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!

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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.

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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.

Breakin’ Escape Rooms – Part 2

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Here it is, part 2 of our Breakin’ Escape Rooms feature! One of our favourite escape game venues in London.

We kick off the 2nd part of this article looking at their science fiction themed room; War on Horizon Alpha

War on Horizon Alpha

This room throws you into a galactic battle for the universe in a Star Wars style setting, with lots of Easter eggs and nods to the series of films.

It’s an incredibly high tech room, with no padlocks in sight – there’s not much room searching that goes on, instead, one puzzle will activate another and by using obscure imagery to give you hints as a direction of what to do next or how things are meant work/interact with each other the game progresses smoothly.

The room was really well designed and will have Sci-Fi fans truly geeking out. Breakin’ completely make you feel as if you are in a galaxy far far away, millions of years in the future in deep space! With blinking control panels and galaxy laden display screens, this room puts every other Sci-Fi game to shame!

5outta5

4/5 Rating.

The Butchers Lair

We love a good scare attraction and horror-themed escape rooms are totally our “bag”. The Butchers Lair is a nod to one of the greatest horror films of all time; Silence of the Lambs and if you’re a horror fiend then this one is definitely for you.

As the story goes, you’re a group of students invited to dinner at the home of your professor; Dr. Vladimir Knifesblade (great name!) – as his students, you always enjoyed his lectures on human anatomy but when you arrive at his home you find things are not as they seem and you have 60 minutes to escape before he carves you up for his next meal.

Once again, the room was themed wonderfully – severed limbs aplenty, with blood spurts staining the wall and many other gruesome props scattered throughout the game. This is definitely not a room for the squeamish!

There was more of a traditional escape game feel to this particular room, whilst still maintaining some of the impressive tech that we’ve come to know from Breakin’ – but it was a welcome change after playing the futuristic War on Horizon Alpha.

There were some extremely challenging puzzles that had us scratching our heads and really put us to work, kicking our brains into overdrive, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable game, one of our favourites at the venue.

4outta5

4/5 Rating.

Sherlock’s Despair
Sherlock’s Despair is another room that has a very classic feel to it – it has many padlocks to unlock, lots of riddle solving and even some “physical” games to play as well.

The story is as follows; Sherlock’s untimely death has been announced in all of the newspapers – he’d been working on the most important case of his entire career and it’s your job to unravel the mystery behind his death and solve his final case…

As a preface we played this room as a duo (one of our team dropped out last minute!), although the minimum for the game is three – so it was a little more challenging than usual.

We liked this game, but it was admittedly a little difficult to get started with, however once we got into the swing of the puzzles/room it was enjoyable. This time round we were missing our maths expert and so when we come across some math based puzzles we found ourselves struggling quite a bit, which was disappointing.

All in all an interesting and fun game, themed really nicely as per usual but we were left a little put-off by the math puzzles.

3andhalfoutta5

3.5/5 Rating.

a HUGE thanks to the team at Breakin’ for being wonderful hosts and having us along to play their rooms. We urge you to get yourself down to Holloway Road and experience these fantastic games for yourself, you won’t be disappointed!

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Omescape: Penitentiary Review

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Recently we paid a visited to Omescape London to try their expansive Penitentiary room…

As usual we’ll try and keep this review relatively spoiler free – but we will be discussing various aspects of the game.

With the Penitentiary we found ourselves locked in the cell of infamous American serial-killer Water White, known as the “Night Stalker”. Water was reported dead of natural causes a year ago. According to rumours, another prisoner had discovered a mysterious machine in the cell of “Night Stalker”, and he then disappeared a few days later.

At the beginning of the game your team is split in two and locked in separate cells. Dividing the team up and locking us in two different cells was a great start to the room; communication was key and we really had to work together to get out – this helped aid the group dynamic for the rest of the game!

The music and creative lighting really created a tense atmosphere – it was quite dark in the room and so your eye’s really had to adjust which made it even more challenging to begin with.

Once out of the cells the puzzles moving between sections of the penitentiary were challenging and required a level head, involving lots of teamwork, which meant everyone could partake in the games.

There were a lot of physical elements to the room as well, which always adds another dynamic to the game. One portion we were particularly impressed with (and we’ll try to not give too much away here) involved lasers that triggered an alarm. It felt very Mission Impossible-esque and really immersed you within the story and its setting.

There were varying levels of puzzles throughout the room such as decoding blueprints and deciphering codes to lock-boxes which added more complexity and problem solving to the game.

We really enjoyed this room and are hoping to head back soon to try the rest of their games. Definitely check them out…

4outta5

4/5 Rating.

Website

Do Stuff Escape Games Review

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We recently visited Do Stuff Escape Games at The Grove in Battersea. Before we got started we met with the two owners who have a seriously infectious enthusiasm for what they do, you can tell they’re loving every minute of it…

We were there to play their first and currently only game; Hostage Hideout. As the backstory goes, you and your friends are hiding from a gun-toting maniac who has taken hostages in the local shopping centre. You’re hold-up in a changing room, hoping to make it out alive!

Do Stuff have a pretty small space at The Grove pub where they host their room, but they use every little bit to it’s potential to create a fun and interesting game with some really creative puzzles.

As a team of three the size of the space was fine but we can imagine with a larger group it could probably get quite stuffy and a little squished.

The theming of the room was different to anything we’ve done before – who knew an escape game set in a changing room would work, but it really does.

We’d really recommend this room to teams who are new to escape games and want to step in the level of tasks/puzzles. They’re challenging without ever becoming frustrating and they link together with the story extremely well.

Do Stuff have a new room coming soon, themed as a Pie and Mash shop! We can’t wait to give it a try.

3andhalfoutta5

3.5/5 Rating

Website

Modern Fables Review

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Modern Fables is the new kid on the block when it comes to London Escape Rooms. It’s a little bit out of the way with no real signage advertising its whereabouts, tucked away in an old warehouse in South-East London.

Our initial impression was that it felt a bit unfinished…

(as per usual we’ll try our best not to spoil too much)

The first room, where you’re greeted by the owner Jay and filled in on the backstory, is a “secret” bar of sorts, but it leaves a lot to the imagination – it feels a little thrown together, with exposed/unpainted chipboard and a few tables! Which is a bit disappointing; because as you progress through the game there’s a lot more attention to detail, with much more of a “wow” factor, so initially we weren’t left with a very good first impression.

However, Modern Fables has a unique story-line, focusing on the tales of H.P Lovecraft in a modern day setting, which we loved – but it did feel a little hard to get going with the game itself and the puzzles were frustrating at times as they didn’t always seem to make sense or connect easily.

The finale of the game is incredibly immersive, very eerie and tense – with some great sound design and set dressing. We would’ve loved to of spent more time on this portion of the room as it really opened up the world of the game and its characters.

We’re definitely interested in seeing how Modern Fables progresses and what they have in store for their next game

2andhalfoutta5

2.5/5 Rating

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