Review: Escape Live!
Here at Raring2go! we are always on the lookout for new ideas for places to go and things to do as a family. As the kids get older it can become harder to find something that you can all genuinely enjoy doing together so when Escape Live suggested that we try out a couple of their escape rooms we were ready to take on the challenge.
Time Machine (Suggested age 8+) - Central Birmingham/ Nicola Maile (R2go! Solihull)
During a cold and dreary January with the excitement of Christmas over, my family was on the lookout for some new ideas to entertain the children and have some fun together. We chose to visit the Time Machine escape room at Escape Live in Birmingham. My children are aged 7 and 10 so the age recommendation of 8+ felt about right.
I visited the pop-up escape room at Resorts World with the children last year which we all loved so I was interested to find out how much the kids would be able to get involved in this more 'grown up' version. Their Dad had visited a similar venue with a group of work colleagues but not with the family so this was a new experience for us to do together.
I was really impressed with the briefing that our Games Master, Shanice, gave us before we started. Everything was really clear and straightforward and she included the children in her explanations as well as the adults. Throughout the time inside the room she gave us the odd hint or pointer to keep us on track. This help was well timed and at the right level. She never gave too much away but did stop us wasting time heading off on completely the wrong tangent.
My two children were able to get really involved in searching the rooms for clues and were able to make contributions to help solve many of them just as well as the adults. You have an hour to solve the room and 'escape' - we managed to complete it with 3 minutes to spare!
We had a great time - I would definitely recommend Escape Live as a family place to visit. Every member of my family had a lot of fun and we were reliving our favourite parts and silly mistakes that we had made for the rest of the day.
Prison Break (suggested age - 10+) – Fargo Village, Coventry/ Sally Walters (R2go! Kidderminster & Stourbridge)
On Friday 4 January, 6 of us went to Escape Live in Coventry. We were a party of 2 adults and 4 children, looking for a ‘last treat’ of the Christmas Holidays.
We had chosen to do the room entitled Prison Break (“A master criminal with a devious plan”). Escape Live advise that this game is suitable for children over the age of 10, and accompanying adults and they give it a 4 out of 5 level of difficulty. It seemed ideal for our children whose ages ranged from 13 to 15.
When we arrived we were met by Craig who was really welcoming, funny and chatty. He explained that our mission was to escape a locked prison cell within 60 minutes by solving a series of clues. He then gave a thorough explanation of the ‘dos and don’ts’ and was really helpful in answering any questions we had. By the end of the brief we were Raring2go!
Suffice to say, what goes on in the room, stays in the room! We wouldn’t want to spoil your fun.
We’ve all done a few escape games before and by comparison we found this game very well organised and well scripted. The props were authentic and the clues were delivered impressively by prisoner, Terrance Swift, by way of a video recording.
It was pitched just right for the age range, with all of us able to pitch in with ideas on how to solve the puzzles. It can be harder to find ways to spend time together as children get older, but an Escape Game is a great activity for a family or group of friends.
Sadly, we didn’t manage to escape so a lifetime of prison grub awaits us….If only we had another 5 minutes we would have been out of there!
We highly recommend Escape Live. If you keep your wits about you and work as a team then hopefully you’ll manage to escape, unlike us!
- Escape Live! have venues in Birmingham, Coventry, Stratford-upon-Avon and Essex/ Southend. Each site has a number of escape rooms which have age recommendations ranging from 8+ to 13+ and differing levels of difficulty. The age recommendations are intended as guidelines rather than rules - the puzzles will be slightly more accessible to younger ones in an 8+ room and the themes may be intimidating and intense in a 13+. You know your own child best so as long as you apply some common sense you shouldn't have any problems - if in doubt, ask the staff and they can give you guidance on a particular game.
- When you have made your booking, Escape Live provide plenty of useful information, eg on where to park and when to arrive.
- There are lockers outside the rooms for coats and personal items like handbags - you don't want them in the way when you are inside!
- Don't forget to visit the toilets on site before you start too! Remember that you will be locked in the room for an hour!!
- There is only a small selection of drinks available to purchase on site but all venues are based within easy distance of cafes and restaurants if you want to have a team debrief over lunch or a snack when you leave.
Local Mum of two boys and editor of Raring2go! in Solihull and South Warwickshire.
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