Month: February 2018

Diving into the murky world of Cold War espionage

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Something was up in the world of aviation and our team were sent to investigate. The venue was a glamorous London hangout, where several suspects would be lurking. We arrived at the dangerous location, filled with spies, jet setters and cocktails, to start our mission.

We were told that a small plane had come down just outside London. It seemed that the lone pilot was killed not in the crash, but by a jump with a sabotaged parachute.

This was murder!

Could it be an act of petty revenge, or something much, much more?

After all, the aircraft was sporting some fearsome new technology that could tip the delicate balance of global power……

Dead Drop

This interactive murder mystery game was designed for groups of 3 to 5 players by A Door In A Wall. I’ve wanted to play one of their games for years and so was really looking forward to taking part.

Our mission briefing suggested we blend in by wearing appropriate attire for 1969. Unfortunately our mission also coincided with the Beast from the East hitting London. So putting together a suitable costume meant finding

  • something 60’s themed
  • something that would fit
  • something warm enough

I opted for “hippy” with lots of layers (for warmth) and beads. [Remember the Woodstock Festival took place in 1969, so I deemed it appropriate attire.] However, it turns out that blending in with spies requires more of a “Swinging London” mod look. I appeared to be the only hippy in a room of groovy chicks. Hey ho, not to worry.

We arrived at Wringer + Mangle in Spitalfields ready for the game which took place in the downstairs bar. The game had been especially written for the venue and play took place throughout the main bar and side rooms.

We meet Sam, the owner of the cocktail bar and his staff, plus an array of curious and intriguing characters. We gathered evidence, solved cryptic clues and exchanged coded information. We even deduced the murderer correctly, until, at the last moment, a startling new piece of evidence caused us to change our submission. The mistake cost us dearly, as we’d been right until then.

After the answers are marked, the cast return to act out the big reveal. Cue kicking ourselves for not sticking to our guns.

These live action games combine narrative, puzzles and character interactions. We found and solved most of the clues, although there were points we missed. There was also one solution we could not read – The writing was so small I couldn’t even see it! My husband eventually managed to persuade someone to read it to him.

A great evenings entertainment. And I’m already looking forward to the next one.

All credit for these images goes to: Robert Boulton Photography for A Door In The Wall
All credit for these images goes to: Robert Boulton Photography for A Door In The Wall

All credit for these images goes to: Robert Boulton Photography for A Door In The Wall






The Celestial Chain

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Having played the Lance of Longinus, my team were ready to take on Time Run’s Celestial Chain mission. We gathered at Time Run HQ in Helmsley Place and met Aubrey for our mission briefing.

The Celestial Chain

As before, at 6:30pm sharp, the door swung open to reveal the Time Portal and the start of our time travelling adventure.

It appeared that a rogue goddess, once imprisoned, had broken free of The Celestial Chain. We were charged with gathering items needed to bind her once again……or risk the end of the world!

It was an offer we couldn’t refuse.

Following the briefing we moved to the staging room. Here we “met”  Luna’s other assistant, a robot called  Babbage, who was to be our guide between the time portals. A few more instructions from Luna, then my team set off across space and time, gathering artefacts and solving puzzles.

Collecting the artefacts

You only get 12 minutes per room to collect the artefacts, before you have to move on through the next time portal.

I’d read reports that you don’t have enough time to solve all the puzzles before you are moved on. Some reviewers had found this frustrating, and I’ll admit, it put me off playing this game. However, I spoke to a fellow enthusiast who said the puzzles equate to points. You move on through the next time portal with the artefacts you’ve collected and the points you’ve scored, so aim to collect as much as possible and score as much as possible.

With that in mind, we discovered there was enough time to attempt most of the puzzles in each room, even if you didn’t always succeed.

There is a lot of reading in each room, especially the second room, which has low lighting. We struggled to read some instructions and to see the puzzles clearly in this room. However, we were still able to collect two of the three artefacts required before moving on.

At the end we were given a score card listing our teams achievements and accomplishments. The “Skill Points” are a weighted measure of overall success. At 94 out of 100 points we were all very pleased with ourselves.

Time Run

This team, Babbage decided, were “the Calm”, as we sailed through time with glacial grace – moving at our own pace and calm under pressure. Perhaps a little too calm under pressure….

Time Run is a high production escape room in London. If you haven’t played both these games, book now as there’s only so long left.

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Professor Oxford’s Experiments

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Escape Land is located on Oxford Street and houses two escape rooms, Professor Oxford’s Experiments and Da Vinci’s Exploration

Professor Oxford’s Experiments, is an adaptation of their earlier Escape from the Age of Steampunk. The latter game was my first experience of Escape Rooms and started my love of them.

The Plot

Locked inside the Mad Professor’s house, you and your team travel back in time 100 years. Your mission is to find the Professor and use his time travelling machine to come back to the present.

From what I remember there are plenty of locked drawers and codes and numerical combinations to find. This was a low tech room with solid wooden components and tactile puzzles. The physical puzzles often needed player cooperation. I’ve seen, but not played, the new game, which includes an interesting new addition. I haven’t played this version yet, as the website warns it’s too similar to be attempted by players who’ve done the previous version.

A good example of a traditional room with a ‘get out of the room’ goal.

Treasure Hunters in Escape Land 1

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