Escapetopus


Game
Company
Game
Location
Played: 12/09/20 Team size: 2 Time taken: 56:30 Outcome: Successful escape!

While there were slightly more padlocks here than I ideally like, this was a very solidly designed game with lots of content (including a whole bonus section that we didn’t have enough spare time to tackle). There was a bit of ambiguity about one of the narrative elements which made us think that we’d escaped before we actually had. Essentially, I found this a very good game within the constraints of being tech-lite and padlock-heavy, but it doesn’t have that ‘wow’ factor that the very best games bring to the table.

Played: 14/03/2020 Team size: 6 Time taken: 44:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

Played with a group of 6, including two newbies. This room works well with a larger group as there’s plenty to do in parallel, and a wide variety of puzzle types so there’s something for everyone. The themeing is nice - although I’ve seen games with better theme/puzzle integration, the set here was attractive,

One gripe: while our GM was good (and in-character) throughout, he disappeared at the last moment, leaving us stranded for an anticlimactic couple of minutes until a completely different GM showed up to take us back to reception.

Played: 04/01/2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 70 minutes Outcome: Successful escape!

A school might not seem like a very promising theme for an escape room, but the set was well done, and a massive nostalgia trip for anyone who grew up in the late 80s/early 90s. Great use of humour and lots of puzzle variety - there were padlocks yes but lots of other stuff too, and a fairly non-linear progression so even a large group would have plenty to do. Two of us were certainly kept busy for 70 out of a possible 90 minutes.

Unfortunately this room has now closed because of issues with the building lease, I hope they can recreate it elsewhere in future.

Played: 24/11/2019 Team size: 4 Time taken: 35 minutes Outcome: Successful escape!

A fairly easy room for 4 experienced players. Some nice touches and the room decor was well done, but no real ‘wow!’ moments.

Played: 17/12/2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 50 minutes Outcome: Successful escape!

This room is essentially 4 small escape rooms in one, with a fairly linear progression. Some of the individual puzzles are quite tricky, but the small size of the available space would make it awkward for larger teams. So I’m tempted to recommend this room for teams of 2-3 enthusiasts. The time travel theme makes for some fun nostalgic moments, although I would have preferred a bit more story.

Played: 18/09/2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 70:51 Outcome: Failed :-(

Slightly mixed feelings on this one. There was a nice start to the room and the decor was well done with a great sense of magic and enchantment. Some of the puzzles were very fitting with the theme, others less so, although overall if you're a fan of the Narnia books you'll find plenty to delight you here. There are a lot of puzzles - including some tricky bonus puzzles - and the game is mostly non-linear, making it a great choice for a larger group as there's a lot of stuff that can be done all at once.

With only two people, it was a struggle! There was just so much to tackle, and no obvious order to it, so we got a bit overwhelmed and went ten minutes over time (kudos to Owen our GM for letting us complete the room despite running over!). There were a couple of places where I felt that what was needed to be done was not very logical, and there was one puzzle in particular we found very frustrating. It's a big puzzle that relies on skill in a way that we found very fiddly and time-consuming, and we kept on expecting to find something that would make it easier - only to realise that no, you do just need to do it in the fiddly and time-consuming way. With a larger group this wouldn't have been so much of an issue, but with a pair it just took too long.

Therefore, I hesitate to recommend this room if you've only 2 players, even if you're fairly experienced. For a group of 4 or 5, however, I think it would be great.

Played: 10/09/2019 Team size: 2 Time taken: 51:09 Outcome: Successful escape!

[this review contains very mild spoilers]



Steve, our GM, did an excellent job of introducing the game with deadpan humour. The theme here is a spaceship in the far future, and at first glance the setting looks the part. On closer inspection, however, the high-tech screens are actually just backlit posters, and most of the puzzles involve finding a code and then putting it into a padlock. There are a few more high-tech puzzles and some nice touches, but if you're expecting something 'next generation' this room isn't it.

What it does demonstrate is that it's possible to create a great-looking and immersive room, while also having lots of padlocks. If you hate padlocks stay away, but if you don't mind them, this room offers a lot of content for even a fairly experienced team. We played as a pair, I think 3 players would also be ok, any more and it would start getting a little cramped as the physical spaces were not especially large. Also be warned there is some crawling around.

