Happy 50th – my top 5 escape games


During my recent escape room extravaganza, I completed my 50th escape room. To celebrate, I thought I’d look back through all those reviews and pick out my five favourite games and write a little on why I think they’re so good.

#1 Time Run: The Lance of Longinus

This London game is far and away the most expensive escape room I’ve ever played, but it’s worth every single penny. It’s part escape room, part immersive theatre, with an amazing introduction and set. Virtually everyone who’s ever played it rates it as their top escape room, and that includes escape room enthusiasts who’ve come from overseas.

#2 Extremescape: The Pirate Ship

A late entry into the rankings list, this was my 44th room and took me totally by surprise. It breaks so many of the escape room conventions, but it’s just a gorgeous room to be in. Some of the puzzles are a little weak, but that’s more than made up for in the quality of the puzzle mechanics, either in the solutions or what is triggered when you solve them. To back it up, it’s owned by a wonderfully friendly couple who’ve poured their hearts and souls into the venture. If you’re ever in the North West of England, this is the room to play.

#3 clueQuest: Operation Black Sheep

I’ll always have a soft spot for clueQuest, because Plan 52 was the first escape game I played, but it was their second game that seriously impressed me. There are some really fun puzzles, two player mechanics, a great venue (so I’m told – I’ve not played since their most recent move) and good staff. They’re the only company that seems to have succeeded in delivering top notch rooms in bulk. They’ve a new room due out in March, so look out for the review!

#4 Exit Madrid: Cold War – Double Agent

Overseas for this one to Madrid. Nothing about the room when I walked in suggested it would be memorable, but it played out so perfectly that the feelings are still etched in my memory. As well as having some good puzzles and really tough searching, it amped the tension up throughout before delivering a stunning blow with the end game. People were falling apart under the pressure. An escape room with a real twist, this proves that the whole can most definitely be greater than the sum of the parts. On a personal note, this review is the one I’m proudest of – rereading it still sends shivers down my back.

#5 Escape Rooms: Room 33

Back to London for fifth place and into the British Museum (or at least Escape Rooms’ recreation of it!). This is a controversial choice, and I know a lot of people question my high ranking of this game – I guess it’s the Marmite of escape rooms. I love the opening to the game, the fact that it has plenty of hard puzzles and the fantastic tech. It was ahead of its time and I think it still holds up well today.

What do you think?

Disagree with me? Think I’ve underrated some of the games I’ve played, or there are other games I need to get along to? Jump into the comments and let me know!


    1. // Reply

      Time Run’s a no brainer – definitely worth playing. The other two London ones above are my favourites, but actually there are a couple of others I’d probably put higher for you, because they’re unusual. Escape Plan is a great example. It’s not quite in the top 5 (although would have easily made a top 10), but its feel is so different from the others.

      But yes – come to London!

  1. // Reply

    I’ve done a few recently in Budapest – I’m thinking of writing reviews of it actually. But if you are ever in Budapest…and you really should go, given it being the European capital of escape rooms and all…you should try Napuche (www.napuche.hu): not the best flow but some really creative and unique technical solutions 🙂 Also did White Mission which was interesting as well.

    Agree with Time Run – amazing room, wish I could do it again! Can’t wait for the new ClueQuest room as well

    1. // Reply

      Thanks for the recommendation! Funnily enough, we’re in the middle of sorting out a trip to Hungary (although getting a schedule that works means we’ll likely not get there till September 🙁 ). Really looking forward to an escape extravaganza, so thanks for the tips. I’ll add them to my to do list – it’s good to have recommendations from someone who’s played the London games and so likely has a similar view point as to what is novel!

      Plenty to look forward to at the moment anyway – as you say, clueQuest’s new room isn’t far off (three weeks today for us!). Door in a Wall will hopefully soon announce their next game. I’ve got a couple of other games to catch up on (Agent November and Lock’d) too and, sneak preview, tomorrow’s update is absolutely jam packed with news about London games. It covers new/expanding venues that will eventually grow to something like 25 additional games. I’m almost grateful that I don’t have Hungary booked too soon!

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