The Panic Room Gravesend: The Happy Institute

By | March 20, 2019

by The Panic Room Gravesend (website)

The Grove, DA12 1DP


2-8 players

Languages: EN

60 minutes

Wheelchair suitable - contact the venue for details
Welcome to The Happy Institute!
Our clinical trials have been going on quite a while now for a new drug that makes people unnaturally happy, you are the lucky first trial group being tested how our new formula makes test subjects perform under the influence and how it affects cognitive function.
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Overall rating

Rated between 3.5 and 4 out of 5

based on ratings from 19 users
combined with 5 pro reviews

Your review

Player reviews

jakea256 expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
I think this is one of those games where the Gamesmaster (also your live actor) can either make or break the experience. Lucky for us ours was really funny and played the character very well. Some very clever and tricky puzzles in here too which is always nice. Felt like we didn't really find our groove as well as other games at this venue as it felt a little disjointed but that may well have just been us. Definitely recommend!
Ronnie Meade experienced rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

I really wanted to love this room with a storyline that excited me, it's just a shame that the overall experience wasn't as exciting. The Live actor is a nice touch with not too much interaction and adding a humorous touch. The room didn't seem to flow and had faults in being disjointed. A nice room with enjoyable elements, just missing that certain je ne said quoi

Skye Karis Pass rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Anouska123 rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
🔐James Bloodworth expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 24/08/2019 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Rooms with actors in them are usually there to increase the tension, not here, at least not so much.  Under the pretence of taking part in a series of clinical trials you are monitored by your 'doctor' until you get out of the initial area and realise whats going on.  There may be the odd jump scare but that's not the focus of the room, they may help, they may hinder but this is not your typical experience.  I imagine each GM who does this room has their own little spin on the character so you could possibly go through the room again and have a slightly different experience, even so this is one Panic Room's more interesting ideas.
Wesley Mead expert rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Moosehead expert rated this:Rated between 45 and 45 out of 5
Escape Enthusiast expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Adam Bravery expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 20 Jan 2020 Team size: 3 Time taken: 59:18 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivestory-drivenintensequite difficult😨creepy
Great room, first one with an actor. Generally interesting puzzles, and a good story. Hard
Simon (The Overthinkers) expert rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Played: 31 May 2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 39:15 Outcome: Successful escape!
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Reviews by escape room review sites

Two things to note up front for this review. Firstly, while it’s not a full on horror experience, The Happy Institute is definitely not suitable for nervous players. And secondly, much like the Gilman Hotel game it replaced, some elements of the game work best when you have no idea what to expect. I’m not going to give any spoilers for anything that’s not covered on the website or ahead of the game's start, but if you want maximum impact you might want to stop reading until you’ve played it.


We left it a long time before playing this game, and we shouldn’t have. The puzzles were logical and fair, our GM was great, and we had a very ‘Happy’ time in this Institute.

We visit the Happy Institute to test out pills that will make us constantly happy. Do we leave this escape room with a smile on our faces?

The start of the game is particularly strong. Although it’s not something that we haven’t come across before, for some reason it just worked better than the other experiences that we’ve had along that same vein.

See also