Could we escape Escape Live?
My colleague Tom and I recently took a trip to the Arches – no, we weren’t in the East End with a broken motor, we were headed to the arches of Henrietta Street in The Jewellery Quarter. Why you might ask? We were en route to accept a challenge – could we escape one of the puzzle rooms at Escape Live, Birmingham’s premier escape game? - Read on if you wish to find out…
Still here? Good.
The premise is simple (in theory). You and a team of friends/colleagues/ hey anyone ok! are locked in one of two puzzle rooms with 60 minutes to escape. If you win? Kudos! If you fail? Then the walls move in à la a Death Star Garbage Compactor*
*the last statement is 100% untrue.
We soon found ourselves locked in Dr. Wilson’s office with only our wits *cough splutter* and a walkie talkie, which we were told we could use to ask for up to 6 clues if we got stuck. We now had t-minus one hour to solve a mystery and reveal the suspect that is threatening Dr. Wilson’s life – no pressure then!
The stakes were raised by the fact that I was desperate for a trip to the little boys' room. I knew I needed to go before entering, but so blasé was I that I would be out in no time I thought I could hold it… oh how wrong I was…
Firstly let me just say I have not done something so fun and original in a long time, this is highly enjoyable stuff and dependent on your temperament likely to induce laughter/ hysteria and possibly conflict. Secret codes, books, maps, locks, keys, combinations, boxes, clocks, photos - they're all here and it’s excellent!
So how did we do? Well, perhaps we should have clocked we weren’t doing too well when they contacted us to see if we wanted a clue!
Suspense is raised by a countdown on a screen in the room, this is further intensified by music that is well… suspenseful – at key interludes such as 30 minutes/15 minutes to go it gets more intense - a kind of dun dun duuun – which induces phrases such as ‘COME ON! COME ON!’ and ‘ARRRRGGGGH’.
There are surprises en route – I don’t want to give away any spoilers here so I’ll keep schtum, but let’s just say there is more than meets the eye.
Our advice - go in a team – take many different minds – lateral thinkers, analytical thinkers, other types of thinker that I can’t think of! Manager Jordan told us groups with a mixture of ages often do best, as young minds see the world differently to us aged types. Basically, think out of the box to get out of the box.
So did we do it? You bet we didn’t! We were rubbish! No actually that’s a bit harsh on ourselves, we were not too bad…
Jordan tried to console us with kind words – ‘we had done well’, ‘members of Mensa had failed to escape!’, etc, etc… His words fell hollow – this is epitomised by our sad faces here…
So to surmise – go to Escape Live now – It’s great for team bonding, parties causing family feuds – no honestly it really is good fun – and intense!
I’ll be back and next time I’m going in numbers – with babies, teenagers and the elderly – and you just see if I don’t get out! Next time I’ll be tackling Room 13, a kind of horror/ hospital scenario - This one has a difficulty rating of 5/5 (Wilson’s office is 4/5) so I’m definitely going to the loo before this one.
Random aside: After I had left Escape Live, I was going out with friends and needed cash. There were so many numbers going through my head that I temporarily forgot my pin number!
Good luck and godspeed.
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