become king. Under your brothers reign the once prosperous land has declined and you must set things right. In the next 60 minutes you must find proof of your birth-right and escape undetected, before the guards return.

We had eaten before this game which always slows us down so we were a bit slow to start. We managed to find a few things but needed a clue to get us going. The puzzles were good and some required quite a lot of teamwork. Again the puzzles were challenging but some were unique which made them particularly enjoyable. The room was quite linear but not completely so were we all busy and could come together when we got stuck. The story was good and the theming was done well. Everything fitted within the story and the puzzles flowed well.

This was the third and final game we played at Lakes Escapes and we enjoyed all of them. Our favourite was Dr Frankenscraft but Baker Street and Quest had some lovely puzzles in them that we haven’t seen before so were a joy to complete. The hosts Carol and John are lovely and were happy to talk all things escape with us (as well as walk the dog while we went off to get some food). I’m not sure that Oscar (our dog) enjoyed escaping their rooms as much as he enjoys escaping through our front door but he was much happier with us for the day than at home! All the hosts love dogs and they are welcome at Lakes Escapes. What we really enjoyed about all their rooms is the fact you don’t have to ‘escape’ but complete a task, which we enjoyed. Every room had a unique puzzle and all are logical yet range in how challenging they are. Lakes Escape is a great company and is definitely worth a visit.

ESCAPE TIME: 44.30 minutes

BEST BIT: A couple of very good puzzles – one requiring bravery and one requiring team work!

SUMMARY: A well themed room that flows well.

LEVEL: Intermediate

WEBSITE: www.lakesescapes.co.uk 

 

Lakes escapes

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Baker Street – Lakes Escapes

THEME: A gang of criminals known as the Baker Street Five have just had a meeting. After an altercation between two members one was shot and the other fled the scene. Can you follow the clues to identify the victim and the killer before he flees the country?

This game was quite different than the previous game we played at Lakes Escapes. Our host was one of the owners and delivered the back story well. The room had great theming and we were all able to get involved, find and solve things from the onset. There were some really good, clever puzzles in this room. We had some great aha moments when one member of the team saw what something meant – once you could see it, it was very clever! There was more to do in this game and the puzzles were definitely more challenging. It was slightly linear with enough to keep us all busy. We needed a couple of clues, which are requested by pressing a button, then delivered on the screen.

ESCAPE TIME: 45 minutes

BEST BIT: A solid escape room with some great puzzles, some of which used the props in particularly unique ways.

SUMMARY: A good room with some challenging puzzles.

LEVEL: Intermediate/advanced.

WEBSITE: www.lakesescapes.co.uk

 

Lakes escapes

Dr Frankenscraft’s Monster – Lakes Escapes

THEME: Dr Frankenscraft desires to make human life through experimentation and electricity. Whilst Dr Frankenscraft is away, can you, his lab assistants, bring his monster to life before the angry villagers arrive to destroy all his hard work?

We took our 6 year old son to try out the rooms at Lakes Escapes. We were met by a lovely host who gave us the back story before we began. The room was very logical and the puzzles flowed well. It was vaguely linear but we all had something to be working on and were all kept busy. The puzzles were logical and we knew what we needed to do or find throughout. There were some unique puzzles in this room which we really liked. We got stuck on one puzzle towards the end but after thinking it through managed to get to the unusual ending in a good time. It is the only room we’ve ever done without a clue which placed us second on the leaderboard for points (3rd for time). This room is a solid escape room with some unusual, but clear, puzzles and we really enjoyed it!

ESCAPE TIME: 34.47

BEST BIT: The unique puzzle and ending were great to experience.

SUMMARY: A great room accessible to all ages. It’s clear and logical and would be ideal for beginners, however a place on the leaderboard is a great incentive for more experienced teams.

LEVEL: Beginner (or anyone who wants the challenge of getting a place on the leaderboard)

WEBSITE: www.lakesescapes.co.uk

Lakes escapes

 

BOOK: The Curse of Old Maid Milly – Escape from the Room by Nathen Newark

THEME: Milly mysteriously died after living the life of a recluse. Help Dr Alan Harris investigate what is stopping her soul being able to rest in peace.

I’m a teacher and term time is very busy. I have lots of educational books that I don’t have chance to read so when we were offered an escape room book I was worried I wouldn’t be able to find time to read it. I gave it a go on a Friday evening when I normally have the energy to start watching a film and fall asleep within half an hour and I’ve got to say it was really easy to get into. I enjoy reading and didn’t really know what to expect from the book. I was pleasantly surprised that it was so easy to get stuck into. Everything was explained clearly and the book was set out really logically. The puzzles were good and although they seemed relatively easy they did make me think and it was nice to not have to look at the clues (I looked at three in total). It really is an escape room in a book, I can totally imagine the set that this room would have and how the puzzles would look in real life. The bit that I think is better than an actual escape room is that the story isn’t just delivered at the very beginning, but continues throughout the book with extra little instalments with each puzzle. I really enjoyed the story as well as the puzzles. Nathen is a talented creative writer and puzzle maker and I would recommend this book to anyone who loves escape rooms or a bit of logical thinking. We even managed to do a few puzzles whilst waiting for food in a restaurant, so more than one person can get involved if you want to read it and do the puzzles as a pair.

ESCAPE TIME: I completed it in 4 separate sessions of around and hour or two each.

BEST BIT: The excellent creative writing enabled me to visualise exactly what the room looked like.

SUMMARY: A great book with a fantastic story and brilliant puzzles pitched at just the right level to keep me hooked. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys escaping and will be buying it for family and friends for birthdays to show them what the escape room buzz is all about!

