Present, in May 2021, were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger, Aunty Ant, Lioness, Amazing J
Back to one of our favourite venues (Want To Escape) for their brand-new original room, Teacher’s Revenge. Despite the family-friendly theme of the game, we were warned that the first few teams to play had been finding it tricky, and as seasoned escapers we would definitely NOT be getting an easy ride! Add in post-lockdown rustiness (this was the first game back for two of the team), and that WTE‘s rooms are always full of content, we knew we were in for a busy hour.
I’ve always been slightly disappointed with classroom themes in the past – in going for authenticity they can lose a layer of fun and end up with something like homework. Very much not the case here: although the theme is absolutely on-point, there are enough surprises, sideways takes and general silliness to keep us laughing, and puzzling, all the way through.
Instead of the usual “pupils escaping detention” concept, Teacher’s Revenge is aimed at parents. Little Timmy’s teacher, fed up dealing with difficult mums and dads, has set you the task of finding the school report card yourselves, if you’re so bloody clever. Kicked off by a video message, which is a nice touch in the Zoom schooling era, you have to crack the curriculum-based puzzles set for you, to earn the grudging respect of the school staff.
Don’t worry, no French verb deconstruction or geometry tests here – everything is taken from a fairly tongue-in-cheek angle, although that’s not to say the puzzles are super-easy. We particularly liked the wacky take on science and a challenging geography lesson. A couple of the puzzles have the option of a simplified session for younger or less experienced teams, and given the amount of content here it is a sensible choice to take the easier route if you have kids in tow.
Our two kids (TA and AJ) are stretching the definition of kids a bit these days, but they thoroughly enjoyed most aspects of the room. Amazing J took control of the mathsy sections (and did much eyerolling while the adults attempted to describe emojis), while Teenage Avenger dealt with the geography and some of the more physical elements. And it is quite a physical game, in different ways, which ensures all the team can contribute, particularly in the non-linear sections.
When we played, the game still needed a little tinkering to be perfect, but we had put ourselves forward as willing guinea-pigs. Guardian of the Gallery and Conspiracist are still two of my favourite games ever, and I wouldn’t quite put Teacher’s Revenge in that league. But very much like Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop, it is joyful, nostalgic (well, for us adults) blast of fun, with a cracking soundtrack and a layer of mischievous puzzling, at a top quality, destination venue.
- Storyline: Pretty simple Test Your Worth, look for the deviously hidden report card.
- Theming and Set: Bright and on-theme.
- Searching: Nearly had a search fail here, but it is only for one part of the game.
- Puzzles: A mix across the school spectrum, something to suit all talents.
- Physicality: Several puzzles are of a physical nature (think hand-eye). There is also one major physical element requiring good mobility, but this can be circumvented on request.
- Scare factor: This isn’t a classroom of doom scenario.
- 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 without being too easy; children will be better at some elements than the adults.