Houdini’s Escape Room Experience Cheshire Oaks: Escape From Alcatraz

By | September 29, 2019

by Houdini's Escape Room Experience Cheshire Oaks (website)

Coliseum Way, CH65 9HD

Cheshire Oaks

4-7 players

60 minutes

You have been convicted of multiple murders that you didn't commit and have 1 hour to escape your cell in Alcatraz before you are executed.
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Overall rating

Rated between 25 and 35 out of 5

based on ratings from 22 users
combined with 5 pro reviews

Your review

Player reviews

Scotus0 experienced rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Played: 22 Jan 2022 Team size: 6 Time taken: 53:42
overpricedplainunoriginalquite difficult

The Prices Are Criminal

I came with friends as a group of 6 to Escape from Alcatraz. The instructional video at the start of the game went on far too long and basically repeated everything our host told us. Speech in the next video introducing the story was too quiet to hear.

Story

Escape your cell in Alcatraz before you’re taken to the electric chair.

Puzzles

Some of the puzzles and their solutions were far too tenuously linked: there was one in particular where I was just like…well how on earth would you know how to do [that] with [that]. None of them were particularly innovative, either. Our host, Claudia, was lively, invested in our experience and offered hints in the best way. Whenever we asked for one, questions like “Do you want to know what to do with X” or “Would you like a riddle?” were posed to us, so our team could choose how much or little assistance to receive.

Mise-en-scene

Sure, Escape from Alcatraz is a solid (but generic-themed) break-out-of-jail escape room, but £25 per person- a price that doesn’t change whether your group is a 2 or a 6- is unjustifiable. Take a good luck at the discount page before paying, as there’s lots. We got money off with Blue Light Card, but it was still £21.25 per person.

Final Comments

I may be giving a harsh critique here, but my point is that, for a room priced at £150 per play, jaws should drop, and minds should be blown. While this didn’t happen, we still had a fun time.

Anonymous experienced rated this:Rated between 10 and 10 out of 5
Played: 25 Aug 2021 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
illogicalpoor hostingplain

I don't really like leaving bad reviews, but it has to be said.. This game was worst game we've every played and unfortunately was down to a combination of the hosting and mistakes. 

The actual game play itself was very generic and the theming was fine, but we couldn't enjoy or remember much of the game play because of how badly the game was hosted. 

Firstly the clues were given through a hatch in the initial room, and made it very awkward to come back for clues.  On top of this, once we had progressed  beyond the first room where the clues were given,  this room was then locked whilst we were wondering around... We were given a clue and naturally headed towards where clues are given.. we headed back to find the door firmly locked... not understanding, or thinking we had accidently closed the door.. we pressed the green button to open.. once opened we found the host resetting the first room and was very aggressively initially. Straight away this has ruined the game and everything basically went down hill from here. 

During the game, there is a typical wooden "electric chair"  Randomly our host came in and sat a member of party in the electric chair - Now bare in mind that is peak pandemic and distance and masks were important.  - They then fumbled and locked our party member in to the chair both hands and feet . Confused, we just thought this was part of the game and didn't question it.  Once they had finished we asked what the point was.. and their reply was "Its just a bit of fun.. Everyone really enjoys it"  - So this had nothing to do with the game at all and during the peak pandemic, our game was interrupted for no reason at all. 

Amongst the numerous issues, a final nail in the coffin was a prop clearly not reset in the room. We searched numerous times in the container, and the host told us it should be in there. Eventually our host entered the room and couldn't find it either... then left... then told us to check the container again. Magically the prop was now there. As experienced players, we couldn't have the wool pulled over our eyes, and this was really unforgiveable. 

Overall our game was completely ruined by our host and left a very sour taste in our mouth about returning to Houdini, which is sad as we'd heard amazing things about the brand. 

A final note - Maybe some GDPR training is required as our address was recognised by our host and even suggested we could give them a lift home as they didn't live far.  On top of everything we had experience made us feel physically sick. 

Please avoid this centre at all costs and spend your money somewhere else more deserving. 

Arjay Henshall expert rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Played: 15 Aug 2021 Team size: 3 Time taken: 45 Outcome: Successful escape!
illogicalplainunoriginal
roberts0502 rated this:Rated between 25 and 25 out of 5
Played: 24 Jun 2022 Team size: 6 Time taken: 58 Outcome: Successful escape!
overpriced
Darren Miller expert rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Richard Sinden rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 50 and 50 out of 5
Peewee Stevens ッ rated this:Rated between 45 and 45 out of 5
😺Lianne experienced rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 1/7/2018 Team size: 5 Time taken: 58 Outcome: Successful escape!

The room was well built and had some clever puzzles in that fitted the theme. There were a couple of extremely sneaky ones that I can't imagine how we were meant to have just come across them. 

Our gamesmaster was a fantastic actor and set the mood well at the start. However during the game his hints and help, when asked for, were really awful - so unhelpful that it felt like he was trying to frustrate us rather than help us. Really wished that rather than speaking in nonsensical riddles, he instead gave us simple and clear hints.

The main issue we had with the game was it was during a 30C heatwave and there's no real air circulation or ventilation in these basement rooms. It was so unbearably hot and sweaty that we struggled to stay focussed on the game - and at one point I gave up and just sat in front of one of the desk fans to cool off for a few minutes.

Despite these issues, we enjoyed the room much like the other excellent rooms at Houdinis for its ingenuity and theme.

imrahil experienced rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
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Reviews by escape room review sites

When reviewing games I rarely say much about the venue outside the game itself. A polished intro or an enthusiastic welcome from the host can get the experience off to a good start, but for me at least is rarely a large factor in how I feel about a game afterwards. Houdini Escapes put so much effort into their hosting that it would be a crime not to mention it. Not only is their reception very nicely decorated with a first-rate selection of free drinks on offer, the briefing then takes place in ...
An well rounded experience from the moment you enter the shop to the moment you walk out the door. A tough start for novices but good plenty of good puzzles. Let down a bit by a couple of awkward moments in the game.
Prison break rooms are probably one of the most common themed rooms out there, but this is one of the better ones. Quite a search heavy room at times, but the puzzles were fair and the signposting was decent.
The theming of this room is absolutely excellent with twists and turns which we have not experienced in other rooms.

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