James Bloodworth


Game
Company
Game
Location
Played: 12 Nov 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 17 Feb 2024 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingplain
The second game here also features a split start  but you aren't seperated for long.  Theming is relatively plain (I'm still not sure why they called it a torture chamber) with minimal props present.  Game play is mostly linear and nothing here will probably surprise you.  We had a couple of issues with some puzzles when we had to find numbers on a wall, we found a splodge that was supposed to be a number but it wasn't clear.  They produced all of their games in house and it shows, the ideas aren't terrible but the execution could do with some work.  I think this is the better game at this venue but I wouldn't make a special trip to get here.
Played: 17 Feb 2024 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingillogical
This game didn't start well for us as it turned out there was a fatal reset fail that mean't we couldn't progress so we were taken to their other room to play that (we had booked both) while they resolved the issue here, the GMs couldn't have been more helpful or engaged with us.  This room is a split start with one volunteer being locked up.  There seemed to be an interesting story to the room but it wasn't really expounded upon.  The puzzles were mostly linear but the sign posting isn't great and we needed to be hinted a couple of times (over a walkie-talkie which isn't my favourite) as it just wasn't clear what we needed to tackle next.  I don't think we had as negative a time as some reviews I've read but I wouldn't make a special journey to play this venue.
Played: 17 Feb 2024 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting
We had escaped White Room so we were then led back up two flights of stairs for their secopnd room.  It's no surprise that this is a split start and you are seperated by being handcuffed so release is your first goal and this is handled relatively quickly.  The rest of the room progresses in a mostly linear fashion with a couple of nice ideas handled well.  Our host was the same as before and she ran the game very well.  I think I preferred this game to the White Room but there really isn't much in it.
Played: 17 Feb 2024 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting
It's hard to review this game without major spoilers so I will be cautious.  This is a mostly linear game with items you find initially not being needed until latter stages in the game.  Observation is key here as we found the start a little difficult until we got into our rhythm and when we did the signposting worked and we successfully escaped (even though it wasn't initially clear that we had).  Clues were delivered via screen and our host was attentive and nudged us at exactly the right time.  We escaped but it wasn't clear we had escaped until we heard the host coming up the stairs.  I've played a similar room as Escape Kent and I think they did it better.  
Played: 14 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivestory-driven
I hadn't booked this game as the blurb said it had a minimum player count of 3 and this weekend it was just 2 of us.  But we asked while we were there and the owner agreed to let us try.  I like games that take us on an adventure and this absolutely did.  The theming is excellent, puzzles were absolutely in keeping and kept the game moving forward (attention to detail is key!).  There's a couple of great transitions and a fabulous exit.  There's an awful lot to like here.  There is one moment where you need a third person, we knew what we had to do and a GM came in, we told them and they did it and then they left and we carried on.  The GMs couldn't have been more friendly and accommodating, I'm now hoping I can convince them to let us play their other games...  If it's as good as this then it will be worth it.
Played: 14 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnygreat hostingfamily friendly
After a weekend of Christmas games (my ER Partner loves them) I thought there was nothing left to surprise me.  I was wrong.  This is a fabulous game with a lot of puzzles, an interesting beginning and a thrilling end.  All puzzles are suitable themed and there is a logical and linear progression through the room.  There's a couple of puzzle variations I'd not seen before and its clear that is a redress of a previous room but its still absolutely in keeping.  This was a fabulous and thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Played: 14 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:31:09 Outcome: Successful escape!
I had a great time when I visited EO back in the Summer (they'd been on my radar for a while) so when this new room opened coupled with the popup Christmas room I knew I had to plan a return.  From a brilliant opening (that's one of my favourite openings of all time) to some great transitions between areas to the fantastic and varied puzzle design.  This is a fabulous room and is now my favourite at the venue (ahead of Scary Tale but it's close between them).  EO have flown under the radar for a while but I really do think it's one of the best venues I've been to due to the quality and the varied nature of the games.
Played: 14 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:44:12 Outcome: Successful escape!
story-drivengreat hostingfamily friendly
Taking the space from the old captive game, Joey's Revenge is a sequel to a Christmas game from last year that I didn't get chance to play.  This is a fabulous game with lots of appropriately themed puzzles that should leave you with a wide grin on your face.   There are multiple areas which allow for some non-linear gameplay and there is a combination of both padlock and technical solutions.  Another great game from a company that really should  be on any enthusiasts (or anyone really) radar to visit.
Played: 13 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
A beautiful Christmas with some wonderfully designed puzzles with a brilliant denoument.  This is everything I want in a Christmas room.  We even got to do the bonus puzzles, brilliant game from a brilliant venue.
Played: 13 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly
Not every company does a Christmas room and even fewer do 2!  This is their second Christmas room at their new location in a shopping mall (with the weirdest car park ever!).  As before, all of the usual tropes are there with some clever puzzles and fun festive frolics.  I think the game at their other site is better but this is still a fun way to pass an hour.
Played: 13 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly
This is a  Christmas themed adventure where you need to power up Santa's sleigh so he can deliver presents around the world.  This is a fun relaxed game with all of the Christmas components you would expect.  Puzzles are well handled and feature all of the imagery that comes with the festive period.  There's a lot of padlocks in this game but the puzzles Of the two Christmas games offered by this company, I think this is the better one.
Played: 13 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyfamily friendly
Christmas games have become more and more a part of the Escape Room universe, whilst each game is different, they all tend to have similar parts.  Christmas trees, silly hats, presents, crackers, tinsel, etc.  This is a very linear room where you move between 24 puzzles (advent!) with each puzzle giving you hints how to solve the next one.  This is a very fun room that will leave you with a smile on your face when you leave.
Played: 13 Jan 2024 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techimmersivegreat hosting
It's been a while since I've got my X-Files vibe on but this game more than fulfils the fantasy of finding alien life.  The latest game from this venue was also the first one I've played here (been trying to visit for a while but never quite made it).  You have to gain entry to a house and then find the alien within.  This game is incredibly well done, the theming is very much on point throughout and the puzzles are a great combination with utilising either tech or traditional padlocks.  Special mention must be given to the signposting/flow, normally we hit a point where we're not sure where to go next, we never had that here.  This is a top notch game that should be on your play list.
Played: 25 Nov 2023 Team size: 3 Time taken: 57:00 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting

