Eltham Escape Rooms,
3 St Marys Place,
Tel; 0203 620 1111
Greeted by a huge Eltham Escape Rooms sign above, what appeared to be a small retail unit, you'd be forgiven to thinking that this place is small on the inside - think again. The reception is light and airy and we were warmly greeted by the owner and a handful of some very attentive members of the team. Comfortable, on brand, benches adorn the cool black white and grey reception area and the glass frontage details the games that this unique building has on offer.
As I say, don't be fooled by what appears to be a small unit. The building extends over two floors and is packed with games for all to enjoy - it seems like the building goes on forever!
Cleverly, located under the bench seating are a collection of lockers for you to store away your personal belongings, and there is a toilet located on the upper floor, if like me, you get a little over-excited before the game starts! :)
As ever, its great to meet with like-minded people, and the team here are certainly enthusiastic. We completed our normal "on tablet" waivers (which I should also add, asks for email and phone numbers, which is a great touch for being able to send you your photos at the end of the game), and then we were escorted to the room by our Game Master. Which is where our adventure begins.
Eltham currently have 4 games on offer, with a focus on family fun plus a further recent addition of a horror themed room. We are hopeful to get to all these rooms in the very near future, however we managed to be one of the first to play Return to Neverland, and its safe to say, it does not disappoint!...
RETURN TO NEVERLAND
Now, when I say the team and I have fun playing escape rooms, I really do mean it. However, this room can get a capital F,U,N - there were smiles on our faces from beginning to end. And whilst the game may not fulfil the appetite of puzzle aficionados looking to solve some long-winded ciphers, it more than makes up for it with tangible, physical challenges that will keep you grinning from ear to ear, and a truly immersive environment.
First off, shout out to our GM for the game Callum, who really got us going before going through the first door. Given the type of game, we played as two adults and three children, and he was great at stirring us up and giving us the back story...
Peter Pan had been captured by Captain Hook and it was down to us to rescue him. Could the plot be much simpler? It hits the target audience perfectly - the kids were engaged by the story, and us adults were given the sense of nostalgia by feeling like we were going to step back into this classic story, loved the world over.
As one of the first teams to play this game, we didn't have a clue what to expect. As ever, this review will include NO SPOILERS, however the simplicity at the start of the game took me a little by surprise - but don't worry, that isn't a bad thing - you will soon discover that the first impression, leads to something much, much more dramatic and impressive and something that will literally take your breath away.
The scenery is like something out of a Disney Film and it truly sucks you in. Without giving too much away, the use of space is very clever, with multiple levels, ingeniously hidden areas and great use of lighting and sound.
Speaking of sound, listen very closely to your guide Tinkerbell. She follows you on your journey to help save Peter and gives some very useful tips. When she speaks, be sure to pay attention - we had three rather loud kids and after a few moments we realised that when she speaks, you listen! Its a great use of a hint system and provides that little extra magical touch.
So onto puzzles. As suggested earlier, don't expect to get involved in long cipher codes, combination locks and endless ongoing brain wracking. This game focusses on physical puzzles, with the occasional traditional escape room puzzle thrown in. The focus really is on family fun - everyone young and old can get involved here. Expect to climb, crawl but most importantly smile at every turn in this game.
The overthinkers amongst us don't need to worry here - everything is beautifully signposted within the room, and is generally quite self-explanatory. But, as ever, if you need a hand, Tinkerbell will be there to guide you!
Onto one of my favourite categories - tech. Now whilst the puzzles themselves aren't filled with technology, the room itself clearly is. The use of lighting, video screens, smoke machines etc, all add to this magical adventure. There is also one bit of kit, which I wont mention as it really is something I've never experienced before and would have to ruin the surprise, which blew me away. Innovation at its best. (I'll let you guys experience that for yourselves!).
A great point about this game is how it builds; from something which appears simple, to something of epic proportions, with a fitting finale. Time felt like it absolutely flew by in this room, purely because we were having that much fun. With just four minutes to spare, with Tinkerbells help, we managed to save Peter Pan in our epic Return to Neverland. Our GM Callum and owner Dean returned to the room and we had a real in-depth debrief about some of the intricacies of the game, along with our obligatory, pirate themed, team photo.
When all was said and done, this game exceeded any expectations we may have had. A real family favourite, which fills a great gap in the market for newcomers to the escape room world, families who love to laugh, and the enthusiasts amongst us that like to let their hair down and experience something a little different.
Do yourselves a favour, and Return to Neverland. Its a journey and experience we will never forget!
Would I recommend this room?
Who would I recommend it to?
Its certainly a game aimed at families with children - but clearly us adults will absolutely adore it too!
How many players would I recommend?
We played as two adults and three kids (all under 11). This worked perfectly, but likewise, as its not difficult, you could play as a two (although the main game area is quite large so be prepared to sweat!)
Suitable for Children?
That's exactly who this is aimed at - families with children!
Interested in booking this room?