Pity the poor gift recipient. We all know that deciding what to buy your loved one can be tough, but do you really want to give a farm’s worth of livestock and a party load of people?
That’s just what the present giver did in The 12 Days of Christmas.
This traditional English Christmas carol, first published in England in 1780, tells the story of a series of gifts from “my true love”. There have been a number of different versions of the lyrics over the centuries but all feature an ever growing list of animals birds and people.
The 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt
Instead of giving gifts, a group of treasure hunters searched for answers to clues about them. Exploring the National Portrait Gallery, their quest took them from Tudor paintings to 21st century art.
Now it’s your turn
Luna Fox had sent us a message via our team leader.
We were to meet at a certain location at a certain time. We were required to wear flat shoes for Time Running and warned that, while we were not to be late, we were also not to be early.
“Do not ring the doorbell until exactly your allocated time slot.”
As we huddled outside a doorway in East London, one brave adventurer decided to flout the instructions we’d been sent and try her hand at ringing the doorbell 10 minutes early.
It was ignored.
But at 6:30pm sharp the door swung open to reveal the Time Portal and our time travelling adventure could begin.
Instead of being greeted by a games master, we were met by Luna’s assistant Aubrey Defoe. He showed us into his “office” for a briefing on our mission. To make travelling between time portals easier we were required to leave our bags and coats behind. Loading the storage crate one member of our team snagged his finger and had to be taken to get a plaster. Aubrey remained in character, telling us that time travel was not supposed to be that dangerous, and ad libbing until all the team were back together.
After the briefing we were shown into the staging room where we “met” Luna’s other assistant, a robot called Babbage. He was to be our guide between the time portals. We had more instructions from Luna and then we were off to solve the first puzzles and challenges in an attempt to retireve the Lance Of Longinus.
The puzzles were good and the production value of the sets was amazing. Time Run is a really impressive immersive game.
Being non-linear, all team members were free to search and solve as we moved between time portals. And we did. Sometimes we worked as pairs, sometimes as a group and sometimes we tried things alone. (Looking at you, “silent solver”.)
We managed to retrieve the Lance Of Longinus and escape back to our time zone with a few minutes to spare.
As well as making it onto the leader board, we were given a report card during the debriefing. After some careful consideration Babbage had decided we were “the Academics” who were both helped and hindered by the raw power of our intellect.
A fair assessment and a great game.
Decide who you would like to take on a Christmas adventure.
The 12 Days of Christmas Treasure Hunt is based on the Christmas carol. You will not have to strain your singing voices, just your “little grey cells” as you work out the answers to the song sheet of clues.
Bring your team to explore the National Portrait Gallery followed by cocktails, prizes and festive treats.
Get to explore the gallery and discover the treasures the collection holds. The National Portrait Gallery is the oldest portrait gallery in the world, with works spanning over 500 years.
Will you win the top marks and collect the winners prize?
It’s New Year’s Eve 1999
Master Magician Alistair Wilson performs an amazing trick
And literally disappears
He is never seen again!
The big questions remain:
- Why did he vanish?
- How did he disappear?
- And what became of his “Book of Secrets”?
With so many questions left unanswered, my team of adventurers set off early one Sunday morning to find a little magic in Mile End. Our quest took us to Clue Adventures.
Our mission was to find out what happened to Alistair Wilson on new years eve 1999 and to find his Book of Secrets. Time was of the essence as his flat was due to be demolished. We’d only have 60 minutes before the answers would be lost forever.
Entering the Zone
Wearing our hard hats we completed our briefing before entering Alistair Wilson’s flat.
Players are offered a choice of play modes. The clues are the same but the amount of hints offered is different. Fun mode gives you a little nudge in the right direction and is good for all levels of player. Experienced players can choose Ultimate where you are asked if you would like a hint before one is given. Players can choose to take the hint or refuse it.
Despite the look of horror from one team member, our group decided to go Extreme, where you are not offered hints but have to ask for them. Admittedly we had not read the reviews before playing that said Book of Secrets is one of the hardest escape rooms to solve.
This escape room begins in Alistair’s flat and has you searching around finding clues, puzzles and even magic tricks. That’s a nice surprise.
In fact, magic abounds in this escape room. As well as allowing you to perform tricks, the whole experience makes reference to great magicians of the past and present. This adds another level of enjoyment to the game trying to spot different magicians.
