This is just my opinion of a visit to our local Escape Room business. The experience was paid for by myself and was not gifted or sponsored in any way.
After my daughter went to an escape room in Newcastle, she couldn’t recommend it enough. Although her visit was adults only, when a kid’s version came up on Groupon I jumped at the chance. My four children were excited and to be honest my husband and I were looking forward to it too – it was something we had never done before.
I rang to book and spoke to a young chap called Nathan who was helpful enough in getting sorted and answering any questions we had. It was fairly short notice but they had times available, so we did a mid-week after school slot.
Upon arrival the shop front looked a little unloved, but on a busy main street I guess that’s forgivable and to be fair we were concerned with what was on the inside much more than the outside.
Inside the building was dark and cramped in the main ‘reception area’ with a couple of lads crowded round a camera. There was no real greeting or introductions we were just shuffled along to the ‘waiting’ room which was a bit cheap and shabby.
From there a young man went backwards and forwards collecting particular items we would need like handcuffs, keys and a walkie talkie.
We had to decide who went into a cell and who stayed outside, and we were given some safety instructions and without further aplomb went straight into it.
We didn’t really have a back story and didn’t know what we were doing. And to be fair we may have may a mistake in letting one of the children be the person who was on the outside of the cell responsible for freeing us.
The idea I had of everyone working together, playing to different strengths and having fun went completely out of the window! It was each man for himself and the younger kids inside the cell set about grabbing all sorts to play with no regard to any particular order things may need to be in.
The older child outside the cell basically just faffed about and had a right root about without sharing any information and details he came across. Upon request (sometimes rather loudly) we were shoved random pieces of info through the cell bars but to be honest we couldn’t really make head nor tail of much of it.
The young men watching through the cameras eventually took pity on us and helped us out a bit, but we floundered miserably and failed to complete the task.
Honestly the kids enjoyed it in so far as just playing with the props and not as an actual escape room. As for my husband and I – well, he was glad we had only paid Groupon prices and for me it just drove home that should a problem ever arise that needs some real thought and brain power then the best course of action is get the kids entertained and sit and solve it yourself!