Worlds Smallest Escape Room – Portsmouth

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We ventured to the South-Coast, to the city of Portsmouth where the Portsmouth Festivities were taking place; celebrating diversity and exploring the city’s amazing heritage.

There were lots of different events and attractions taking place over a 10-day period, but we had our sights set on one in-particular….

THE WORLDS SMALLEST ESCAPE ROOM.

You heard us right. Hosted by Houdini’s Escape (based in Southampton) and created with the help of several local schools, we were invited to try out a 15-minute escape room, the worlds smallest! The escape room was one “large” room (basically half of a garden shed), suitable for a maximum of 4 players – we played with 3 and that was certainly enough.

The game was set in a haunted library and we were in amongst the stacks of books, trying to rid the library of its resident ghost. Although the room was small it never felt claustrophobic and there were still several challenging puzzles packed into the tiny space.

It was a multi-sensory experience and we’re amazed at how much they managed to pack into the space they had.

It was fun for what it was; a free game, designed by school students, celebrating the theme of ‘Freedom’ throughout the ages. We hope it returns for next years festivities as we’ll be the first in line.

3andhalfoutta5
3.5/5 Rating.
Website

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

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The gang from The Void very kindly asked us along to try out Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire at Stratford Westfield shopping centre in London.

Secrets of the Empire is a fully immersive VR Star Wars event, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced…

You may of had the opportunity to try out Oculus Rift or own the PS4 VR bundle, but Secrets of the Empire takes VR to places you only dreamed of. It’s like stepping into The Matrix and we’re blown-away.

You strap on a backpack (which essentially houses the computer needed for the experience) and wear a headset that covers half of your face. You’re not stuck to one spot like most VR games, no no no, instead you’re free to roam the hallways of a massive space station.

Throughout the game you even interact with elements in your surroundings, should you ever need to pick-up a gun not only do you see it through your headset, but the gun actually exists and you can physically pick it up.

You have a relatively simple mission; reconnaissance. Your team is set to travel to the molten planet of Mustafar and retrieve imperial intelligence, vital to the rebellion’s survival. However, can you remain undetected as you pose as Stormtroopers, or will you be spotted for the Rebel scum you are!

Star Wars Secrets of the Empire is wonderful, a truly multi-sensory experience and should be experienced first hand. Our review could never do this incredible event justice, you need to see it to believe it.

Head down to Stratford Westfield NOW and experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire.

5outta5
5/5 Rating.
Website

 

Outopia – Pirates Hut [Berlin]

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We were recently invited along to try out the fantastic Outopia (formerly Claustrophobia) in Berlin. They’re an incredibly popular and busy location, so slots were limited – but we had the opportunity to try out their frankly wonderful ‘Pirates Hut’ game.

As usual we’ll try to keep our review as spoiler free as possible…

Firstly the theming was second-to-none, they’ve really gone all out and really immerses you in the story; you find yourselves on a remote tropical island, with a terrifying thunder storm looming over head. There’s only one place to seek shelter, an old mysterious wooden cabin that holds many secrets.

You start “outside” of the pirate hut, in the elements, as the storm approaches. The set-design, sound-effects and SFX really brought the story and setting to life and made you feel like you truly were marooned on a tropical island, in the midst of a roaring storm. The game is multi-layered in terms of locations and whilst we won’t reveal anymore we can say with certainty that you will be in awe of the game.

There were some incredibly unique puzzles that certainly left us feeling “stumped” (pirate-pun), but we never felt frustrated or annoyed. There was a excellent game involving a pirate ship (we’ll say no more) that we absolutely adored, it was challenging and something we’ve never seen in an escape room before, but would love more of!

Outopia really cater well to tourists and we never felt like there were ever any language barriers or misunderstandings when it came to the puzzles or clues. The venue is sleek and the staff are incredibly welcoming!

If you find yourself in Berlin anytime soon we highly recommend visiting Outopia and playing Pirate’s Hut.

5outta5
5/5 Rating.
Website

Huxley VR – Berlin

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The team were incredibly excited to visit Huxley VR at the Berlin ‘Exit’ location. Huxley is a virtual reality escape room – it takes the classic escape room experience and completely flips it on its head.

3007 AD: The world, as you know it, is gone. Mankind was replaced by machines. What was once green, is now destroyed. You are the last, remaining survivors, with one mission: to help HUXLEY. With your first step into the virtual reality, you have 44 minutes to reverse the apocalypse.

