Puzzlair: The Prison Van

By | March 20, 2019

by Puzzlair Bristol (website)

1/A Barton Road, St. Philips, BS2 0LF

Bristol

2-5 players

60 minutes

You’ve been caught. You have been tried and you have been convicted. You are being transferred to a maximum security prison, then Boom! The secure vehicle you were being transported in is involved in an accident. You know that the police’s response time is 60 minutes. Can you escape in time? You have to cooperate with the other convicts, who may or may not help you get out. You decide what information to share with the others, and you have to find the best way to convince them to help you. Are you ready to get out? Let’s do it!
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Overall rating

Rated between 25 and 35 out of 5

based on ratings from 16 users
combined with 7 pro reviews

Your review

Player reviews

Jon Sterling rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
original

A great setting, but I did not have the greatest of experiences as I was in my own cell on the van with nothing to do for quite some time after the game had started. Once I got out, there was nothing new for me to locate that had not already been found by my teammates. 

Mark Greenhalgh expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Played: 19/11/17
abunai expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5

Very small space (well, it's a van) and frustrating for at least one our teammates who was basically confined on his own for a large amount of the game. Interesting novelty factor.

Lise Mortier expert rated this:Rated between 20 and 20 out of 5
Played: 2018 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

It was our first room not within a room and being in a van is quite exciting and very unique but the puzzles let the room down. A lot of locks, not many interesting puzzles, a logical continuity a bit broken and clearly not enough space. I'm surprise that the room can host up to 5 people as the two of us kept stepping on each other. One of our padlocks was also open by mistake so it didn't help either. As you start locked in your cell, one of us spent 25 minutes locked in a cell, not really fun. But then again, the room itself is very different so you might want to try it out for its uniqueness.

Wesley Mead expert rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Joe Brown expert rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Played: 12/02/17 Team size: 5
Unique setting of an actual prison van and an interesting starting point. Some unintuitive puzzles.
πŸ”James Bloodworth expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
originalimmersivegreat hosting
Obviously it scores on theming as you are playing in an actual former prison van, starting off locked in the various cells.  The first task is obviously getting out and this is done in a relatively linear fashion, the higher the number of your cell the longer it may take for you to get out but there are elements in each cell you need to progress.  Puzzles have a good flow to them but there are some red herrings mixed in there, which cost us some time, as ever, if something is seemingly taking too long then move on.  Possibly not one to play if you suffer from claustrophobia, also if playing in winter, wrap up warm, I imagine if you play in summer it will be hot!  Our host was Ruby who was fantastic and enthusiastic throughout.
Simon (The Overthinkers) expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Played: 31 May 2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 41:09 Outcome: Successful escape!
Ronnie Meade experienced rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
original

A great idea with a unique setting. I feel the setting restricted the quality of the puzzles which is a shame. At times it flowed and then became illogical and more of a time filler. Worth the experience 

Matt C experienced rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Played: 19/02/2020 Team size: 2 Time taken: FAILED! Outcome: Failed πŸ™

I'm in prison! 

Story - you're arrested for something you haven't done! You are on your way to prison which is a 60 mins away, this give you enough to escape the prison van!

Anouska123 rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Anonymous rated this:
Played: 2.6.19 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

My 100th room

Zoe Bowles rated this:Rated between 20 and 20 out of 5
Tim Cooper expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Played: Team size: 5 Time taken: 41:45 Outcome: Successful escape!
Jose Adrian experienced rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: Team size: 2 Time taken: Outcome: Successful escape!

Reviews by escape room review sites

Puzzlair is split across two venues, and strictly speaking Prison Van isn't in either of them - it's played in an actual prison van parked outside their Barton Road. If that sounds cramped - well, it's a pretty big van, and there were only three of us, and it was fine, but it'd get pretty cosy with a larger team.
As with many prison scenarios, the team starts split up, each in a separate cell within the van. First one player then another gets out into the main part of the van, with the final ai...
A round-up of five games I played at the Panic Room with highlights being Wizard of Oz and Revolucion Ole.
For our final room of the day, we found ourselves back at The Panic Room’s Gravesham Market location, but this time outside, in a prison van!
When we got to the location we were met with an actual prison van! We were each locked in an individual cell which is what made us give the theming a perfect score.
Such a fantastic set up – actually having to leave the building to walk over to the van and then hearing our briefing through our tiny cell doors built such a great atmosphere! There was a fantastic variety of puzzles for such a restrictive space too, not just unlocking doors and spinning padlocks.

See also

Other copies of this game in other locations:(Different copies of the same game sometimes have significant differences.)