Where this room really shines is in the humour - there were loads of little humorous touches and several laugh-out-loud moments, as well as a few tense moments. Let's just say you will need to do a little bit of performance as well as just solving puzzles.

Played: 10/06/2017 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

The first time I played an escape game as a pair, and this relatively easy room was a good place to start. Fun for beginners although more experienced players may find it a bit bog standard.

Played: 11/02/2017 Team size: 7 Outcome: Successful escape!

A big room which can accommodate up to ten people, although I’d say that 6-7 is optimum to ensure that everyone has plenty to do.

I’m always a fan of themes inspired by local history and folklore, and this is the case here - the room’s scenario is based on a Derbyshire legend about a witch. Now, you’re trapped in her cabin, and to escape you must cast a spell...

The room looks convincingly like a witch’s cabin, and a number of puzzles are scattered around, all giving pieces of a final meta-puzzle which leads to a memorable and satisfying finale. Some of the most fun I’ve had in a Escape room l

Played: 21/04/2017 Team size: 6 Outcome: Successful escape!

Very effective creepy serial decor, sustained throughout, with plenty of gruesome touches (though without any true jump scares). One puzzle was difficult to see properly in the low light, but otherwise the game play was smooth and flowed well. Not for the super squeamish but  an overall very good game.

Played: 17/09/2017 Team size: 6 Outcome: Successful escape!

A beautiful set with plenty of wow factor makes you feel like you’re inside an Indiana Jones movie. The puzzles are challenging, even with a larger group.

Played: 18/06/2017 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

My other experiences at this venue have all been good, which makes this room even more of a disappointment.

Now, part of the problem was that it was a very hot day when we played - and I was heavily pregnant which didn’t help - but I think venues need to ensure good ventilation in hot weather so that players don’t overheat. This room was like a sauna!

The room decorations were initially promising, however some pieces of the fake wall were broken, revealing bits of polystyrene, which rather spoiled the sense that we were in Victorian London. The puzzles themselves seemed illogical, with the final flourish in particular falling flat. If the GM needs to explain how it’s supposed to work afterwards, it hasn’t worked!

Escape Game Over are generally a great venue, but I can’t recommend this room.

Played: 21/05/2017 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

Some very ingenious puzzles here which will require all your wits to solve, and clever use of different technology. For me I found the decor a little sparse and the story a bit lacking, so immersion wasn’t as good as some other rooms.

If you’re a big fan of the Mission: Impossible films, however, you’ll definitely enjoy this l

Played: 27/01/2018 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Especially with only two people, this room is super scary!! The spooky atmosphere gets you from the start, and then there are the jump scares...

The theming is consistently well done throughout. When we played one puzzle hadn’t been re-set properly and the key was just hanging there, which was a shame as it meant we missed out on that part of the room. Other than that, all the puzzles were effective and fitted in with the creepy-Victorian-seamstress vibe.

If you wanna be scared and you’re in the East Midlands, this room is a must!

Played: 01/04/2017 Team size: 4 Time taken: 40:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

Very atmospheric decor, very enthusiastic hosts who kept the story going even outside the room itself. A strong narrative with several dramatic moments and touches of humour.

The only problem when we played this game was that there just didn’t  seem to be quite enough content - we solved everything quickly and escaped in forty minutes despite not being particularly experienced at this stage.

Played: 03/02/2018 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!

Note: this review is of the older version of this game which has since been replaced.

We had a technical problem with the clue system which led to the GM opening the door and just shouting clues at us; not only did this break immersion, he gave us clues when we hadn’t asked for them which left us confused and thinking we were on the wrong track when we actually weren’t. This all rather spoiled the impact of the dramatic final puzzle.

That aside, I found this room reasonably solid but a bit uninspired - it had by far the least interesting decor of any room I’ve done, for instance. The setting was supposed to be a high tech company but actually looked suspiciously like a disused 1980s-era office.

I trust the updated version will have improved both the decor and the technology!

Played: 17/12/2016 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

This was my second-ever escape room and it still bears up in comparison with many of the games I’ve played since, with a great dramatic moment and a crucial choice, giving greater depth and excitement than a simple escape objective.

Played: 26/12/2018 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!

Two of my favourite things in escape rooms are historical themes and locally-inspired themes, so a room inspired by Chester’s Roman Amphitheatre sounded right in my wheelhouse.