We experienced Huxley as a team of two and had an amazing time. It was a totally unique game and made us feel like kids again. We were beaming from ear-to-ear with just how utterly immersed we were in the futuristic steampunk-style world.

We don’t want to give anything away, because you need to experience it for yourself, but Huxley is a challenging and adrenaline filled game which signals an exciting future for the way we experience escape rooms.

The team at Exit VR were fabulous, really welcoming and accommodating. They took the time to explain the whole experience to us, made sure we were comfortable and confident with the controls and never made us feel rushed or pressured.

If you’re in Berlin be sure to visit Huxley VR, you won’t be disappointed.

5outta5
5/5 Rating.
Website

Scare Kingdom – REVIEW

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Last Friday we ventured to Blackburn to visit the infamous Scare Kingdom!

The park has been the focal point of some undeserved negative press for their extreme attraction ‘Psychomanteum’ but we’ll get to that later…

It was a long drive from London but let us say right off the bat that it was well worth it. The best way we could describe Scare Kingdom is a cross between immersive horror theatre, such as; The London Dungeons and a full-blow scare-attraction.

They have 6 totally different mazes, all with their own original theming and quite frankly stunning sets! And that’s what blew us away the most, just how totally immersed you felt – it was like you were stepping onto a Hollywood production.

Our particular favourite was Manormortis, themed as an old Victorian Manor House, our jaws dropped when we first walked in. Not only is the theming great but there is a decent story line that’s woven throughout the haunt, so it’s not just actors jumping out and shouting “boo” without cause/reason.

However, there were sadly a couple of mazes that lacked the same punch as Manormortis, particularly Prey, the Vampire/Van Helsing themed maze and the Black Widow hooded attraction. These did not stand up against the other attractions at Scare Kingdom and were a little disappointing. Prey started extremely strongly, taking place in an impressive dilapidated church, but it fell a part as it ended up being just a lot of walking around dark corridors! Hopefully this will be worked on for next year as it has the potential to be great.

Now, as we mentioned earlier – you may’ve seen Scare Kingdom in the press, gaining notoriety for their extreme haunt; Psychomanteum. It was called the UK’s sickest attraction by The Sun newspaper and many activist groups tried to get it shut down.

We’re big fans of scare attractions here at Immersive London, so we know all about extreme haunts such as Mckamey Manor in the US and so forth, so we were a little bit wary about going through. Psychomanteum is an 18+ face-it-alone attraction. You have to sign a waiver before going in and you’re even given a safe word in case it all gets a little too much to handle! Nevertheless we decided to take the challenge head on and give Psychomanteum our best shot. And we’re really pleased we did; we’re not going to reveal too much about he maze; just that it takes place in a Victorian-esq institute, where you’re one of the latest patients, admitted to be cured of your sexual deviancy.

Is it extreme? Yes. Is it as bad as we anticipated? No – we built it up a lot in our heads and from what we’d read in the press. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not, some people will find it too “in your face” but there are plenty of warnings before you go in and there’s the safe word to stop the haunt at any time.

We would urge you to check out Scare Kingdom and Psychomanteum, you won’t be disappointed!

4/5 Rating.

Website

Scares aplenty at SCREAMLAND…

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Halloween; for us here at Immersive London it’s go big or go home! and going big is a specialty at SCREAMLAND (at Dreamland) in Margate…

SCREAMLAND is Kent’s biggest Halloween attraction and with 6 horrifying mazes to chill you to your very core, as well as street performers, DJs, live music and ‘Rockaoke”, there’s a little something for everyone.

Following a £25 million investment into the park, this year is sure to blow your socks off. It’s a multi-award winning attraction that has been terrifying people from all over the country for the past few years and it’s well worth the price of admission at only £18 each (20th/21st/26th) – plus fast-pass tickets and other spooky add-ons are available too!

We’re heading to SCREAMLAND for their big press-launch on 13th Oct and we can’t think of a better way to spend FRIDAY the 13th than at SCREAMLAND in Margate.

We’ll be reporting back all of the gory details for our October Frights month long Halloween special, so be sure to come back and hear all the gruesome details!

Website

Fright Nights – Thorpe Park

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We were fortunate enough to be invited along to the press night for Thorpe Park’s Fright Night. This year the park was under-siege by flesh-eating zombies from the worldwide TV phenomenon ‘The Walking Dead’.

