In August, we made our return to our absolute favourite escape game centre in the UK. We absolutely love Escapologic – every single room has been created to be extremely immersive, unique and special. Our first visit to Escapologic was towards the start of 2017 after countless people with good taste (Amy at Brit of an Escape Habit, Elaine & Mike at Escape Quest…) told us we absolutely HAD to make the journey to Nottingham.
On that first visit, we played all six opened games over two days. In August, we returned to play game seven, and test game eight, as well as replay Cryptic, Howitz, and Curio, after we failed to escape them previously. We wouldn’t usually replay games we’ve failed, but we loved them all so much we just had to, even going to the length of scheduling everything precisely so our replay of Curio (our all-time favourite game) would be our 100th game.
On our first trip, Simon (the genius behind the rooms) showed us a hole in the ground that could only be accessed by ladder, and told us that in a few months it would be the eighth game. On our second trip, we entered that hole (don’t worry, there’s stairs now), and were absolutely blown away…
“Your team are students at a prestigious university under the tutelage of the eccentric history professor, Dr. John Little. Last he told you, he was close to finding the true location of Robin Hoods grave. He believed Robin was buried here, under the old car park.
Unfortunately a building company recently purchased the land and they want to fill it in with concrete, unknowingly destroying one of the greatest finds in British history. The professor was found trespassing on the site, looking for evidence of the grave and has been arrested. The task has been left to you. The work is set to be started after the builders return from lunch in one hour.
Go down into the site, find Robins grave, bring evidence back up to the surface and stop them destroying history!”
I can’t even begin to describe this room. Can you even refer to it as a room? That hole in the ground we saw in February had been magnificently transformed into… a hole in the ground. This is the most immersive game we’ve played. The building site you break into couldn’t be any more of a building site. A few builders’ tools left scattered around in an untouched, small, dirty and dusty space underground. In fact, you’re provided with the option to wear a hard hat, hi-vis jacket and gloves before the game. I found a few bits of cobweb on my jacket at the end of it, but that’s about the extent of the dirt. Still, don’t play this game in your best clothes! You’re also given a head torch to wear, and in places it’s definitely needed.
Once you start uncovering the various secrets of the room, it becomes clear it’s not just a hole in the ground, and there were a couple of things that made us go wow. In terms of puzzles, I can only remember one thing that could actually be considered a puzzle, with everything else being physical, crystal maze style action.
Overall, this game was something pretty special. It’s the first time I’ve felt a genuine sense of adventure in an escape game.
I can’t imagine playing that game with more than two people – three at a push, whether you’re an enthusiast or not. The space is really tight in places, and with the game being completely linear, you’d struggle to keep all members of a bigger team occupied.
Host: Our host was Will. Just like all the other hosts at Escapologic, he was enthusiastic and gave us the brief perfectly. Once in the room, his clues were clear and helpful. As expected with this being a test game, something did go technically wrong at one point, and he sprung into action and fixed things in good time.
Clue System: Escapologic has a unique clue system in every room, always suited perfectly to the theme. In Robin, the clues are delivered via a builder’s radio. As we played during the testing period, this wasn’t up and running just yet, so our clues were delivered via Will shouting through the ceiling at us.
Success? Yes! Well, kind of. We went about five minutes over, but did still get out. We’ll count it as a victory.