The actual room, however, was a big disappointment. The decor was all very cheap-looking and made only a very superficial effort to look like the under-arena cells it purported to be. Although I’m not a big fan of unnecessary darkness in escape rooms, I think a bit of flickering-torches-in-the-shadows atmospheric lack-of-lighting would have helped here.

The puzzles were mostly based around very anachronistic padlocks, and there wasn’t much of a story. Probably the biggest disappointment though, came at the end - there wasn’t an obvious ‘you’ve done it!’ moment, and when we opened the door there wasn’t anyone there to meet us. The problem was that the people in the neighbouring room had finished just before us, and there was only one GM between the two rooms.

Having said all that, if you go in expecting a bunch of puzzles without being worried about immersion, then this room is fun enough (the two newbies we had with us certainly enjoyed it).

Played: 20/12/2018 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

A unique location for an escape room venue lends itself to a very effective Victorian explorer theme. A beautifully decorated room conceals a lot of modern technology which all works well in service of the unfolding story. One of the narratively strongest games I’ve played, but not at the expense of providing fun puzzles with plenty of variety.

A challenge for two but I think it would work well with a bigger group.

Played: 08/12/2018 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!

A great-looking, high-tech room with a cool theme (art & antiquities) and a fun challenge to steal as many high-value items as possible. Loved the decor and the ‘wow’ moments.

A great venue with a welcoming reception area and clearly knowledgeable staff.

Played: 09/11/2018 Team size: 2 Time taken: 51:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

Great theming throughout, with everything you need to do feeling like something you’d actually do in a mine, not a puzzle. Very dramatic finale.

Not suitable for claustrophobic people, but highly recommended for everyone else!

Played: 14/10/2018 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!

A steampunk time machine, a Victorian laboratory... this room’s theme is definitely my wheelhouse! A beautiful setting with lots of clever puzzles. Only criticism would be that, for larger groups, the space would be a bit snug - it was fine with 3 but with any more it’d be a squeeze.

Escapologic are unfailingly friendly and enthusiastic, making every visit - whether to Nottingham or Derby - a pleasure.

Played: 24/08/2018 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

An escape room themed around history, especially the gruesome parts of history? Sounds good to me!

A fairly low-tech game but lots of content and some atmospheric touches, showing that you don’t need fancy tricks to make a decent escape room. It’s also good to see a room with a locally-specific theme rather than something generic. 

Played: 18/08/2018 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

I was a bit disappointed with this room, tbh.

Part of the problem with my experience was that it was very hot, and the start of the game is in a very small room, and there were five of us, including some larger individuals, so it got unbearably hot and stuffy. I know escape venues can’t control the weather but they could make more effort to adapt when it’s very hot.

The main part of the room is bigger and better ventilated, but there was an over-reliance on padlocks throughout. 

Overall a solid enough room, but not really outstanding in any way.

Played: 04/08/2018 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

A slick futuristic room, although we did have a niggle with one of the puzzles not quite working properly. 

Played: 08/06/2018 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

A couple of equipment fails prevent this room from scoring more highly for me. 

A clever central concept and a fun steampunk-laboratory setting (complete with on-theme clues) tie all the puzzles together. The original room at Escapologic but it (mostly) belies its age.

Played: 13/05/18 Team size: 3 Outcome: Failed :-(

My first escape room failure! Mostly due to a search fail and spending ages on the wrong path. I think the GM could have done a better job of keeping us on track (when I subsequently re-played we had a different, better, GM) but that’s just an excuse...

This is a super spooky (though not full-on horror) room which leans heavily on atmosphere and literal darkness for effect. There is also a lot of crawling and getting in awkward spaces. The actual puzzles are relatively few in number and there’s a relatively high level of misdirection. These aren’t necessarily criticisms, just observations about what the room is like and hence who is likely to enjoy it.

Played: 05/05/2019 Team size: 5 Time taken: 45:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

If you’re anywhere near Derby (or Rochdale) and you’re a fan of both escape games and Game of Thrones, this room is a must-do! Great theming, including a replica Iron Throne you can sit on to have your victory picture taken. Plenty of good puzzle content even if you’re not bothered about Game of Thrones.