A classic room game fearuring a combination of search, deduction and translation(!) puzzles.  Play is mostly linear with a couple of surprises in later rooms that are executed well and should bring a smile to your face.

Played: 25 Nov 2023 Team size: 3 Time taken: 54:37 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnyimmersivegreat hosting

This game is quite child friendly with some fun theming.  The beach theming is minimal but effective, this is a relatively straight forward room but thereโ€™s still a couple of puzzles that could trip you up.

Played: 25 Nov 2023 Team size: 3 Outcome: Failed :-(
funnyimmersivegreat hostingquite difficult

Taking over the space from โ€œThe Cageโ€, this is a large multi room game which features a split start told with a novel tale.  Story is good and theming and set pieces carry this off effectively.  Once the game starts there is a lot to do, and the game changes gear from linear to non-linear and back again and there a couple of points where itโ€™s easy to get bogged down.  Theming is good and the puzzles are relatively standard but some are very obtuse, I think signposting needs some work to improve the overall flow of the game.  This is billed as their hardest game but I think some observation puzzles are unfair.

Played: 25 Nov 2023 Team size: 3 Time taken: 58:06 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting

A classic escape room with a lot of familiar tropes.  This game is very padlock heavy and the puzzles are a combination of searching and logical deduction.  Theming is ok and is enough to convey the ideas and story behind the room.  Our host was Brad who clued us when we needed to and ran the game incredibly well.  

Played: 23 Sep 2023 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techimmersivegreat hosting

The newest game at the venue and it's a heist!  You have one objective and also bonus objectives (if you have the time).  I really enjoyed this room, the puzzles were clever and relied on both observation, logic solving and some physical deduction.

