Ram Raid – Escape Reading – Reading

Reading in Berkshire always sounds like such a genteel place, to me. Not known for smash ‘n’ grab, pocket the dosh, break the bank-type exploits. But that’s the sort of thing Aunty Ant and her team get up to, when I’m not paying attention. Sigh. Next time, I’ll have to make sure I go with them, because it sounds like loads of fun…click here for more.

Sherlock: The Game Is Now – Time Run – London

Lockdown sucks – it’s hard to get motivated writing about fabulous Escape Rooms when it seems like an age before we can play again. So, cheering myself up by reviewing one of our favourite games from earlier this year, when the world was normal.

We love, love, love Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock. So the official Escape Room of the series was a must play. Read more here…

The Secret Hut – Don’t Get Locked In – Bedford

Gimlet. Negroni. Vesper. Aviation. Gibson. Tom Collins. Long Island Iced Tea. Singapore Sling.

Just making plans about what to do with our prize. If you like the sound of these cocktails, and if you just tried to make an anagram with their initial letters, then we have the game for you – click here to find out more.

Guardian of the Gallery – Want To Escape – Rushden

GALLERY. Yes, Gallery. Anyone looking for superheroes, this is the wrong place. Anyone looking for a fabulous, immersive, unique 75-minute escape room, full of art, travel, flowers, wine, umm, train instruction manuals … oh yeah, and MAGIC, click here.

*Operation P.R.A.T. – Get Lost Escape Rooms – Home Play Game*

How to keep two teenage boys entertained during the extended summer school holidays? A sophisticated, intellectual masterpiece of puzzlecraft – part artwork, part profound philosophical experience? Or a hilariously hammed-up concoction of ghost-hunting, puzzles and willy jokes? Hmmm… Find out which one we chose…here.

Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop – Want To Escape – Rushden

We’re venturing out into the real world after lockdown. But then we discovered the real world is still nasty and scary, so we decided to go Back To The F… oh no, wrong movie… back to 1988 and play with all our old toys. To see how we got on being Big kids click here

*Sector X-The B.R.U.C.E. Project – Bewilderbox/Eltham Escapes – Home Escape Game*

Present (sort of), in April 2020, were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger, Aunty Ant

Colloquially known as B.R.U.C.E. (presumably to avoid the header-busting that has just happened on my website), this was our second ‘lockdown’ play-at-home game. And it was, very usefully, a huge contrast to ‘The Insiders‘, giving us a good insight into the huge spread of games now being output by Escape Room companies.

B.R.U.C.E. shares much of it’s DNA with more traditional computer games and is in some ways a love letter to the world of retro-geek tech, coupled with essentially modern nifty communication innovation. It all ties in beautifully with the robo-science theme, a lovely case of the medium reflecting the storyline.

You’ve got to love this!

We thought, at the time, that the actual connection to Escape Rooms is a bit shaky. The player moves through ‘rooms’ with the aim to open the next door, but the puzzles are very scheduled, without much mystery as to what to do next. However, subsequent games we have played have been much further from the original Escape Room concept, so now I can definitely appreciate the framing device used here.

This is a multi-location, multi-player game. Each player logs in to the game using the same code, and you all play the game as one unit, everyone being able to click on the screen to complete tasks. This is clever, and is used a little bit for teamwork, again reflecting a real world room in a way that many games don’t. But, be warned, you do need good internet connections all round. We did suffer from lag, and found it easier in many cases to nominate a solo clicker, which does lose some of the concept.

There isn’t an in-game chat mechanism, so you will need a second device with Zoom/Facetime/WhatsApp if you are playing with a multi-household team. Sound is also an important aspect of this game, so be prepared to use your mute button on your team mates frequently!

Despite our little techy glitches (a common theme, sadly) we really enjoyed this game. The tongue-in-cheek humour and individual spirit of the game producers is very prominent, making for a very entertaining hour (or two, if you get as stuck as we did, at one point!). Recommended.

  • Storyline: Great fun, followed through, and wittily narrated.
  • Theming and Virtual Set: Two-dimensional, as in just existing in the world as a single computer screen. But charming to look at and smartly done.
  • Googling: Nope, self-contained game.
  • Puzzles: Pretty straightforward in the most part, in a pc game way. Apart from one puzzle that completely bewildered us for ages, leaving us flabbergasted at how stupid we’d been.
  • Physicality: Only physical impact will be on your ears. Celebrate!  
  • Scare factor: Family friendly stuff.
  • Age suitability: If you don’t have control of a mouse, it’s kind of difficult to join in. So, good for kids joining on their own laptop, not so much fun for younger ones.
  • Timed?: Yes. But you can play for as long as you want.
  • Requires: PC/laptops, plus additional comms. Printer not needed.

The B.R.U.C.E. Project website

The Insiders – Deadlocked – Home Play Game

Remarkably prescient game name, really. I don’t know if, when they began work on their new ‘virtual’ Escape Room, Deadlocked had foreseen a fairly captive audience. But, with the release rushed forward to keep their business afloat during the current difficult times, they have found read more here