London

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Popup Escapes (London): The Case of the Dynamo Diamonds

A very different game from your average experience. It’s not particularly challenging and, as a popup, doesn’t have the beautiful, solid finish of a permanent game. What it does have is fun – managing to be easily accessible for first-timers while still having enough that’s different from your average escape room to engage enthusiasts.

Hidden City (London): Bright Lights Evening Trail

A basic game that takes you on a nice stroll through London. The technology that backed up the game just worked and the clues made sense but there was nothing very exciting about the experience. It’s a fun pastime if you’ve got a couple of hours to kill in the centre of London on a nice day but not something I’d make the centrepiece of a day out.

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Enigma Quests (London): Million Pound Heist

A pretty game with an outstanding clue system that managed to avoid breaking the immersion. The puzzles were the weak link in the chain – a couple felt a bit tenuous and the final challenge left me disappointed.

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Escape Rooms (Angel, London): Project D.I.V.A.

Another high tech room from the Escape Rooms stable. As with their other Angel room, they’ve traded some of the more difficult puzzles for a more arcade game style play which will likely appeal to some players while turning others off.

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Escape Rooms (Angel, London): Dark Side of the Moon

Is this where escape rooms are heading? I hope not in their entirety but I enjoyed this style of experience as something different from your typical escape room. Less emphasis on the puzzles and more on the adventure.

Parabolic Theatre (London): Morningstar

An intriguing backstory that failed to deliver on the night. The pre-show immersion, the introduction and the sense of exploration worked well but it lost its way in the main performance and then petered out.

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SCRAP: Defender of the Triforce (London)

An escape room that doesn’t involving escaping or really being in a room. With low expectations going in, I was pleasantly surprised by the experience and by the end I have to admit that I was really enjoying things. Sure, the puzzles were, all too often, just pieces of paper but they’d thrown in enough of interest to keep me hooked till the end.

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Room Lockdown (Essex): Prison Break

The best of the Room Lockdown games. A very solid start in a reasonably well decorate game had me feeling optimistic but the puzzles and decor faltered as we continued and by the time we escaped I felt disappointed in what we’d played.

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Room Lockdown (Essex): Room Lockdown

A game that I didn’t really enjoy. The decoration was rough and ready, the puzzles felt basic, and I never got into any flow. Some elements were better – the intro and the exploration, for example – but nowhere near enough to make up for the rest.

Exit Productions (London): Revolution

A kind of a souped-up board game with creative challenges, a bit of political debate and, to some extent, commentary, with a dose of diplomacy and, at times, espionage heaped on top. A little bit of something for everyone meant that it’s the perfect game to bring a bunch of people along to, confident that they’ll find a corner which suits them.