If you fancy a day out from London, Brighton’s a great place to head to. It’s an interesting city with plenty of activities that should appeal to pretty much any demographic, as well as a seafront to enjoy the amazing British weather. More importantly – for this blog at least – it’s also home to several escape room companies. Enough that I now feel a mini-guide is in order to help you choose your game(s).
I’ve visited the city twice and have now played every game across the venues, so I feel I can give a pretty good summary. Strictly, I played Lady Chastity’s Reserve in London, but it’s broadly the same game, and I’ve talked to people who’ve played it in Brighton, so I think I have enough knowledge to comment.
At the time of writing, there are eight games across five venues at four companies, with at least two more games on their way by the end of 2018. You can play high-quality games with a variety of themes: one is distinctly adult in nature, some are perfect for sci-fi geeks, while others lean heavily on the local culture. Without a doubt, my favourite games are at Bewilder Box, with Pier Pressure not far behind. Handmade Mysteries create a great experience, although it’s possibly not for everyone. Escape Game Brighton are definitely the weakest of the set.
If you like great decoration and fancy a Brighton-themed game, then I’d suggest Pavilion Perplex. If you’re coming with a big group, particularly of enthusiasts, then Modrophenia is a great option. Sci-fi geeks should obviously head to Bewilder Box, and I’d probably point people who like puzzles to their second game in particular. Small hen and stag dos might enjoy the innuendo in Lady Chastity’s Reserve.
If you want more detail, here’s a quick summary of each, with a link to the corresponding reviews:
- Bewilder Box – sci-fi-themed games but not just for geeks. Immersive clue systems and easily excitable GMs. Pricing structure makes them expensive for small teams.
- The Bewilder Box Initiative. Probably the game I’ve enjoyed the most in Brighton, although that’s possibly because I like the homemade feel of it and its sci-fi nature. Either way, still a great game.
- Judgement D.A.V.E. A great sequel with great characters, good decoration, a fun sense of exploration and impressive puzzles.
- Pier Pressure – games that have some connection to Brighton, with great sets, enjoyable puzzles and GMs that make the introduction a performance.
- Modrophenia. One for larger groups, with plenty to keep you occupied. Good set. A few basic puzzles were disappointing, but the overall structure more than made up for that. Note that it’s officially minimum four players but if you’re an enthusiast drop them an email and they’ll let you play with three or even two).
- Pavilion Perplex. An opulent set that’s almost overwhelming. Generally good, varied puzzles, with only a couple of weaknesses, that build to a solid finale.
- The Divide. (opening later this year, but I played in Reading). An enjoyable (if at times sobering) game about homelessness and the issues surrounding it. Great puzzles and good theming for a good cause.
- Raver Quest. I haven’t played but mentioning it here because it opens very soon!)
- Handmade Mysteries
- Lady Chastity’s Reserve – a game that’s more about the experience than about the puzzles. Expect plenty of innuendo and silly fun.
- Escape Game Brighton – Generally tired rooms with little exploration. Some interesting puzzles, but it seems one is always terrible. GM shared between two or three rooms.
- Return of the Mad Scientist. Poor set. A couple of decent puzzles, but the very best was ruined by poor implementation. Relatively little content.
- Murder at the Pier: Revenge. Poor set. Some sense of discovery during the game. No particularly exciting puzzles.
- Secret Agent: The Black Box. Definitely their best game. Reasonable set, some fun puzzles but still one that felt unfair.