The Panic Room Gravesend: Prison Van

Our penultimate game of the trip was by far one of the most unique, as we headed to a car park to watch the sunset over the Thames from the comfort of a cell in a prison van…

“You’re breaking the law as dangerous convicts! Cooperate to solve puzzles and make a break for it! Sweet, sweet freedom is within your grasp!

You’ve been caught, tried and convicted! During the transport to a maximum security prison, the secure vehicle taking you is involved in an accident. The vehicle is immobile, and a bit of a mess, but this is the perfect opportunity to stage a breakout! The police’s response time is 60 minutes; can you shorten your life sentence?”

Prison Van at The Panic Room Gravesend

It’s one of those small curiosities those of us who have stayed on the right side of the law have had – what’s it like inside a prison van? Well now, thanks to The Panic Room, you pretty much get an authentic experience.

Parked up at Gravesham Borough Market car park is a genuine, decommissioned former prison van, that has been transformed into an hour long escape room. In terms of theming, it honestly looks like they’ve had to do pretty much nothing to the van (although I’m sure that’s not the case), as with all of the original fixtures and fittings, it already looks the part.

You start the game locked in the individual cells/booths that are used to transport the prisoners, and it goes without saying that it’s a very claustrophobic experience. Even once out of the cells, it’s still got a similar feel to it, and I can imagine any more than three players would be a real nuisance to deal with.

There’s plenty of puzzles to keep you occupied – I genuinely didn’t believe it would be possible to get a full hour’s worth of gameplay into a prison van, but it’s definitely been done. There was a nice mix of puzzles, all on theme.

If you can deal with claustrophobia, and like the idea of experiencing such a unique setting, this is definitely one to visit. A very fun hour.

Host: Our host was James who did a great job.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success? Yes, we escaped in 49:32


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