Present, in December 2019, were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger
I became very excited when I heard a new Escape Room venue was opening in Rushden, a small Northamptonshire town ten minutes down the road from us. We’ve pretty much exhausted everywhere else in a 45 minute radius, so to have a whole new set of options is cause for celebration. I was slightly anxious, in case this was a two-bit bandwagon pop-up. But then we were reassured, discovering it was the brains behind Cryptx in Cambridge – we’d thoroughly enjoyed the jail room there, so we reckoned this would probably be ok.
Still, I wasn’t prepared for just how good this room turned out to be. You’re in the study of your friend, the missing Conspiracist, and you have to retrieve the mystical egg (don’t laugh, it’s a very nice egg) before the bad guys get to it. It may only be a study set, but it is a rather beautiful and intriguing study set, with a similar vibe to Kanyu’s Follow In My Footsteps, a real labour of love and attention to quality and authenticity.
The game is non-linear, so there is much to look at and play with from the off. It was just Teenage Avenger and me this time, so we probably didn’t explore the openness of the game as much as we should – neither of us wanted to miss out on all the elements that looked so appealing. TA bagsied doing a skills test solo and had so much fun that I was determined we would work through everything else together!
There is a lot of everything else. We really did have to crack on with this game. That moment when you think you’ve made plenty of progress, then realise you are only halfway through… All the puzzles are wrapped around ‘real’ conspiracy theories, from the familiar (moon landings, crop circles, JFK) to the arcane (cave paintings, Japanese islands and Egyptian electricity). No outside specialist knowledge is needed (and indeed could hinder if you tried to get too clever with it), but it adds a level of depth and intrigue to the central mystery.
Puzzles themselves genuinely cover all the bases; maths, logic, dexterity, spelling (we failed that, thanks TA), encryption, observation and lateral thinking. Very nifty use of smart tech ensures this isn’t too padlock-heavy and the tech is definitely there to serve the puzzles (and create some magic) rather than the other way round.
Based on our experience, I wouldn’t say this is exactly a kid-friendly room, in that although Illuminati-obsessed teens will love it, it does still need a little bit of mature brain power. However, we did succeed, in ‘normal’ mode (with 14 seconds to spare!). Want To Escape, rather brilliantly, do also offer an ‘easy’ mode and a ‘kid-friendly’ mode to make sure that their customers get the optimal experience. That is genius, and although we didn’t test it out, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this game and venue to family groups.
Educational, interesting, entertaining and just up the road. All our Christmas wishes come true. We’ll be back to try their Santa’s Stowaway room as soon as we can.
- Storyline: Straightforward quest game, with the impeccable logic that a conspiracy theorist would have a study full of elaborate hidden compartments.
- Theming and Set: Not as immersive as some, but good quality and does the job. Great soundtrack!
- Searching: The correct ratio of searching to puzzles, IMO.
- Puzzles: A great mix.
- Physicality: A little bit of dexterity and sitting on the floor.
- Scare factor: Scare free – unless you are REALLY paranoid.
- Company Age Guidance: “We recommend 8+, but wouldn’t restrict anyone from having a go. Children under 16 need to be accompanied by an adult at the venue, but not necessarily in the escape room”
- Age suitability: Very family friendly with adaptable difficulty levels.
Also at this venue: Guardian of the Gallery; Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop; Teacher’s Revenge; Santa’s Stowaway (Room Closed)