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 20 users
combined with 5 pro reviews

Your review

Player reviews

DypanicDuo experienced rated this:Rated between 2.5 and 2.5 out of 5
Played: 26 Jul 2022 Team size: 4 Time taken: 47:08 Outcome: Successful escape!
jakea256 expert rated this:Rated between 4 and 4 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!
escapeartist1212 expert rated this:Rated between 4 and 4 out of 5
Stevie Davies expert rated this:Rated between 4 and 4 out of 5
Played: July 2022 Team size: 2 Time taken: 52m 5s Outcome: Successful escape!
originalgreat hostingintense🧟terrifying
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 5 and 5 out of 5
Played: 12 Nov 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 59.12 Outcome: Successful escape!
Anonymous expert rated this:Rated between 3.5 and 3.5 out of 5
great hosting😨creepy

I enjoyed this game and our two hosts made the experience the best.

AJ’s expert rated this:Rated between 3.5 and 3.5 out of 5
Played: 17 Nov 2019 Team size: 3 Time taken: 56:08 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivegreat hostingvery difficult👻scary

Great immersion but felt like the game was lacking in content! More of an experience than anything else! GM really made the experience being in the game with us and really added to the immersion! 

StaceyF expert rated this:Rated between 5 and 5 out of 5
Played: 15 Oct 2022 Team size: 3 Time taken: 54:06 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnystory-drivengreat hosting😨creepy
kman expert rated this:Rated between 3.5 and 3.5 out of 5
Played: 04 Jul 2022 Team size: 4 Time taken: 52m59s Outcome: Successful escape!
originalimmersivegreat hosting😨creepy

It's quite hit and miss when it comes to having live actors in escape games. Fortunately, we have a great host, who did an impressive job. He certainly helped to bring that uneasy, tense atmosphere to the game. Some puzzles we managed to brisk through, others we stumbled for quite a bit. 

If you're a fan of rooms which have a creepy, tense atmosphere and don't mind having a live actor, then this is a room to try.

Mark Greenhalgh expert rated this:Rated between 3 and 3 out of 5
Played: 13/02/19
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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