I’m becoming quite the experienced live escape gamer, with successful break-outs at Escape Hunt, HintHunt and clueQuest under my belt. Just last month, I added another Houdini-style adventure to my roster, and it was really quite different from the rest. This time we were a team of five at Escape Rooms in London Bridge.
Escape Rooms brings the popular Japanese online game ‘Takagism’ to life, and requires players to work as a team to use intuition, logic and intelligence to succeed. Upon booking, you must choose between two games – an Egyptian themed Pharaoh’s Chamber (hieroglyphs play a key part, apparently), or my choice, the intriguing Room 33. The aim of this game is to find and steal a rare Qing Dynasty vase from Room 33 of the British Museum, via a series of seriously complex brain teasers and challenges – there are codes to decipher, secret passages to find and riddles to solve – and then get out of the room with the vase in tact.
What sets Escape Rooms apart from previous games I’ve played is its super high tech nature. Locked doors spring open, frosted glass turns clear as if by magic and there’s a room full of lasers to navigate like a cat burglar. Clues are frustratingly difficult, and there are red herrings aplenty.
You’re given a walkie talkie to request clues from your GamesMaster if necessary (trust me, you’ll need them), and a digital clock ticks ominously towards zero – I literally don’t understand how the first 45 minutes of our game flew by so fast, leaving us desperately scrambling and fuelled by adrenaline for the final 15!
I am relieved to say we did escape within the allotted hour, though we only had 13 seconds to spare! Escape Rooms would be a great team building activity, although tempers can become frayed as the pressure mounts. I’d recommend gathering a team of adults (clueQuest or Escape Hunt are more child-friendly) as this is the most challenging game I’ve tried yet (the success rate is much lower than other games like it, at 15-20%) – clues were sometimes so hard that the team became demoralised, so best to go with your most resilient gaming friends!