Our fourth and final game of our day in Blackpool saw us head to the base of the tower. It was only a matter of time before a big brand got in on the escape room hype (unless they already have, in which case I plead ignorance), and Merlin Entertainments, who operate Madame Tussauds, Alton Towers, and more, have opened one as part of their walkthrough dungeon experience at Blackpool Tower.
Offered as an add-on to the whole dungeon tour or as a stand alone attraction, the unnamed escape room is based around witchcraft – the premise being you’ve been accused of witchery, and must escape the dungeon before you’re due to be hanged.
“ESCAPE THE NOOSE… BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT! Or will you lose your head under pressure and find yourself locked in the dark depths of Lancaster Castle to meet your fate? Are you ready for the ultimate escape room adventure – with a killer Dungeon twist?”
If you’ve booked to play as part of the whole dungeon tour, or during peak times, you’ll have no problems finding this game – it’s located in the tavern at the end of the tour, and you can go straight to it through the main entrance, presumably by going to the ticket desk and letting them know you’ve booked an escape game. For us however, we’d booked to play past closing time. The dungeon entrance was firmly locked and seemingly in darkness, leaving us with our first ever “break-in game”. With no clues or host, we had to use initiative, and ended up buzzing in to the Blackpool Tower staff entrance, where we were met by flustered security who were trying to disable a fire alarm. Eventually, someone from the dungeons met us, and we were escorted to the tavern to meet our game host and have our briefing.
As you’d expect from the Blackpool Dungeons, the theming is excellent in this game. Looking almost like a medieval film set, you start off in a tiny cell, before breaking into the guards’ office (which weirdly had a cauldron in it). A lot of great looking rustic props and puzzles add to the immersion, although weirdly, there were some scrabble tiles. Not quite from the same era, but I suppose we can drop it…
In terms of game play, there was a mix of positives and negatives. The positives – some fun puzzles that required some thought, and an overall good game plan. Every time you completed one of the tasks, you received an orb, and once you have all of them, you take on the final challenge with everything coming together for a great finale.
The negatives? Overall, there wasn’t too much to do in the room, and one part of it required you to read something that was high up, and above the already dim lighting. We also had a game host who seemed eager to finish her shift – at least you’d think so from the amount of hints flying in every minute!
Overall, a nice effort from Blackpool Tower Dungeons. It’s not really one for enthusiasts, but if you do go, you’ll need no more than two players – we sped through it with four. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of people going to the dungeons who have never heard of escape rooms, and adding this onto the end of their experience is a great way of introducing them to the phenomenon.
Host: We never got our host’s name but she did a great job staying in character as a witch, and gave us a good introduction to the game. In terms of her actual hosting during the gameplay, we were flooded with hints. Every time we’d completed a puzzle, before we had a chance to even consider our next move, we’d been shoved onto it with another clue.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success? Yes, we got out with 27 minutes remaining, taking approximately 25,000 clues.
Brit of an Escape Habit’s review: britofanescapehabit.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/blackpool-dungeon-escape-room