Escape Rooms are taking the world by storm, and it’s easy to see why – they are designed to challenge, excite, intrigue (and sometimes scare) you. They are perfect for groups of friends, couples, families, work teambuilding… basically, if you choose the right room, there is something for everyone… Plus it’s way more fun than a trip to the cinema (in my humble opinion). They range from the fantastical to the farcical, so I tried out some of the big names to help you choose the best one for your team. Here’s how I got on..
Modern Fables – The Escapist – South Bermondsey
Best for: Immersive theatre fans
I have to say, as a big immersive theatre fan, I think this was my favourite escape room in London – the immersive element draws you into the game from the very beginning, and adds something really special to the game. The story is fantastic – your friend Lavinia keeps disappearing on trips since trying to find out more information about her long-lost Grandfather, and she needs you to look after her bar while she’s away. Her long term friend, Alfie is there to show you around and guide you on any questions you may have. The attention to detail on the set production is beautiful, and you will quickly get absorbed into the storyline! Play. This. Game.
Escape Plan – Battle of Britain – Kennington
Best for: Players looking for something a little different and history buffs
Battle of Britain is an escape room… with a twist. Unlike every other escape room I’ve played, escaping the room is only part of the goal! Your main mission is to mobilise your RAF squadrons to protect Britain and down as many Luftwaffe as possible. With innovative, bespoke puzzles, this game will keep even the most experienced escapists on their toes. I loved the level of production throughout the whole experience, and have to say that it is up there with some of the best games I have played! Although it is quite a challenging game, it is still certainly achievable (although if you are relatively new to escape rooms, I recommend having at least 4 people to make it a little easier!). They have also created a new game called The Adventure Begins, which I cannot wait to try out!
Mission Breakout – Camden
Best for: Players looking for something a little more challenging and history buffs
Mission Breakout has one of the best location settings in London – the allure of an abandoned tube station is particularly exciting and fits the theme perfectly. The game is super immersive – the instruction briefing is by Churchill himself, and the production level is high. The puzzles are on the harder end of the scale, but still achievable. We took a friend who had never tried an escape room before, and he was able to help solve some of the puzzles in a meaningful way, and really enjoyed the whole experience! You need at least three people to play most effectively, and I would recommend four or five for those with less experience. This one is great for history buffs, and experienced game players.
They have also opened up a new room called The Lost Passenger, which sounds absolutely great – I cannot wait to play it!
Breakin’ – The Butcher’s Lair – Highbury and Islington
Best for: Horror fans
This was one of the best production levels I have seen in London – from the very beginning, the decoration was stunning and made me want to play all of the rooms – they have several to choose from, ranging from pirate-themed, to space-themed, so there really is something for all the family. They also have a couple of rooms with duplicates, meaning you can break up into two groups and race if you have a larger audience to entertain. The story we played was fun (although not for children who might be easily scared!), and some of the puzzles were quite unique. It was the right level of challenging for people who have some experience in escape rooms, but would also be great for first-timers!
Hint Hunt – JM’s Office – Euston
Best for: Team-building activities
Hint Hunt was quite difficult – I played this with 3 other people who had not had much experience playing escape rooms, but they all absolutely loved it. There were a lot of puzzles to get through with varying difficulty, which is where the size of the team really helped, but it was still an achievable and enjoyable game. I really recommend this one for team-building activities, as there are multiple versions of each room, so you can split up and race each other.
Lock’d – Grandpa’s Last Will – Bermondsey
Best for: Families and beginners
Grandpa’s Last Will is definitely a perfect place to start for beginner room escapists, team building activities or families. Unlike some other games in London, all of the rooms at Lock’d are designed to be family friendly, so you won’t find any jump-scares or inappropriate story-lines! Grandpa’s Last Will is an achievable level of difficulty, with some innovative puzzles that will keep you entertained, even if you are a seasoned escapist! The team are really friendly, with the host setting the scene and getting us involved in the story straight away. They also have some really exciting plans for their future rooms, so definitely watch this space!
clueQuest – Revenge of the Sheep – Caledonian Road
Best for: Experienced players
This was actually my least favourite of the Clue Quest missions, although I know for many it is their favourite, so it is probably down to individual preference! I found it quite hard to complete with just two people, and we found one puzzle in particular quite frustrating, although the production level of the set was still to a really high standard. I would say this one is probably best for three people or more, as there are quite a lot of puzzles to get through.
Omescape – The Joker’s Asylum – Caledonian Road
An interesting element of this game is that you are split up into two teams before you enter the room, before re-uniting to solve the rest of the game. This is great for communication, as you are left with two walkie-talkies, however, the two teams’ experiences were completely different, and I have to say mine was slightly less enjoyable than the other. I felt quite passive, and ended up spending quite a long time waiting for the other team to complete their puzzles before the next bit of action could take place. There were also several times where the answers to the clues seemed quite ambiguous, and we had to check if we were on the right path (which we were most of the time!). Overall, this is a challenging game, and I definitely wouldn’t recommend to first-timers, or groups of colleagues, as it could be quite frustrating at times.
Have you tried any of these escape rooms in London? What did you think? Have you tried any others that are not on my list? Would love to hear from you in the comments, as I’m always on the lookout for some more fun games to play!
In the interest of transparency, part of this post was kindly sponsored by the rooms featured. However, all opinions and recommendations are completely my own and not as a result of any sponsorship!