Played: 29/04/2018 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

A well enough put together room with enthusiastic hosts, but for anyone who’s used to fully immersive high-tech rooms it’ll feel a bit lacking - there are simply no ‘wow’ moments, just a succession of puzzles to give you clues to unlock stuff, when you’ve solved all the puzzles you’re done. My friend whose first room it was loved it though.

Played: 13/04/2019 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Escapism looks like a very modern venue, with a bright reception area in a much newer building than the typical old disused office. However the games are relatively low-tech and reliant on good old-fashioned padlocks, and the theming and story elements are fairly perfunctory.

That said, this room does manage to create a reasonably spooky atmosphere, and there’s a good variety of puzzles (including a smell-based puzzle, a type I’d never seen before). It’s also not all linear so even with a larger group you’ll be kept busy. With just two of us it was challenging but fun.

Played: 06/04/19 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(

Played this room after not enough sleep or caffeine and failed miserably!

A nice venue in Matlock with a good waiting area including hot drinks and a little puzzle to keep you entertained.

The actual room is nicely creepy with a theme (wedding+the occult) I’ve never seen before. We did it as a pair and I think larger groups might find the space a little cramped. The puzzles were not revolutionary but were well-themed and varied.

Worth checking out if you’re visiting the Peak District, especially if the weather isn’t good.

Played: 13/03/2018 Team size: 3 Time taken: 59:54 Outcome: Successful escape!

Did this room with two first-timers, including one who was a bit concerned about potential claustrophobia. It’s very suitable for beginners, and also anyone who is nervous about escape rooms- it’s brightly lit, feels quite open, and is completely unscary (though there is a skeleton).

The plot and theming are fairly cursory, but there are plenty of good puzzles to keep even enthusiasts busy (including a tough maths puzzle I couldn’t do at all). We escaped with a few seconds to spare!

Not a ‘must-do’ room but good fun and worth a visit if you’re in town.

Played: 10/03/2018 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!

Absolutely brilliant room, flawless in design, decor, and execution. A great theme, ingenious clue system, and a real ‘wow factor’. Tough puzzles even with 5 people, but always logical and with a clear flow.

An unmissable room for any escape enthusiast.

Played: 01/03/2019 Team size: 5 Time taken: 40:01 Outcome: Successful escape!

Escapologic are always friendly and enthusiastic. A great games master (can’t remember his name, sorry!) really enhanced our experience with this room thanks to his humorous in-character clues and comments on our progress.

This is a typically ingenious and immersive game from Escapologic. My only reservation is that the theme of a damaged laboratory meant that the room decor featured a lot of dirty, knackered old electric components which were kind of gross - and I spent ages looking through them...

Played: 27/01/2019 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Played this as a pair which was quite challenging but we managed it! There was one puzzle at the start which felt slightly illogical, but after that the game flow was very effective. The set build is impressive and everything you need to do feels like a feasible step in operating a nuclear reactor rather than a puzzle.

Escapologic is always a great venue to visit with friendly staff and great decor.

Played: 13/01/19 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!

Absolutely brilliant room at a unique venue. Wonderful attention to detail in the room design, decor and sound. The Dracula theme elements were taken straight from the original novel, so it’s perfect if you’re a fan of Gothic literature!

Played: 09/06/19 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Clever use of tech, combined with more physical classic escape room puzzles. A very small space - the smallest room I’ve done - but used well. A nicely dramatic finale as well. Probably best with 2 or 3 people as I think it would get a bit cramped with more.

The host (can't remember his name sorry I suck at names) was very friendly and clearly very knowledgeable about escape games.

Played: 31/08/19 Team size: 5 Time taken: 55:00 Outcome: Successful escape!

Great game host gave us a clear briefing for a complex setup. This is five rooms in one, each with a different style. Lots of stuff to do so you never get bored or stuck watching somebody else, with a huge variety of puzzles so there’s something for everyone. Plenty of touches of humour too. A few places were a bit cramped, especially with five players.

Played: 31/08/19 Team size: 5 Time taken: 58:55 Outcome: Successful escape!

 Very impressive build quality, tech level and immersion, with some nice touches. Sometimes the game flow didn’t feel very logical and there was one puzzle in particular where the solution seemed a bit random.

Venue has no customer toilets which was a minor annoyance, with all the money they’ve obviously spent on the rooms you’d think they could manage to install a toilet...