A 4-8 person challenge. Initial segregation into single cells. Individuals are required to use their clear descriptive skills of communication and gain unification into pairs then finally unite as a team to forge their break to freedom.
Escape rate not stated but claimed to be very difficult
£20 per player
Plymouth, Devon, England
No dedicated Parking, Pay & Display available
Escaped – 61.00 (he didn’t come get us so were taking this one)
If the sense of being locked up in a maximum security prison is what the team here in Plymouth were going for, unfortunately they fall somewhat short of the mark. As the initial scenario mentions each player is isolated at the beginning of the game by being locked into their own cells, and once inside they must work together to escape both their individual prisons and the overall room. It’s fair to say we were expecting a bit more when it comes to aesthetics. Where they really miss the mark is conveying the sense that you are in a prison cell, and not an empty office room. The addition of a bed, metal sink, chair even would go a long way to increasing the sense of realism. The room just lacks the finesse that we have seen elsewhere. It has definitely not been thrown together as with other rooms, but its not quite perfect. We also found the scenario itself to be a little lacking. There was no explanation of why you were in prison or an apparent plot line.
Puzzles & Challenges
As the scenario describes, each player is locked up in an individual room at the beginning of this game, before they must come together to solve a final set of puzzles and escape from the prison. The isolation stage of this room is intended to encourage players to communicate and as you would expect this sometimes leads to a Chinese whispers effect where things get confused as information is passed from player to player. Pete was in cell 1 and Nate in cell 3. We quickly realised however that if we didn’t all talk at once we could quite clearly hear the person in cell 4 from cell 1, which largely meant the people in cells 2 and 3 were a bit redundant, in fairness to the operators, they make no secret of the fact that some people will do more than others but we underestimated how much more. Once cells 1 and 2 have escaped, they have to figure out how to release the other two rooms. This naturally takes a bit of time and so cells 3 and 4 are sitting with their feet up at this point (at least if there was a bed). Once free, cells 1 and 2 are again seperated from cells 3 and 4 by a wall of bars which is locked closed. Opening this lock is actually pretty similar to the very first challenge. Finally re-united the team is faced with some traditional lock and code style puzzles to solve before making the final dash for freedom. There is nothing bad about the puzzles here, but it does feel like the individual rooms is a novelty they have relied a little too heavily on.
We really liked the games master at this room, he was friendly, asked us about our experience of escape rooms and talked us through some of the specifics of the room. The most important instruction being to line up in order according to who wanted to do more in the game and who wanted to do the least, this determined which cells we were locked in to begin with. The camera in one of the rooms wasn’t working which meant that he called through every 10 minutes or so to see how we were getting on. This was a little frustrating as normally you would expect them to be watching to see if you are at least looking in the right areas. The clue system for this room is a telephone, which you use to contact the games master from inside the room. For the most part he was pretty responsive but towards the end we dialled and no one picked up! We escaped in 61 minutes but had the phone been answered we like to think we would have got out in time.
Value for Money
So the puzzles here are not the most imaginative or diverse, and the theme isn’t quite executed to a Hollywood standard but it’s hard to argue against £20 per person for an hours escape room experience. After escaping we certainly didn’t leave feeling as though we had been overcharged for the game.
For all it’s flaws this room still offers players an enjoyable experience. Though this probably depends on how involved you want to be in the game and how experienced you are with escape rooms. Newcomers to escape rooms will most likely find this an interesting and fun room. Enthusiastic escapers are more likely to be wanting a little bit more from the room.