Escape The Game: Escape By The Bell

By | July 4, 2020

by Escape The Game (website)

The Old Paint Factory, Pottery Road, TQ13 9DS

Bovey Tracey

60 minutes

It’s the last day of school and you are in detention. When you come out you realise that everyone has left and the school is closed for the holidays. The school caretaker leaves in exactly one hour – can you get his attention by ringing the school bell so he can let you out and ‘Escape By The Bell’?
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Overall rating

Rated between 2 and 3.5 out of 5

based on ratings from 4 users
combined with 1 pro review

Your review

Player reviews

David Horwell rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Played: 10 Apr 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 35:32 Outcome: Successful escape!
quite easy
Anonymous rated this:Rated between 10 and 10 out of 5
illogicalpoor hostingtime wastingvery easy
BP rated this:Rated between 10 and 10 out of 5

This is a terrible escape room. First-timers may find it tolerable for lack of any comparison, but enthusiasts should steer clear---don't even consider it.

Ultimately this game is not fun. The room is full of time-wasting activities and there is only _one_ real puzzle that I can recall. One example of how much of your time this room wastes is that it is full of three- and four-digit padlocks. When you complete a task you get a numerical code, and then you have to enter it in all of the padlocks (there's a lot of them) until you find the one it fits. At one point, around 20 minutes in, my partner and I were were having such little fun that we were independently considering leaving the game. Had we of known that this is how we each felt we probably would have left.

Another major issue is that you get dragged through the room by the host who incessantly messages you via the hint system. Before you've even had a chance to think *bing bong* another clue instruction has appeared on the screen. However, without the hints the game would not be possible to complete within the time limit: there's no flow or sense of direction in the room, and without the hints you're essentially completing random tasks in a random order.

Apart from how frustrating and tedious this room is, it also manages to break some cardinal sins of game design: moving some of the props will render a couple of the "puzzles" unsolvable, and some "puzzles" _require_ hints to be able to know what to do.

It would be quite simple to improve this room and make it a passable budget escape room. My recommendations would be: (1) just remove the time-wasting "puzzles"; (2) only provide hints when requested, and instead provide some in-game guidance so there is a sense of what to do next (and first); and (4) fix the props so that puzzle solutions don't rely on their initial position.

For a bit of balance I'm going to finish with some positive comments about this room. _Please don't let this persuade you to visit_; they do not make up for the above problems.

First of all I liked the school theme. It's simple, you don't see it very often, and it should be able to be achieved on a budget. I don't think that they quite pulled off the classroom vibe in this case (the room is a bit small), but it's one of the better things about this room.

Secondly, the one puzzle in the room is actually pretty decent. We didn't get the solution quite right, so we had to guess the last digit of the code. It was unclear to me whether we'd made a mistake, or the puzzle didn't have a guaranteed solution. Either way, solving it was the best part of the hour, and if the puzzle is correct it is a good well-themed puzzle.

And finally, a few of the other "puzzles" constitute good ideas, although I don't think that they have been realised very well in this room.

Anonymous rated this:Rated between 10 and 10 out of 5


Reviews by escape room review sites

Escape The Game- Escape By The Bell

January 2021


This was our first visit to Escape The Game in Bovey Tracey. There is a small car park on site, plenty enough for visitors so you should never have a problem parking up. There wasn’t really a waiting area, we were greeted in the corridor and were given our brief before being taken into our room. Our host was warm and welcoming though and they have done the best with the space they have.

Room impression

The room was like stepping back in time into a 90’s classroom. It was well decorated and all the added extras and props helped to immerse yourself into the experience of being back in school. There were posters on the walls, stationary, posters and a good old fashioned projector which really did bring back memories of being in school.


There was nothing groundbreaking in the puzzles of this room….. padlocks, with some more padlocks! We have never been in a room with so many padlocks. The one negative to have so many padlocks is that there is no linear aspect of the game at all. Once you got a code we had to run around and enter it into a vast number of padlocks. Whilst this did keep all of busy in the room, in wasn’t the trickiest of rooms for us too complete and was just time consuming. However, for an entry level team or a children’s party, I am sure the room would have been really good fun. For us though, it was quite frustrating. In terms of the end game, we really aren’t sure how we completed it and we are sure that we just ended up guessing the last number on the code to be able to get it. Reading other reviews, we aren’t the first ones to say this so it might be something the owners consider looking into?

Game Master Clues

Our games master did end up giving us a hint on a certain puzzle hand way through the game that I don’t think many people would get as it didn’t make a lot of sense to us but the hint was clear and the bell rang to let us know that a hint had been given. We didn’t ask for any help in this room but judging by how quick the games master was to give us a hint, I am sure that if we needed one, it would have been forthcoming.

Round Up

Escape By The Bell is most definitely aimed at entry level teams and children. The puzzles themselves did not really trouble us at any point but the sheer amount of padlocks you need to try any given code is something that we think anyone can do. Whilst we did enjoy the difference of a complete padlock room, as we have matured as a team, it just wasn’t challenging enough for us. Give it go if you want to get into escape rooms or you have house full of children you want to entertain, we would no recommend this for any serious escape room teams.

See also