We Escaped In
41 minutes 45 Seconds
You are in the house of the Professor who is working on the problem of parallel worlds. You have been called in by the police. The Professor has disappeared and seems to be on the run from some mysterious agents. The house is so full of secrets, puzzles and devices that the police have no idea what has happened to him. It’s time for you to take control and find out.
Hurry! The mysterious operatives are already after you, and they are not from our world…
We’ve learnt never to judge an escape room by its physical location. Very often we find that the games best executed are not the ones in the middle of a high street, but instead tucked away a little. That being said, turning up at an industrial estate in Newport Pagnell, is probably one of the more random locations we’ve ended up. Once inside, it felt like the first part of our game was trying to find the start point. Escape for Real have two areas within this larger shared unit and of course, we walked into the wrong one first time.
Having eventually found the room which is just down the corridor, we walked into the small reception room where we were to be briefed on our mission. This first area, though not part of the game, is quite nicely decorated to look as though you are outside the professors house. There is a real front door, fake grass, brick wall paper and a climbing plant on the doorstep. A nice touch that some rooms overlook and given the building this room is in, pretty well done. We appreciate this touch of immersion before you go into the room, but they could have stepped the story up a notch if the first task was to gain access to the house in the first place.
Locked inside, we were pretty underwhelmed by the way the room looked. What had seemed like a strong start from the outside was totally lost on us inside. The scenario explains how we were to be searching the professors house, but it felt a bit more like an empty head teachers office. There was barely any furniture, no ornaments or personal effects and this unfortunately gave the room a sense of being unfinished. It’s like the professor moved out intentionally and just forgot to tell you. We’re not massive fans of loads of red herrings, but we needed a little bit more in this room to make the theme come to life. The premise is there, the execution just falls a little short.
Puzzles & Challenges
Beyond Zero is a linear style game, and the tasks we had to complete definitely had a clear order to them in that one solution led on to the next puzzle and so on. Our tasks required us to complete a varying range of tasks and we were relieved not to be faced with padlock after padlock or code after code. This is probably enough to keep you interested if you are relatively new to escape rooms or playing as a family with children, however for the enthusiast you won’t find many puzzles you haven’t played a variant of before and will probably sail through the room relatively easily.
The element that we felt really let the challenges down came back to the room theme. One of our favourite parts of being in a new room is the frantic search at the very beginning. Finding random objects and questioning your team if they were relevant or not. In an emptier room like Beyond Zero, there’s a little bit of that, but some extra items to scout through would add to the challenge level.
One part of the game that was new to us, and we did really enjoy was the pursuit element. Our games master really emphasised the agents were hunting us down and so we had to keep our eyes peeled for a signal in the room whilst simultaneously solving the clues. When we saw the signal we had to hide to avoid capture. This was genius and made the first half of the game way more tense as we were constantly on the look out. We ended up hiding a bit prematurely after mistaking a random light to be the signal only to be told we were safe to come out by the host which was undoubtedly the funniest moment in the room. We wonder how many other teams have made the same mistake.
Our games master at Beyond Zero was helpful, welcoming and friendly. We were introduced to the story line and given a bit of a back story before being walked through the obligatory “don’t poke the plug sockets” and being shown into the room to begin our game.
We would have liked to have been asked if we wanted to receive clues freely or to ask for them when we needed them. We really don’t like accepting clues if we don’t need to and there were more than a few instances where we felt these were a bit free flowing, to the point where we were being walked through one challenge without having much of a chance to solve it ourselves.
Value for Money
The size of your team will largely determine the value for money of this room, as will the time of day you decide to visit as Escape for Real have a “Peak” and “Off Peak” price list. Visit in the middle of the day during the week, and provided you’re not a team of two you’ll save yourself at least £1 per person. Larger groups as much as £3 off per person. For a team of two however, the room works out at £25 regardless of what time you visit. We think this is still pretty good.
Was this room our favourite room? No. But was it still an enjoyable game? Definitely yes. Despite the theme not quite hitting the mark, and the puzzles being variants of those we have seen before it still kept us laughing and tense due to the premise of the agents chasing us. If we were playing as newcomers, or with a family, then we’d appreciate this room a lot more. If offers all the basics of a decent escape room and would leave you wanting to play another room. If these guys worked on the decor a little, we’d happily have scored them another star here.