Escape Plan Live,
Sun Pier House, Medway Street,
Kent, ME4 4HF
Tel; 0333 666 3366
Located within a very unassuming courtyard-style building, in the centre of the town, adorned with a handful of cool window decals and branded banners, you'll find Escape Plan Live.
Walking through the entrance door, we were very warmly greeted. Face masks on and hands sanitized, the rules of the company are pointed out, which are placed on huge vinyl's in the entrance hall - it set's the tone nicely for the personality that this business has, as along side the usual do's and don'ts you expect to see, there are also some really funny additions which had us laughing before we even really got through the door!
Following on from this, our host (and owner) Ross, escorted us into the main reception. Here you'll find some wonderful Chesterfield-style sofas, and walls adorned with creeping ivy vines, which provide a great backdrop for the team photos.
Here we were given the back story for the game (as shown below). Its certainly worth noting that our host was incredibly attentive, and although he appreciated our experience, took us through usual briefing. Here's our first little hint - pay attention to what your host says. It may give you a few subtle clues! From our briefing we were taken through the ivy covered corridor, down to the entrance of the game
At time of writing, Escape Plan Live have five active games;
1) What the Dickens - A time travelling murder mystery, with a Victorian twist
2) The Séance - You don't believe in ghosts, but that is all about to change
3) The Witching Hour - The ancient curse is just a rumour, or is it?
4) The Clink - On which side of the bars will you be?
5) Air Raid - An explosive WW2 challenge for the whole family.
More rooms are currently in the pipeline, with "Classified" coming soon.
We have been lucky enough to play Air Raid. This is how we got on!...
As ever, we start with the storyline... It’s 1940 and the Blitz, is on its way. You hear the air raid sirens and planes approaching in the distance. You’re one of the lucky ones though, and have made it to the bomb shelter that should protect you from anything but a direct hit - but the first to arrive panicked and barricaded themselves into the supply room which includes everything you need to survive... time is running out for you to become the hero of the hour.
The realism of the storyline, really hit a chord with us. There was nothing "fantasy" about it. It Quite simply, it felt real.
Walking through the entrance to Air Raid, the first thing that hits you is immersion! The attention to detail upon first impression is outstanding. From the flashing red lights, to the ever-present wartime soundtrack, you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd actually gone back to the 1940's. It really is exceptionally authentic.
As ever, NO SPOILERS, but another impressive thing we found throughout this game, is the way in which it "reacts" to what is going on within the scenario. Its tricky to not give too much away, but be prepared for a few unexpected surprises, which isn't something we had seen in any other rooms before.
Now, onto the puzzles themselves. These stick very strictly to theme. Don't expect digital games and high tech - that is not what this game is about. Expect keys, padlocks and combination locks. Now whilst I would often grumble about not having any "wow" factor games where the tech shines, it would be completely out of place in this setting and I commend the designers for not being tempted to drop the odd TV screen or LED-style puzzle into the game.
If you are an avid reader of our reviews, you'll know I am often the self-appointed room searcher. And this game fell into my lap nicely. The attention to detail is second to none, meaning that there are a lot of war-related artefacts, documents to read, propaganda to review and cubbyholes to search, which put me in my happy place.
In terms of difficulty, I would say this places around mid-range. There are a few maths-related puzzles (which my 10 year old absolutely adored), plus a handful of physical/observational games which as a team I would say we excel. Hardcore enthusiasts/gamers may find some games on the easy side, but regardless, I'd still recommend the game, even for the atmosphere alone!
Its also beneficial to note, that the difficulty of the game can be adjusted by the host. During your briefing, the host will ask you questions about your experience of games etc. and can change particular aspects based on your responses. With that in mind, don't think that this game isn't going to be achievable if your a first timer - in fact, I think this game would work brilliantly for a family wanting to dip their toes into the world of escape rooms!
Clues can be received via an old-style wartime radio which is found in the room (you don't need a walkie-talkie or such like, your host will hear you regardless). A HUGE positive that we found with our host, is that if a member of the team said or did something which may be beneficial to the rest of the team, he acknowledged it - I won't say how but we really liked it.
As I was saying at the beginning of the review, pay attention in your briefing. The host will give you a key piece of advice regarding what you must do in the event of a bombing. Again, whilst Ill give NO SPOILERS, it is a really good way of taking stock as to where you are as a team, and resetting what you have left to do. (I also loved it, as you didn't know quite what was going to happen next). - As you can tell, I'm being purposely cryptic here!
The finale of the game built steadily, and the use of lighting and effects provided some really nice touches to add the extra tension during the final moments of the game.
When all was said and done, its safe to say, we all enjoyed this one. A beautifully atmospheric, immersive and authentic experience, with puzzles in keeping with the era. This is certainly one, that everyone from the kids to the great grandparents will love!
Would I recommend this room?
Certainly. Families and history fans alike will love the attention to detail and the realistic feel this game has.
Who would I recommend it to?
This is a great family game, given its accessibility and "pick up and play" feel.
How many players would I recommend?
The gameplay in this room suits around 4 - 5 players really nicely, as the room is of reasonable size and the game is relatively linear in fashion.
Suitable for Children?
Yes, my 10 year old says its his favourite game he has played! There are a few "jumpy" moments, but nothing scary. If you have kids that love their history at school, I would really recommend this experience!
Interested in booking this room?
Visit - https://www.escapeplanlive.com/