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)