Tucked away in a small corner of Hanley high street in Stoke on Trent is Escape. A building containing 6 escape room puzzles varying in difficulty. Explore Roswell in Area 51. Crack the Da Vinci code in one of two Da Vinci rooms. Cast spells in the Witchcraft and Wizardry room. Rob a casino in the Casino Heist room or save your friend who has been kidnapped in the Taken room.
We were invited to the venue to review two of the experiences and I wasn’t very confident in getting out within 60 minutes even thou there were three of us. Escape is a team game ideally for 2-6 people and with me not being the smartest guy in the world. I thought I was probably going to be locked in there forever.
The idea of the Escape Rooms concept for those who don’t know is that you are locked in a themed room and your goal is to escape within 60 minutes. This is achieved by completing a series of challenges which allow you to unlock the next one and eventually obtain the key for the door.
When given a choice of rooms I felt compelled to choose the Witchcraft and Wizardry room. The poster for the room looked great and my inner Harry Potter was screaming out for me to go inside.
Considering I had never been to an Escape Room before of any kind I wasn’t expecting anything crazy. I had the expectations of walking into an empty room with the odd book on the table or some item or two linking it to its Witchcraft and Wizardry title but I was very quickly mistaken. The second the door opened I was transported straight onto what can only be described as a movie-style set. We had old cabinets that lined the walls, a chest of drawers, eerie stain-glassed windows, statues, robes, brooms and more! The theming was perfect, above and beyond what I expected before I walked in and the second the door locked, my time began and I was fully absorbed into the task at hand.
Naturally, I can’t give away any of the clues I had to solve or any of the tasks you need to perform to escape within the time slot but we did manage to escape. Safe to say it wasn’t easy whatsoever. I was told thereafter that the Witchcraft and Wizardry room is one of the most difficult rooms. There is another room called Casino Heist that is currently the most difficult with another room ‘Escape the Seven Seas’ coming later this month which is supposed to be even harder.
If you’re a big fan of Harry Potter you’re going to love the Witchcraft and Wizardry room. The props on display, the theming and even the music playing in the background all adds to the mystical and magical atmosphere. You have to be alert and on the ball to get some of the clues but if you’re stuck there is a TV screen that pops up with hints now and again to help. In addition, if you don’t want to wait for the automated hints you can pull a specific pose and the staff watching you on the cameras will send you a hint instantly to guide you along.
My first experience of an Escape Room was a very positive one indeed. The theming really took me by surprise and the room wouldn’t look out of place in a Harry Potter movie. A lot of attention to detail has been put into this particular room and some of the gadgets, gizmos, and puzzles really are quite thrilling to do.
I want to extend a big thank you to Escape Stoke for inviting me down to check out the room. The staff were incredibly knowledgeable, friendly and fun and they really added to the whole pageantry of the day.
Stay tuned for my next review as I attempted Area 51. On my own this time. A Roswell inspired Escape Room at the venue.
Why not come on down and try it out for yourself if you think you’re clever enough.