London

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Handmade Mysteries: Poppa Plock

The second outing from Handmade Mysteries. Poppa Plock was a big step up in puzzling but with six people in the room and an almost entirely linear flow, the game always felt a little crowded and hard to engage with. Theatre was, once again, a strong point but for me not up there with Lady Chastity.

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AIEscape: Kill M.A.D.

AI Escape don’t make my life easy. This is another game that’s incredibly hard to review dealing with a difficult subject matter that made this an experience with more depth than most. Ignoring that, though, they’ve put together good puzzles in a beautiful set to make a game that’s well worth playing.

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Escape this Room

An impressive experience considering it was created for just a three week stint. Lots of high tech interactions, a game where you kept on expanding your space and a mixture of physical and mental puzzles led to an enjoyable game with the only real negative being a slightly over zealous games master.

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Time Run: Celestial Chain

The long awaited sequel to Lance of Longinus. Celestial Chain does exactly what I’d expect and push the boundaries of escape rooms. As far as I’m concerned the two Time run games are the best in London and whether you rate this experience of Lance of Longinus more highly will probably depend on how much you accept the new format.

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Enigma Escape: The Breakout

A game full of contrasts. Great centrepiece technology that should have been awesome but was let down by some usability issues. A huge centrepiece puzzle that was plain tedious and resulted in people missing parts of the games and, finally, where their first game took pride in being “real”, this time round several of the puzzles felt contrived.

CoLab Theatre: Hunted

A disappointing first half, especially for anyone who’s attended a Wiretapper event, and a damp squib of an ending left this experience wanting in spite of the middle of the show having a strong set, high octane scenes and generally good acting.

A Place in Time: Maman le Mot

A tongue-in-cheek ‘Allo ‘Allo style performance where I could never quite get my head round whether it was a serious game or not. When it was good, it was very, very good but there were a few too many moments where I was left disappointed.

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Clue Adventures: The Book of Secrets

A game that literally puts some magic back into escape rooms. This is a tough escape room with lots of puzzles and plenty of challenge – possibly too much for a lot of teams. Take a biggish group along and keep your focus and you’ll have plenty of fun.

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Mission Breakout: Codebreakers

A game that really gets you into the spirit of the Second World War codebreakers. If you can cope with a slightly claustrophobic couple of minutes, some loud noise early on and a little bit of frustration in a later puzzle then I think you’ll have an amazing time. If you’ve interested in the work at Bletchley Park during the war then I think this is a must do. Oh, and it’s inside a disused Underground station!

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Do Stuff: Hostage Hideout

A game that took escape room logic to a whole new level with me continually feeling a disconnect between the very specific storyline they’d chosen and the nonsensical puzzling we performed. If you ignore that, there are a variety of enjoyable puzzles with one or two that you’ll find novel as well as one that you might find incredibly frustrating. Beautifully hosted with clues provided at appropriate moments.