Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures – Brighton

Escape room number: #42
Completed: October 2020
Team: 4 adults
Stars: 12

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 4/5
Storyline: 5/5
Immersive quality: 5/5
Difficulty (time limit aside): 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 3-12
Best stars (group of 4): 20
Worst stars (group of 4): 3

What a mixture of awe and fun! Phileas Fogg’s World of Adventures is a cross between an escape room, Crystal Maze and a walk through adventure experience.

From the moment you enter the building, you are greeted by Queen Victoria as she takes you through the story and all important safety rules.

Once the experience begins, you are met by Phileas Fogg himself. With his guidance, you go through room after room, each a different stop on his world adventure tour. Our Mr Fogg was a fantastic actor with a huge presence and a great sense of humour.

The rooms themselves are INCREDIBLE! They are totally immersive and the theming has been created with attention paid to every minor detail. Each location is filled with amazing sets, props, sights, sounds and smells.

Along the way, you are given challenges of varying degrees of difficulty with the opportunity to win stars and make it onto the leaderboard. Most of these are fairly straightforward in themselves but the short time limits make it a tricky race against the clock. Some are simply puzzles to piece together; many are mechanical puzzles and sequences to input; and some are purely down to skill and teamwork. We did thoroughly enjoy them.

So what could have made the experience better for us in order to award it a 10/10? Unfortunately, we felt really rushed the whole way through. It was clear that each room has many different puzzles to explore and we only got the chance to experience a fraction of them. We barely had the chance to take in the amazing scenery and appreciate the room before being whisked off to the next.

Secondly, we felt the instructions we were given were not always clear or we were told important information too late into the time limit. An example of this is that in the first room, we thought we simply had 5 minutes to complete the task we were shown so took our time . It turned out that there was a second challenge which we very nearly completed but ran out of time. If we had known, we would’ve worked much more quickly on the first task and would have been successful on the second.

When we asked at the beginning, we were told there was a possible 35 stars but we were definitely only given the opportunity to collect about 20 ish of them so we are not really sure what we could have done differently to be in with a chance of the rest. Were there 3 challenges in some rooms? More? Were some challenges worth more stars than the ones offered to us? It wasn’t really explained.

Overall, we still loved this experience. It really does have the potential to be a solid 10/10 with just a few tweaks and a bit of extra time in each room.

Death at the Lab by Salisbury Escape Rooms

Escape room number: #36
Completed: August 2020
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 66 mins 57 secs

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 5/5
Puzzle range: 5/5
Storyline: 3/5
Immersive quality: 3/5
Difficulty: 5/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

Game stats:
Allocated game time: usually 60 mins
Players: 3-6

FINALLY we were able to return after lockdown to live escape games. We had missed them. Our first one back was the latest game by Salisbury Escape Rooms. They change them approximately every year and this one did not disappoint.

We loved the fact that we got an email beforehand with an attachment setting the scene and when we arrived, the gamemaster was dressed up ready to set us to work on our challenge. We had to escape whilst also solving a serious crime!

Without giving too much away, there was a huge range of puzzles with some exciting equipment used. There were certainly some that we had not come across before. Some of the puzzles – which are the ones that we found the hardest – required some level of physical skill and accuracy.

We were frustrated that we did not manage to complete the escape in the usual hour slot but we were kindly reminded that it is usually an escape room for 3+ people. Some of the puzzles did require you to be positioned in 3 places at once and apparently, on average, couples take 15 minutes more than a full team. We were, therefore, happy to accept this as an excuse – it was either that or we were completely rusty from lockdown. I suspect it was a bit of both.

Overall, we had a great time at Salisbury Escape Rooms and would recommend that you visit if you’re in the area.

Sherlock Holmes Online Escape Room by The Panic Room

As well as the escape boxed games and escape books, another way we have been scratching our escape room itch during lockdown is with online escape games.

This one by The Panic Room was the first professional online one that we tried and we were very impressed.

First of all, the buying process was easy and it was straight forward to set up. Having been given a link and a password, we were ready to go. We did this one as a couple with one computer but you are able to play virtually with other people using the same code and a video calling app such as Zoom.

The puzzles and story are very well made and work seamlessly. They use a good mixture of videos and documents with a range of clue types. We did find that some clues were extremely easy whilst others were quite tricky but overall this made for an appropriate game length.

Overall, we would highly recommend this online game.

Rating 8/10

Price: £15

To access this game, as well as other games by The Panic Room, visit

https://www.thepanicroomonline.co.uk/

The Crystal Maze board game

When lockdown began, we knew we needed to invest in some new games to keep us entertained, especially as we knew we wouldn’t be able to visit escape rooms for some time.

We ordered this game, having enjoyed the show in the past. It took a while to set up the first time but was well worth it.

You begin by working through the 4 themed sections, each with a mental game, a skill game, a physical game and a mystery game. This gives a brilliant range of puzzles for all abilities.

Unfortunately, each time you play the possible puzzles are the same. However, each game is able to be replayed or has enough resources to avoid too much repetition of the same riddles and clues.

As per the show, each successful game earns you a crystal which equates to time for the final challenge.

We thoroughly enjoyed this game which did include many of the types of puzzles we like from escape games. I would thoroughly recommend this for couples, groups of friends and families.

Game information:
Players: 2+
Age: 10+
Difficulty rating: 6/10
Length: approx 1 hour
Approximate Price: £30

Our ratings:
Overall: 8/10
Difficulty: 6/10
Puzzle range: 8/10
Logic and flow: 7/10

The Sacrifice by The Panic Room – Gravesend

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 3/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 2/5
Gamemaster: 3/5

We booked this one last minute on our trip to Kent. This is actually an escape room in a mobile van and is only 30 mins long. It wasn’t a particularly difficult room but the creators have certainly used the space well. The puzzles are logical and follow a clear sequence. Overall, we enjoyed this very much.

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 30 mins
Players: 2-4
Difficulty rating: 3/5

Escape room number: #29
Completed: December 2019
Team: 2 adults
Escaped?: yes
Time: 17mins 48 secs

Bunker 38 by Clue HQ – Bournemouth

Overall rating: 8/10
Puzzle quality: 4/5
Puzzle range: 3/5
Storyline: 4/5
Immersive quality: 4/5
Difficulty: 3/5
Gamemaster: 4/5

This was a great escape room. The puzzles were well designed, followed a clear logical order and provided enjoyment for all ages. Clues were only given when asked for and we would definitely recommend this escape room!

Game stats:
Allocated game time: 60 mins
Players: 2-6
Best time: 30 mins 33secs

Escape room number: #23
Completed: December 2019
Team: 2 adults & 2 teens
Escaped?: yes
Time: 30 mins 33 secs (record)