Of course, the real object of the game is to solve the mystery and find the book. We were lucky to have a team of four as we could split up and search the room, which is packed full of stuff.
The game is non-linear so everyone gets the opportunity to solve. However you may discover things that require something else to be found before you can use what you’ve uncovered. Good communication is essential. As is remembering what you’ve discovered as you may need to refer to it later.
The big question
Having solved the first two questions, we still needed to find the actual Book of Secrets. The finale pulled all the team together with literally seconds to spare.
A recommended adventure.
18th August 1940. It had started as a normal day.
The WAAF were serving tea to the airmen playing darts and cards when the attack happened. No-one expected the Luftwaffe to launch a resurgent attack on Britain.
With their air base hit by the first wave of heavy bombing, the airmen abandoned their darts match. As the only survivors, the airmen and the WAAF needed to access the strategic ops room and mobilise the full force of the RAF to save Britain.
With another attack imminent, there is no time to loose.
So begins ESCAPE PLAN: THE BATTLE FOR BRITAIN
A friend invited us to play the new story from Escape Plan which is set within World War II at an unnamed RAF base.
The game starts in the officers mess, with its photos of airmen and pub games. We played the only survivors of the Luftwaffe surprise attack. There were enough challenges to keep everyone occupied as we searched for a way to get into strategic operations.
A nice range of puzzles feed into a bigger puzzle that got us into the next room. This room contains an impressive piece of prop some of us were especially eager to access.
Once inside the strategic ops. room, we set about gaining control of the surviving airbases. Our aim was to shoot down as many German bombers as possible. We had to find the correct airbase codes and despatch the planes before scurrying to safety ourselves.
Able to get all aircraft airborne, we activated the escape code to get us to safety. A great time, plus a few great photos to mark the occasion. Recommended.
Treasure Hunts In London will be running their annual Trick or Treat Halloween Treasure Hunts around the British Museum again this year.
Begin by meeting the Witches and reading the Halloween story……………
Trickier than it seems as some of the words are missing. Can you fill in the blanks?
Solve the clues and you will discover they all relate to objects that can be found within the British Museum.
Now it’s time to set off exploring. Will you be able to find the objects? They can all be discovered within the collections treasures.
Think you’ve found the right cauldron? You’ll have to unravel the crypt-ic clues and answer the question about it to check. Tricky? A little, but all the solutions can be found by searching the cabinets and reading the descriptions.
The British museum is vast, but the witches will give you a list of rooms to search so you can find your way around. And if you need a little more help, they will be there to assist you, offering hints and advice.
After you’ve finished exploring the museum and solving the tricks, it’s time for the treats. Head to an elegant nearby venue for a delicious cream tea treat and prize giving.
Book your tickets for this years adventure from www.scavengerhunts.london
Join the Halloween Treasure Hunt at the British Museum with Treasure Hunts In London.
The adventure runs from 28th to 31st October 2017
Buy your tickets at www.scavengerhunts.london
Adventure Rooms began in Bern, Switzerland, in March 2012. Now a franchise of Adventure Rooms Escape Games offers venues in over 30 locations all around the world. The UK Adventure Rooms can be found in Cardiff, where they currently have two games – The Mad Scientist and The Black Queen.
The Black Queen – Cardiff
Team “Invitation To Events” tried out the Cardiff Adventure Rooms and played The Black Queen, the harder of the two games.
“I’ll take two of you into the room first and come back for the other one” said our Games Master during the briefing. This led us to believe we’d be separated and have to solve puzzles to link up. So we split up along the lines of “someone has to take me” and left our team mate behind. We need not have worried as the split was only so that the Games Master could handcuff us to the wall, then handcuff our team mate in another part of the room.
Wait a minute. Did I say, not to worry? Here we were, all chained to the wall!
The start is in keeping with the premise of the game. The story goes that you are trapped in the mansion of a mysterious figure, the “Black Queen”. So your first task is to get out of the handcuffs and start finding out about the Black Queen and how to defeat her.
You have to make your way through her lair and escape before she finds you. It’s not a horror room, although there was a point where we turned the corner and had a slight shock. Think it was more to do with us being immersed in the experience.
The Black Queen is well decorated and has an Alice in Wonderland feel to it although its in monochrome.
We played valiantly and were working on the final puzzle when the time ran out.
A great time and we very nearly escaped.
The Black Queen can be found at Adventure Rooms, Cardiff