Time Run… where do you start? Time Run is widely regarded as one of the, if not THE best escape games in the UK. We’d always planned on going, but last year, after hearing it was closing, we rushed to play ‘The Lance of Longinus’ in June 2017.
We didn’t have a blog back then so never reviewed it, however, Time Run thankfully remained open, with the closing date pushed back a few times. Now, in April 2018, we finally returned to play ‘The Celestial Chain’, with Time Run now definitely closing on 25th April.
It seems pointless writing a review of the games, as they sadly close in less than a week, but it feels wrong to ignore it. Simply put, the games at Time Run are the best we’ve ever played.
Instead, this is a brief (well, it was supposed to be) combined review of both games, and the overall set up of Time Run.
Forget waiting rooms and staff members giving you safety briefings. The theatre of Time Run starts the second you arrive. You must knock on the large, special-looking door at the exact minute your time slot begins. The first time we visited Time Run, we were stood outside on the street in an industrial estate, beaming with excitement.
Once in, you find yourself in a beautifully themed office, welcomed in by Aubrey (the assistant of time traveller Luna Fox) played by various members of staff, who do their jobs absolutely wonderfully. From the second you step into the building, reality is suspended. The theatre behind the experience pulls you in to the crazy world of Time Run, and somehow, even a safety briefing is delivered without you realising – it’s all in character and in theme.
The pre-game experience continues in both rooms, as before you begin to play, you get to hear from Luna herself, via a time portal. Finally, the time portal opens up and you enter the game, and it’s then that the already high first impressions develop into something impossibly higher.
Superb is the only word for the theming in Time Run’s games. ‘The Lance of Longinus’ takes place in three different time zones, and all of them are created beautifully. Two of them make you go wow, and although the third was the most “escape roomy” of them all, it was still a lovely space.
In “The Celestial Chain”, the theming seems to be even more stepped up. As you progress through the five spaces, it gets better and better. The game’s finale takes place in an absolutely fascinating room that looks like it’s been pulled directly from a video game such as Tomb Raider or Uncharted.
Typically, a game has it’s strengths in one location or another – some might wow with puzzles but leave you unimpressed with theming, while others may blow you away with their design whilst disappointing in gameplay. Time Run is perfectly balanced – the rooms look amazing, but the puzzles are of an equally high standard.
I’m hard pushed to think of a puzzle in either Lance or Chain that is similar to anything else I’ve seen in another game.
There was one particular puzzle in Lance that was more impressive than many other “wow” centerpieces, and plenty of others that provided a great challenge, and a hell of a lot of fun.
Ridiculously, the puzzles in Chain were even better. “The Celestial Chain” is one of the most “Crystal Maze” type games I’ve ever played, with at least three “wow” puzzles, and potentially a few more.
Time Run is an out of this world escape experience. Both games are seriously stunning, and it is absolutely gutting to see they’re closing down.
Time Run closes on 25th April, and the remaining time slots are pretty much booked up, but if somehow you can book one and make it there in such short notice, definitely do. It’s not a decision you’ll regret.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via the voice of Babbage, a friendly helpful robot.
Success? Yes, we escaped Lance in around 63 minutes, having been given a bonus 5 minutes for being a group of two very close to the exit.
Teaming up with Amy & Ian for Chain, we scored 105/100, getting very, very close to a few extra items but sadly missing them.