The Immersive LDN team traveled to Thorpe Park with baited breath, excited to see what was in-store and we weren’t disappointed…

Those of you that’ve been to the Fright Night event before, will be happy to know that some of the classic mazes made a return, such as ‘Big Top’ and ‘Platform 15’. But there were also a bunch of new attractions that left us with our jaws on the floor, one in particular was ‘Living Nightmare’ a TWD themed maze that went above and beyond with incredibly immersive and Hollywood-style set-design, scare actors and live-action sequences that brought the world of The Walking Dead to life right before your eyes.

Thorpe Park have done an incredible job with The Walking Dead property/brand and any hardcore fan of the show would be in zombie-heaven (does that exist?).

Though we must say our favourite maze of the night was the fantastic ‘Big Top’, a maze set in a fiendish old-timey circus, where cannibalistic clowns hunt you down with chainsaws in hand. Three of us went through the Big Top together but managed to get separated during a disorientating strobe section, which we felt like we were in for an eternity.

We each went our separate way, not releasing we had lost one another until we exited the strobe portion and found ourselves alone, wandering through the Big Top, watching over our shoulders and jumping at the sight of our own shadow. It was truly terrifying experiencing the maze alone and was the stuff of nightmares. The Big Top team need to take a *huge* bow because it was a horrifying experience that we won’t soon forget.

Fright Nights runs throughout October and is well worth the price of entry. You won’t be disappointed and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for next years event. It’s growing bigger and better each year!

Don’t miss it!

4outta5
4/5 Rating.
Website

 

Hammer Brings Horror to Life!

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Cult Brit-Horror production company Hammer Horror are bringing their nightmarish creations to life this Halloween season at Hoxton Hall in London, with their very first foray into immersive theatre.

Hammer present The Soulless Ones, an intense and chilling theatrical experience like no other. From all we’ve heard about the event it’s going to be utterly unmissable and will be the talk of the town this Autumn.

We got the inside scoop on the forthcoming production and this is what Hammer had to say…

“Created by some of the most experienced and exciting practitioners in immersive theatre and film, this chilling new production will be based on an entirely original script and set in Hoxton Hall, a remarkable listed Victorian music hall in London’s East End.”

It sounds as though The Soulless Ones will be a truly unique event and with Hammer’s track record in horror, we’re certain it’s going to deliver scare-after-scare.

Every evening throughout October, 200 brave souls will be transported back to Victorian London, and invited into the world of the supernatural. Over two spell-binding hours the audience will explore the Hoxton hive, and meet its deviant, decadent vampire inhabitants. Roaming from the dusty vaults up to the creaking rafters,
guests will drift like ghosts through this heady world of gothic intrigue, drawn onward by questing psychics, frantic scientists, and supernatural seductresses watching on as their sinister plans come to fruition. Expect ancient rituals, horror and mayhem, as the action careens towards the night’s shocking finale.

The Soulless Ones runs from 3rd to 31st Oct and costs a very reasonable £48.50 per person. The event is 18+ and is sure to keep you awake at night!

No two performances of The Soulless Ones will be the same, and no two
audience experiences will be quite alike. Tantalising, intoxicating and overwhelming, horror has never been so wickedly entertaining.

We can’t wait to experience The Soulless Ones and we’ll be posting a full-review very early October, so keep your eyes peeled!

Website

 

Escape Time – Birmingham, ImmersiveENG

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We recently took a trip to Escape Time, a relatively new escape-game company in Birmingham. As you may have read, we’re now expanding our review section to encompass the whole of England and so we decided to try our hand at Escape Time and their two rooms; The Bank Heist and Sam’s Saloon.

As usual, we’ll try to keep this review relatively spoiler-free, though there may be some very minor details revealed…

The Bank Heist:
The Bank Heist is Escape Time’s hardest and most immersive game, consisting of multiple rooms and challenging mental and physical games.

We found ourselves thrust into the midst of a Bank robbery — we’d be “training” for this for months and today was the day that we’d pull off the heist of the century for thief-extraordinaire Mike Henry, who supplied us with our instructions.

The Bank Heist was an enjoyable game, with some great theming and interesting puzzles. A lot of effort has gone into making this a truly immersive experience with special FX, intense moments and even a few scares!!