Our GM was Sarah was excellent throughout and clued us just when we were getting a little frustrated.

This is a great little venue with superb hosting, with Escape Brum around the corner, this could form part of a great day out for enthusiasts.

Played: 23 Sep 2023 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techimmersivegreat hostingquite difficult

Prison's are a perennial favourite for escape rooms and I have to say I'm a great fan.  There are some tropes that you can check off like bingo: -

Split Start in cells - check

Forced co-operation to escape cells - check

Having to put hands in toilets - check

Joking aside this is a well themed room featuring lots of tech and minimal padlocks.  You can play this game with varying difficulty levels, we chose the hardest and just made it out.  Theming is excellent and puzzles are oblique enough to be challenging.  This was my favourite room at the venue.

Our GM was Sarah was excellent throughout and clued us just when we were getting a little frustrated.

This is a great little venue with superb hosting, with Escape Brum around the corner, this could form part of a great day out for enthusiasts.

Played: 23 Sep 2023 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techimmersivegreat hosting๐Ÿ˜จcreepy

This is a well themed room featuring lots of tech and minimal padlocks.  Theming is a good and puzzles are in keeping with the carnival theme (there are some dexterity and physical puzzles to overcome).  There is an option to have a live actor but this is not mandatory.  Puzzles flow well and in some areas are a mostly non-linear fashion and be tackled seperately.  Our GM was Sarah was excellent throughout and clued us just when we were getting a little frustrated.

This is a great little venue with superb hosting, with Escape Brum around the corner, this could form part of a great day out for enthusiasts.

Played: 28 Aug 2023 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techclever

I'd been wanting to play this since it got nominated for a TERPECA last year.  This is a puzzlefest style of room where you have to complete so many puzzles to get the victory.  This is slightly differnet as the room is divided into so many areas, and then these open up as the game progresses.  It's not in the same league as say Escape Quest but there's a lot to like here and the story is executed well with a lot of puzzles to solve.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 28 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
๐Ÿ˜จcreepy

A relatively creepy room using all of the tropes you might expect of a haunting of this nature.  We had a couple of reset/prop fails in this room but it didn't impede our process too much.  Clue system was in keeping with the room and we only needed them for out search fails.  As someone else has noted, this is more of a scooby doo room than outright scares.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 28 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

A veritable wall of puzzles and padlocks awaits here in the Versus game.  There are various victory conditions but all of it can be tackled in a non-linear fashion, stuck on one puzzle, move on to another and then come back to this one.  

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 28 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techcleverbroken tech

This is a clever idea and I an appreciate what must have been a huge piece of work to conceptualise, plan, build and program but I have issues.  Some of the puzzles need more signposting as things happened and we had next to no idea how to respond as the onscreen instructions were vague at best.  We had two big tech failures on this game, for one the GM came into the room as something hadn't opened correctly and another time she wasn't watching us as (we could hear her) she was on the phone to another customer so we used the option to skip the puzzle.  We had the same host for every game here and she was very good but stretched by running multiple games at once.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 00:55:34 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivegreat hostingquite difficult

They say this is their most difficult room, I would say its not (but only by a slim margin) but there is a lot to do and some tricky searching to complete.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:58:23 Outcome: Successful escape!
quite difficult

I would say this is the hardest game at this venue with some tricky puzzles, I think we had the most clues of any game we played here.  Mostly we had search fails as they are some tricky search puzzles to find the items you need to progress.  Once again, theming and scenography were on point and the puzzles were mostly relatively straight forward in execution.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:52:10 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulstory-drivengreat hosting

Whilst not as strong as part 1, I would still definitely play this game, there are a couple of puzzles that are just there to slow you down by their physical nature but mostly there are very good and completely in keeping with the theme.  This game does end on a bit of a cliff hanger but apparently Part 3 is coming soon.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:45:52 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting

In my opinion the best game at this venue and the best game in Basingstoke!  Theming is very much on point with both the puzzles and the story.  The story does take an unexpected turn but this segues directly into the Part 2 (I would definitely play these back to back!)  It feels rare to get a triumphant end to a game but this one definitely did.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 00:56:55
great hosting

We are in another time zone here, looking to swap important documents for fake ones.  Once again the puzzles are mixture of logic and search based (including a couple that might defeat younger players as they have no concept of how it might work!).  Theming is good but there is a possibility of an insta-fail on the last puzzle so take care.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 00:37:10 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting

Relatively straight forward room with you infiltrating a police station (as opposed to breaking out of one!) and trying to find proof of treason.  Theming is relatively on point with the usual mix of puzzles, couple with a couple of physical ones where communication is essential to success.  This is good fun executed competently, nothing here will surprise you but neither will it infuriate you.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 27 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly

A love letter to the 80s!  This is very much a game to two halves, the first part is relatively linear from puzzle to puzzle but then it becomes very non-linear with a wide range of puzzles (including some tricky dexterity based ones).  This is very family friendly with some great moments that should leave you with a smile on your face.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:54:55 Outcome: Successful escape!

In one of the more pleasant kidnappings I've been subjected to in my escaping career!  The games moves from location to location with a similar puzzling experience as the other games at this venue.  A relatively straight forward game that potentially throws a couple of curve balls depending on your skillset.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:49:57 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting๐Ÿ˜จcreepy

Relatively straight forward creepy horror game, you can choose to either a have a "more scary" or "less scary" experience (I can't remember which one we chose in the end).  Puzzles are relatively straight forward and feature a typical combination of search, logic and visual.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulintense

The king of point scoring Heist Games is probably still Daylight Robbery in Nottingham but don't discount this game at all as it features a diverse set of puzzles as you commit your robbery but there's a couple of set piece moments that make it stand out.  Some pieces of the set design are also outstanding and really make this game stand out.  Recommended if you like your puzzle-fest scoring kind of games.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 00:56:38 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hostingquite difficult

Like the other game at this venue, this has some great theming and story driven beats to it.  I don't think the theming is as strong as the other game and I would suggest this game is the harder of the two but its still very much worth your time.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Time taken: 52:00 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting

Beautful theming, puzzles in keeping with the overall theme.  You journey back to the great fire of London in 1666 (that was started by Terileptils in Doctor Who, I remember watching it!).  Everything is in keeping with the theme and also gives you a chance to affect the ending.  This is great storytelling and an enjoyable experience.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 26 Aug 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostinggreat gameplayneeds tlc

If there's one thing I've learned playing Escape Games is that Time Travel rarely goes to plan.  Such was this adventure in Reading, a time capsule has malfunctioned and we are the team to save it!  Across several time periods and with some brilliant play mechanics we did just that.  Our host was James (the owner) who was wonderfulyl ebullient throughout.  Some elelments of the scenery could do with some work but the gameplay was very good and the puzzles, although devious in some cases, were well signposted and flowed well.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 15 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Theming is quite good, but a soundscape would have helped with the immersion.  Puzzles are a good mix of physical and logical with some potentially hard UV searching to be done.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 15 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
๐Ÿ˜จcreepy

This game does feature a split start for one member of your team but you are reconciled within one or two puzzles (depending on your observational skills).  The room is not well lit in keeping with the overall theme, there's one moment that might make you jump and is a good idea I've seen executed elsewhere.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 15 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly

Into the world of Alice in wonderland we go!  Probably the best game at this venue, none of the puzzles will surprise you but some of them are clever in their execution.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 15 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting

There's a great central set piece in this room, the titular cabinet from the title and the game is centred around unlocking its secrets.  Puzzles are relatively straight forward but a couple require a leap of logic that I thought was unfair as the signposting wasn't as clear it might have been (IMO).