LEVEL: Any

WEBSITE: http://www.escapefromtheroom.co.uk

The Curse of The Golden Lion – Wirral Escape rooms.

THEME: A valuable secret is hidden deep in the jungle, can you find it before the boat leaves…

Amy and Ian invited us to a preview of their room the day before it officially opened. They are some of the most enthusiastic owners we know and their love of escape rooms clearly comes through in their room. It is obvious that they have thought about the room in a lot of depth so that it can stand amongst some of the best rooms out there, which it really does. Amy gave us a room briefing and back story and the timer started as soon as we entered the room. We got stuck in straight away and made progress, even our 6 year old team member was able to get involved. There are two elements to this game. One is that you can follow the story and work through a logical, linear route to escape the room. The other is that you can choose to solve some stand alone puzzles to find some extra items. These two things can be done simultaneously (ideal for larger groups), or once you have found a way to escape, you can choose to stay to retrieve some of the extra items (perfect for enthusiasts). The puzzles themselves are fantastic. They are varied, logical, challenging but doable. We got stuck on a couple and were given nudges at just the right time to help us complete them. Our youngest member was able to get involved in many of them so newbies would be fine in this room too. There are no logic leaps, everything flows well and is connected. We particularly enjoyed the unique ending!

ESCAPE TIME: 52.20 with all four extra items.

BEST BIT: The fact that everyone could be busy due to the two elements of the game. As enthusiasts we could let two people get on with the linear element of the game whilst the other two pursued the extra items. There was never a time when any of us were not busy doing anything. We enjoyed every single puzzle!

SUMMARY: There is a lot to do in this room but it would be suitable for any level due to the two elements. The room is a must for enthusiasts but would also be a great introduction to rooms for newbies, as all the puzzles and the links are all so logical.

LEVEL: Any

WEBSITE: http://www.wirralescaperooms.co.uk

wirral escape rooms

2017 – round up

As we escape 2017 we thought it would be good to summarise our first year of playing escape rooms. We first escaped as a trio a year ago and have loved becoming part of the escape room community since then. It is such a friendly community and we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has made us feel so welcome. We wanted to take a moment to mention some of the most impressive games we’ve played. As we’ve played sixty games we decided to do a top six, but then argued over the order of these six! As a result we will list the top 6 alphabetically, rather than in rank order as they are all must play games (in our humble opinion).

Contagion – Lockdown (Oldham). We enjoyed this challenging game, in particular the special feature at the end. It’s such a great feeling to have a good quality company so close to home. Well done guys, we know the last three months have been a whirlwind but you’re a great addition to the escape room industry.

Curio – Escapologic (Nottingham). A fantastic game with a very special feature. We can’t wait for this company to expand in 2018. A special thanks to Simon Stokes for encouraging us to become bloggers and welcoming us into the escape room community.

The Lost Tomb – Extreme Escape (Stanley Hall Farm, Disley). A lovely family run company with a genuine passion for escape rooms. This is a quality room and we can’t wait to play Vikings in 2018.

Curious Encounters AND The 13th Element – Escape Quest (Macclesfield). What can you say about Mike and Elaine…such a genuinely nice couple with a flair for room design. All their rooms are amazing and worth playing, these two were just our favourite. It was an absolute pleasure to visit their beautiful rooms last week. What a great way to finish our first year of escaping!

University of Magic – Lucardo (Manchester). What an amazingly unique room. You nailed it with this room, it was a pleasure to experience and we can’t wait to see what 2018 brings for this company.

That’s it for 2017. I think 2018 will be an even better experience for us as escape enthusiasts, as so many good quality rooms have been recommended to us that we can’t wait to try. Escapologic Leicester is first on the list and a few more are planned in. Life has become much more exciting since escaping has become part of it, and this is only going to grow in 2018. #changeiscoming

The Neglected – Lockdown (Oldham)

THEME: Your friends dare you to enter an abandoned orphanage. Once you enter, the door shuts behind you and you have 60 minutes to escape before the spirits take out their rage on you.

Lockdown Oldham is a great company so we were really looking forward to playing their new game. The room is pretty dark but you are given a head torch each. We normally don’t like games in the dark due to the difficulty increasing due to the darkness rather than the game. The head torches minimised this as you each have one and both hands are free to do things rather than always holding a torch or lamp. Some head torches are brighter than others meaning you still have to work as a team when you need more light to examine things.  We got through the first section of the game pretty quickly and were quite lucky that between us one person got each clue/puzzle almost straight away. We found the middle section of the game much slower and got a bit frustrated here, this is the section that took us the most time and we definitely needed a few hints to get us through this part. The room is pretty much linear and the clues are given via a screen. Once we overcame a big hurdle (of our own making) we got back on track and worked our way through what we think is the section of the game with the best puzzles to escape. Unfortunately our escape was just over the 60 minutes but we really appreciate being able to complete the game rather than it stopping seconds before completing the final puzzle.  If we hadn’t got stuck on that pesky observational puzzle in the middle we would have escaped with loads of time to spare!

ESCAPE TIME: We missed it by just over 1 minute.

BEST BIT: There were some fantastic puzzles in this game that we hadn’t seen before, a couple at the beginning and more towards the end.

SUMMARY: A good room with a scary/creepy feel. We did it with a 12 and 14 year old and they did a bit of shrieking but were generally ok. This is a tough room. It contains some excellent puzzles but lots of places where even experienced groups could get stuck if they miss something. Its difficulty rating is justified and it provides a great challenge for experienced players looking for a more challenging game. Another great game from Lockdown Oldham.

LEVEL: Advanced

WEBSITE: http://www.lockdownescape.co.uk

lockdown oldham