The idea of being trapped in a room with a limited time to get out absolutely frightens me, team that with mental challenges and not only have you got fear... but you have a soar of my anxiety! So why the devil did I agree to try out London's hottest escape game clueQuest?! Because I'm a sucker for a challenge and figured I'd be getting over two of my fears.
I didn't actually know that escape room style games existed in the UK; the first time I'd seen or heard of one was during an episode of The Big Bang Theory. The cast have to solve puzzles with a zombie in the room to get out. This was going to be similar but minus the zombie! There are some gruesome ones around with a horror theme to them, but that would actually be my idea of a bad way to spend 60 minutes! This was a challenge with a different theme of which we were about to discover...
Whenever we go to London we try to do a few new things. We seem to zip in and out so much that we don't always get to enjoy a day soaking it all in. Nick was running the London marathon the day before, so we decided to stay over and have a day of 'fun' the next day. I did think about doing a variety of bits but anything too physically active may have been too much for Nick, as at present Nick was walking about like one of those goats where their legs locked out. Not wanting to cause him any issues (and to help refrain myself from giggling as I watched him), we were going to challenge our minds and solve some puzzles at clueQuest.
I had heard really positive reviews of this company and their iconic Escape Room Game but because it's all about the element of surprise; the finer details of the experience are secretly tucked away within each of their rooms. So what can I tell you exactly? clueQuest is a company that was set up by four brothers from Hungary, these guys have created three games available to play that will intrigue, mystify and set out to tease your mind! Depending on how hard you want your game to be, there are three to select from with different levels of difficulty; PLAN 52, Operation BlackSheep and Revenge of the Sheep.
I'd started to panic this was going to be one big Maths fest with equations and formulas! Luckily I did have the comfort blanket of being with my husband who is a smart cookie, so that somehow softened the blow! But lucky for me it wasn't Maths; it was one big mental puzzle in a completely different way and I absolutely loved it.
The venue is a short walk from King’s Cross station and it blends into the high street unless you know you're looking for it, which for me only added more excitement about the unknown! When we got in I spotted corners of chairs congregated together with felt tip pens and guest books around tables. Clearly this was a place for teams and team building exercises. I flicked through the guest books to see what others had thought and what kind of person had been here, it turned out to be a large age ratio from kids to adults, business team building, fun days out and spontaneous moments. Digits of how long it had taken people to get out had been written in each entry as well, that is when I started to worry. Normally people book with teams of 3+ and of course there was only 2 of us, this was clearly going to be interesting especially as were going to be playing the newest and hardest game of all, The Revenge of the Sheep.
What was this particular game all about then? We were secret agents working on behalf of Mr. Q who was in desperate need of our help. We had a mission to stop Professor BlackSheep from turning all humans into sheep, by tracking down the SheepMutator and destroying it for good- in only 60 minutes!
Professor BlackSheep is back again to destroy humankind as we know it, and turn every single member into a sheep with his vicious SheepMutator device. It is upon Mr. Q and his best clueQuest agents to stop the Professor from succeeding in his mission to rule the World.
You have a member of staff dedicated to your experience, we had Richard who was taking us through our clueQuest. He prepped us before we entered the room and would be there if we needed him, but ultimately it was up to us to solve the puzzles and get out.
Nick and I entered the room and looked at each other; this was either going to end in an argument with us both getting flustered, or we'd come together and leave the room skipping from working as a team.
As someone who actually worries about getting answers wrong or looking 'thick' I felt really confident for once. Puzzle solving was so much fun, thinking outside the box about things, looking at the obvious but breaking each puzzle down was a bizarrely invigorating feeling! Nick and I separated off a couple of times to tackle elements on our own to beat the clock quicker, but hit a part where we struggled on our own. Not all puzzles were in the same format making it hard not to assume each one would be similar. There were a few times that we snapped at each other, but when we started actually going over it together we managed to complete the task... and obviously walk out as a happy couple still!
This is where I really can't say much more. I'd love to give you the details but actually not knowing a thing made this experience so much better, and it seems I'm really not alone as the reviews on TripAdvisor are awesome! But how did we do, I'm sure you're wondering? We got out with 1 minute 5 and seconds to spare and apparently we are the only team of two who managed to get out in under 60 minutes. I'll take that! In fact, I couldn't stop smiling and have now sorted so that when we come to London for the NFL in October, a group of us are going to take on a different challenge.
Would I recommend this experience? Hand on heart I couldn't recommend it enough. In the video footage coming to my YouTube channel, you will see me grinning from ear to ear as we escaped. I was so proud of us for solving the quest and more importantly proving we could work as a team! It was so much fun doing this but particularly because of the way it got you to think about solving the puzzles. Such a great experience with wonderful staff, now the question is which challenge do we take our team of friends to!
Fancy the challenge from the clueQuest team? I'm giving you the chance to take your buddies and see if you can solve the puzzles and get out in 60 minutes. Follow the instructions below - and good luck!
*Post in collaboration with clueQuest*