Played: 15 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
clevergreat hostingfamily friendly

An bad pink bear has taken some toys prisoner and you have to save them!  Taking inspiration from an animated series of movies, stories about Toys if you would, we have a fun filled children's play room where we need to rescue them.  Little ones will love this and some puzzles feel like it's geared to our younger players which is just fantastic.  There's a lot to like in this room, there's a couple of dexterity based puzzles that may take one or two attempts but just take your time and you will be fine. 

Played: 16 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivemagical

As my Co-Escaper as a huge fan of Christmas rooms (and frankly who isn't?) this was always on the list to play.  A lot of familiar tropes are in play but done in such a wonderfully whimsical way you can't help but have a huge smile on your face as you (once again) save Christmas.  There are some clever observational puzzles that we just couldn't see until the slightest of hints put us right, our GM was Fran (the owner) and she hinted us exactly at the right time.  There may be something strange playing a Christmas game in the middle of summer but the power of Christmas conquers all...

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 16 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting

Some clever puzzles (don't be daunted when you walk in and see what dominates the first room!) await you in this room, a nice combination of both physical and logical puzzles walk you through trying to retrieve some stolen gems.  We played the 100 minute version of this game which includes even more gens and even more puzzles!  This is probably the weakest game at this venue but it's still very much worth your time.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 16 Jul 2023 Team size: 2
clevergreat hostingmagical

Games based on certain literary magic schools aren't new, it's still quite a go to theme for some people.  What sets this game apart though is some of the beautiful artistry and some of the clever puzzles involved.  You start at a train station and then move through various locations solving puzzles as you go, puzzles are a nice mix between physical, logical and search.  Theming is very good throughout and the game has a great flow to it and each step was nicely signposted.  

Our host was Fran (venue owner) who was fantastic throughout and couldn't do enough for us.

Teammates:cipherdelic
Played: 16 Jul 2023 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivegreat hostingmagical

I'd hoped for an "event" game for my 500th and this did not disappoint, Loudini has rocketed up the enthusiast charts since it opened.  It's not much of a surprise to note that this game features a live-actor but in a totally non-antagonistic way and indeed it's all part of the experience.  You are treated to a magic show at the beginning and that leads you into the main part of the game where you trying to track down magicians notebooks.

The magic in the first page of the game carries on throughout and there are some terrific moments.  Puzzles are a good variety and there's a nice flow throughout this game, signposting is completely on point, hint system is also in keeping with the overall theme.  This is most definitely worth playing.

Our host (and magician) was Thomas, the owner and he was exceptional throughout, this game has been a labour of love for him and it shows throughout.

Excuse me but I now have quite the desire to watch Christopher Nolan's "The Prestige"..

Played: 17 Jun 2023 Time taken: 00:45:18 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly

This was the first game at this venue and it does show to a degree.  That's not to take anything away from the puzzles of the game!  Normally I hate map puzzles but this was a clever idea and I think worked well.  Theming is good and the puzzles, whilst old in concept can still trip you up and send you down the wrong path if yo are not paying attention.  Recommend you play this first as a warmup game!

Played: 17 Jun 2023 Team size: 3 Time taken: 00:57:09 Outcome: Successful escape!
clevergreat hosting๐Ÿ˜จcreepy

Can you rescue a cat from a witch?  There's a lot to like here, theming is adequate for the environment and some of the puzzles are cleverly done (there's one I should have seen, I really should have seen it!).  There feels like there's a difficulty curve as we raced through the early sections only to get bogged down in the latter stages of the game.  Clue system was delivered by a TV and was great throughout.  

Played: 17 Jun 2023 Team size: 3 Time taken: 00:56:12 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hostingfamily friendly

This is my favourite of the three games at this venue.  The game is a set of puzzles connecting various rooms in order to score 'coins' and to also free the Minotaur.  There's a lot of puzzles here ranging from dexterity, search, physical and one of the best water based puzzles I've sen in a long time.  Our host was Ian (the owner) who GMd us brilliantly throughout.  The theming here isn't as strong as in Mystic's cabin but it definitely scores on the ideas and gameplay front.

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