Outside the room
After a break for lunch, we headed back to Escape Room Preston for a second game. If you’ve read the previous review, you’ll not be surprised to hear that we were only going back because we’d pre-booked tickets, but… we’d had a couple of hours to clear our heads and I was determined to go in with a positive attitude.
It certainly started better – our host this time was more confident and could actually maintain eye contact while giving us the backstory!
Your boss’s daughter has been taken and the kidnappers have said that they’ll kill her unless they get a ransom. They’re checking on her every hour, so you’ve got sixty minutes to get in, find her and get out, or they’ll kill you both.
I find this sort of scenario interesting, because it’s doomed to failure from an immersive point of view – when we get to the end of the game, inevitably we won’t find a frightened child to rescue, so they’re almost guaranteeing that they’ll dispel the illusion. I guess I’ve turned into an escape room diva.
Inside the room
Light. Blessed light. This room was by no means bright, but it felt so much brighter than the other three rooms I’d played here, which meant I could actually see round the room. It’s a bit disappointing that the nature of the game means the set is meant to be a bit squalid – you’re breaking into the sort of place where kidnappers might keep a hostage so you can hardly expect it to look like a hotel room.
As with most of the rooms I’ve visited here, several of the props were broken and there were parts of the room that were quite tatty, to the point where it affected gameplay on a couple of occasions. The puzzles however were good. I really enjoyed several of them, and had to think long and hard to get past a couple – something that I’ve not experienced at other rooms here. The day was definitely improving.
One part of this game stood out for me – I can’t tell you about it, but apart from slight health and safety worries (you’ll be fine – just don’t do anything stupid!), it was just a wonderful physical element to the game that, when I first encountered it, I couldn’t quite fathom. Once I worked out what would happen, though, it was a tremendous epiphany. For an escape room company that I think generally do fairly simple rooms, that was the second time today that they’d truly impressed me, not with a puzzle but with a room mechanism.
It wasn’t all great though. There was one puzzle in the middle that we massively struggled to solve and eventually had to take a clue on. When we were given the clue, I mentally kicked myself, because it was a style of puzzle that I’ve seen before, and asked for a clue on before, but the reason I’d missed it was because of the poor condition of the props. To make matters worse, I’m pretty sure the clue for one of the numbers didn’t work properly – fortunately it was close enough to work out what needed to be done. As I said above – this happened twice in the game, and I’ve had the same problem with other games here. The quality of the props/clues can sometimes make the game more difficult than intended.
My other complaint was that this room backs on to the Laser Quest maze. When we were busy trying to solve the most difficult puzzle, they turned the dial on the music up to 11 and I really struggled to concentrate. It’s a relatively minor complaint, but it feels like they could do with fitting some soundproof padding to the wall.
Seven minutes left and we walked out the door. Having been stuck on the middle puzzle for twenty minutes, that was quite a result, but I was left feeling a little disappointed because the game rushes through the last few parts, having kept most of its complexity for the opening scenes.
Amazingly, our host (different from the intro host and the clue giver!) was waiting for us outside the door to congratulate us on escaping and take us for the obligatory photo. I think it was the same person that hosted our Gallery escape and they showed that not all the customer service at Escape Room Preston is bad. I wish I’d thought to ask his name so that I could laud him here.
This was back to the usual standard of Escape Room games. Ignoring the puzzle in the middle with which we struggled, the rest were varied, crackable and good fun. There’s one novelty in this room which I thoroughly enjoyed and several puzzles which are reasonably advanced compared to their usual fare.
I find it difficult to recommend Escape Room Preston because their customer service has consistently let me down but, if you’re not put off by that, and you don’t mind a room that’s a bit tatty, then this is probably the room I’d recommend if you’ve got any escaping experience.
Detailed Room Ratings