For the most part the mental puzzles were fun as well as challenging enough to not become too frustrating – however there was a physical game that felt like it could use some reworking! We won’t go into too much detail but we lost quite a bit of time on this portion and it wasn’t for want of trying, it was just too awkward and become a little tiresome after a while.

Sadly a piece of tech for the game had been accidentally switched off, meaning we were able to skip ahead – we didn’t realise though until it had been explained to us afterwards, so it didn’t really affect our enjoyment of the game, but it was a bit of a shame to miss it.

Overall The Bank Heist was an entertaining game, with a few areas that need looking at/reworking. However, it’s definitely worth checking out.

3outta5
3/5 Rating.

Sam’s Saloon
We were really looking forward to this game, as we have yet to come across a Wild West themed room and we weren’t disappointed…

Sam’s Saloon is a rootin’ tootin’ good time – As the story goes; the crooked sheriff has planted a bomb in the Saloon, trapping you and your friends inside! You have to disarm the bomb and escape before it blows.

The theming here is great, and there were even some costumes (which we love) to really get stuck in with. There are a few items/locks that don’t quite fit the Western theme – such as directional locks and so on, but we were willing to look past that as it was an enjoyable game with some really unique puzzles that had us scratching our heads more than once.

Sam’s Saloon has a fun little feature where once you’ve solved a puzzle or activated a certain piece of tech, a gun-shot would go off to signify you’ve completed the task. There was even a fitting soundtrack playing in the background, getting our hearts racing.

Personally we liked Sam’s Saloon the most out of the two rooms and would urge you to check it out if you’re in the Sutton Coldfield area.

4outta5
4/5 Rating.

Pop down to Escape Time in Birmingham and check out their exciting rooms.

Website

Fire Hazard Games – DOUBLE BILL

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A little while ago we had the opportunity to attend two fantastic events hosted by Fire Hazard Games; Raiders of the Lost Archive and Citydash: Camden. Two very different games but both a lot of fun and without further ado, here is the review(s)…

Raiders of the Lost Archive –
The backstory for Raiders is as follows “The legend of the Lost Archive of Delilah Athelby is a mystery that has foxed adventurers and curators for generations. A mysterious cabinet filled with a great treasure was hidden upon her death and legend holds that the key to finding the cabinet is hidden in a series of puzzles within her collection. These items are now on display at the Victoria & Albert museum. With access to those, you might be able to solve this once and for all – unless another team cracks it first.”

Not only is Raiders a thrilling 90-minute game that put’s you in the shoes of movie-like adventurers such as Indiana Jones, but it’s also an excellent way to experience one of London’s best-loved museums (the V&A) in a truly unique way.

Raiders is a tough game, though that’s not to say it isn’t fun, because it really is – but it takes a lot of brain-power to solve some very tough riddles and hunt out clues that’re extremely well hidden amongst the jaw-dropping antiquities, art and worldly treasures scattered throughout the museum.

There are timed-challenges that will score you much needed additional points and if you show yourself to be a worthy and respectful team whilst working your way through the museum, the game-hosts may even award you extra marks!

Raiders is absolutely worth checking out. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends in London, doing something a little different and it’s well worth the price of admission.

5outta5

5/5 Rating.

Citydash: Camden –
Citydash follows a similar format to other Fire Hazard Games, whereby you collect clues/discover landmarks/solve riddles etc (without an in-depth story line), but there’s a heavy dose of RUNNING involved.

Fire Hazard Games call it a “high-energy scavenger hunt crossed with hide-and-seek” which is a pretty fair description. However, we weren’t quite prepared with just how “high-energy” it was going to be.

Whilst you’re searching for clues and cracking codes you’re also being chased by Fire Hazard operatives, trying to stifle your success at any opportunity. There’s an option when booking to play a more “chilled” version, with less running and this is what we opted, however we were still chased like madmen throughout the streets of Camden and if what we played was the tamer version, we’d be dead by the end of the “real” game.

Whilst Citydash was enjoyable, it’s a lot more competitive than some of the other Fire Hazard’s events and there seemed to be individuals/groups that attend on a weekly/monthly basis.

If you’re looking for some high-octane thrills then this is for you, but tread carefully, you WILL be exhausted by the end of it.

3andhalfoutta5

3.5/5 Rating.

Basically, get yourself along to a Fire Hazard Games event ASAP, because you’re in for one heck of a time!

Website.