Present, October 2020, were: Aunty Ant, Lioness, Parker, Amazing J
Given we’ve just raided a bank and, y’know, nicked a load of dosh, I’m gonna be honest with you, guv. I headed to Escape Reading with full confidence that Ram Raid was going to be a priceless, riotous hour of marauding and pilfering; and it absolutely was.
Multiple recommendations are rarely wrong and based on this experience I can see why Escape Reading is so loved. We picked Ram Raid purely for convenience of timings, needing to fit in a lunchtime slot (we always seem to also book rooms around meals, escaping is hungry work!) but would have happily chosen any of the other offerings.
The premise is pretty simple and not so unique once you’ve done all the ‘save the world from impending doom’ or ‘catch the murderer’ type rooms …. this one you can make a run for it at anytime, but the kudos comes from snaffling as much of the moolah as you can before the clock (police) catches you.
All the puzzles are varied, fun, bang-on theme and delightfully interactive, and the staging is excellent in it’s design and delivery. There was plenty for the four of us to do and while it starts with the obvious aim of the initial bank break-in, once you’ve infiltrated the defences it becomes a hectic rush of looting and ransacking (obviously, while trying to solve lots of puzzles to build up your rewards). With so much going on, it’s easy to miss the obvious and we did have a fair few ‘doh’ moments between us. The GM was excellent (I really can’t remember his name, sorry!) with some subtle prods in the right direction when we needed them, without disrupting the flow. He did also very promptly come to our aid when we accidentally jammed one of the puzzles (ie, when all the lights suddenly go off and everything stops working it’s probably not a good sign!) If anything didn’t quite fit the theme, it’s that one puzzle …. but it’s so much damn fun, I promise you won’t care!
Interestingly, we were also given the option of having an additional puzzle added in, which would make the room a little more challenging. They usually offer or add it for groups of six, and seeing the layout you can see why (there wasn’t much social distancing possible in a few places) – it would spread the group a little more and make sure there was room for everyone to always be doing something. It was tempting to see if we could do it – but ultimately I’m glad we turned it down as we may have been tight on time, we escaped with about five minutes to spare.
However, what stood out most for me were some wonderful, tactile and humorous touches that really added to the atmosphere – the soundtrack being one and an amusing and clever diversion being another. This is clearly a room that has had a lot of thought and attention put in to both the logic of the game and the over-all experience of the user and, just like how you feel with the satisfaction of escaping with all the money, it feels that much richer for it.
- Storyline: Break in to the bank and nick as much money as you can before the clock runs out.
- Theming and Set: Excellent, authentic looking set with great attention to detail and good atmosphere.
- Searching: Not search heavy but you need to keep your eyes open and wits about you because everything you see will probably be useful at some point!
- Puzzles: Excellent. Logical, on-theme, good variety, fun.
- Physicality: A bit of running backwards and forwards and a few puzzles that involve action and skill, but no great exertion.
- Scare factor: Mild.
- Company Age Guidance: Recommended 12+ and teams consisting of any children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by at least one adult.
- Age suitability: Amazing J was more than capable of solving plenty of the puzzles on her own. You can see why younger children would need direction though, it’s quite a hectic room.