So it started on a cold night in the quiet days between Christmas and New Year. A little bored, and needing to get out, I joined a group visiting the Escape Live rooms in Birmingham – meeting up with 11 others to share the fun of getting out of a locked room by solving puzzles. I had no idea that the escape room bug was going to bite me that night, and leave an itch that is just never likely to stop needing to be scratched.
I had never been to an escape room before, and most people I mention it to are unaware of their existence. But my goodness… What fun! I believe it was the first time in an escape room for the two groups of 6 that night.
Our group went into Dr Wilsons office – a detective mystery. When you first enter, the theme sets the tone for a 1950’s type of simple bit of detective work. The props are very simply placed, so there’s not too much to examine. But once the first code is found for a padlock, it leads nicely into the next puzzle. There are some odd moments when the puzzle doesn’t fit either the theme or the time period, but you tend to forgive that because you’re enjoying yourself anyway.
As an inexperienced escape room group, asking for clues was inevitable. I found myself falling into the role of co-ordinator between the team members, because they were all darting off in different directions. They would then report back to me bits of information and I compiled the numbers for possible use on any locks we would find. Afterwards, I realised that role had been a great teamplay, but left things feeling a bit flat for me because I hadn’t shared in the glory of how many of the puzzles were actually solved.
We got out of the room within the 60 minutes, and we all felt a good sense of achievement over it. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to anyone. Dr Wilson’s office is not particularly high on the difficulty list, but it keeps you intrigued and searching. I was amazed at how fast some team members were at working things out….. leaving me thinking “how did they get that?”! Anyway, leaving with a happy sense of achievement, I was looking forward to booking the next one. I would say though, don’t think you’re going to be entering a room that looks anything like their own promotion picture (above), because it isn’t anything like that – its a very plain and simple setting. I for one, felt a bit disappointed over that.
Keep things in the order you find them. If you mix them up, you might regret it later!