Escape Quest Macclesfield: House of Illusion

Yesterday, we were lucky enough to play the long-awaited House of Illusion at one of our favourite game locations Escape Quest. We say long awaited because it feels like Elaine and Mike have been building this one for 5 years! So, was it worth the wait?

“For 30 years his parents toured the world with their famous House of illusion magic show.

Henry would wait patiently backstage during the shows, wishing for the day he’d be allowed to take his place in the limelight, and maybe one day he might even be the star of the show. Unfortunately Henry’s parents didn’t think he was good enough to be included in the act.

Henry grew up bitter and disillusioned with the world, the anger he felt at his parents slowly turned to hatred, and then…..they suddenly disappeared never to be seen again! Henry’s girlfriend and his Aunt and Uncle have also disappeared. Henry claims they have all gone abroad to continue the show without him, but Henry’s Grandfather suspects something terrible has happened to the missing family members.

Henry has built his own private theatre. The shows he put on have not gone well, and ticket sales have dried up entirely, so Henry’s decided to hold auditions for some new performers. He’ll show the world that Henry Fortune has what it takes to put on a show just as good as his parents. Maybe even better!

Henry’s Grandfather has hired a firm of private investigators, and this is the ideal opportunity to send them in as undercover performers to try to find out if Henry knows more than he’s letting on. That’s where you come in!

Will your performance be good enough to fool Henry whilst you secretly gather evidence and If not, will Henry let you leave if your cover is blown? Henry is short tempered and impatient, an hour of his time is all you’ll get so make sure you work fast. As the final minutes tick by and the stage lights go out, it really could be the end of the show for you all……”

House of Illusion at Escape Quest Macclesfield

Oh. My. God. It’s clear to see why this room took a while to build, as they’ve pulled out all the stops. We knew the game was going to be set in a theatre, but I don’t think we expected it to be this authentic a theatre. This is an absolute masterpiece of a set, with old style theatre seats, the perfect decor, excellent props… I don’t want to go into much more detail (there’s some pretty obvious things I could mention!) because it would take away from that amazing moment you step through the door.

As you can see from the room description above, there’s a great backstory, and the narrative is so well woven into the gameplay throughout the hour. The story of Henry Fortune has had so much thought put into it, and the character himself has a lot to him. He does appear in the game (sort of), and he really is quite the character, adding an extra element to the immersiveness.

The gameplay was well structured, with you on the hunt for a number of items that are found in many different ways. There’s quite a bit of searching to be done, but nothing too bad for people like us who are terrible searchers, and all of the puzzles were logical, with a great flow to the game.

An absolute highlight though is mentioned in the above room brief. You might be private investigators, but you do have to audition for Henry. The room brief is spot on. We performed stage magic, in an escape room. It’s such a bizzare, unique experience, but it’s a brilliant concept.

Overall, this game shouldn’t be missed. The set design is so ambitious, and despite the fact it was completely built by only Mike & Elaine, fully delivers. It’s an exciting game, with a burst of adrenaline at the end, with so many typical “Escape Quest” touches that we’ve come to love. We just had to give this our Must Play stamp, with this jumping right into my all-time top five. Abracadabra.


Host: As always, our game was hosted by Elaine & Mike. You’d be hard pushed to find an escape game centre that offers a warmer welcome. Some of the loveliest people in the industry!
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success: Yes, we escaped with around two and a half minutes remaining.


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  1. Blown away by this room yesterday. We are big fans of Escape Quest. From our first visit in April 2015 we have followed their progress avidly. They were recommended to us by Breakout Manchester at the time when there weren’t many escape room companies around locally. We were seriously impressed even way back then but they’ve really stepped things up a massive gear here! We have badgered the owners to death about getting this room built once we were told a new room was coming months and months ago, possibly a year ago. I’ve nagged for updates and berated them for having time off from building to enjoy some leisure time (jokingly of course. maybe)….AND??

    Wow. As Jamie says, it is understandable to see why this room took so long to make! As soon as you go through the door your impression is just wow! This set is fantastic. The attention to detail is incredible. Mike and Elaine have even bought an authentic prop for a part of the theatre you can’t even see! That is how good the attention to detail in this room is. You are immediately transported into the world of Henry Fortune as soon as you step through that door both by the build of the room and the interaction with Henry. The story is strong throughout the room and the puzzles are all logical, once you can actually solve them, as there are some stages in this room you have the answers staring you in the face but not the information just yet to get that answer. Searching features quite a lot, which isn’t our strong point, but it’s not excessive or tiresome. This room is fun all the way! If you choose the harder difficulty rated version of the room you are also given an extra task which adds more to the story of Henry Fortune and his family and involves solving more puzzles and a bit more searching to acquire a number of items. I’d recommend you play either the 4 or 5 star difficulty rating of this room to see as much of it as possible. Maybe opt for the 3 star if you’re new to escape rooms or have children with you.

    The ending is so typically Escape Quest with a burst of activity but there is nothing else really typical or ordinary about this room. This is a totally different type of room, not just your bog standard escape room, it really is hard to compare it to anything else out there. Well done Escape Quest on creating a beautiful room in every way! Must Play for sure.

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