Escaping the room in 60 minutes

It was finally time for Culture night, and this time we were Escaping The Room…

I first heard of this relatively new phenomenon when watching an episode of The Middle – and thought it was right up my street. Then in our Culture Tour of Budapest back in June it was in our to-do list (Budapest is renowned for Escape Rooms) however we ran out of time (oh the irony!) doing all our other cultural activities so couldn’t fit this in to our agenda.

It was quite difficult to find an Escape Room suitable for just 3 people – they’re mostly tailored for 4 plus. However we managed to track one down at Omescape on the Caledonian Road near to King’s Cross. A very pleasant walk north along the regenerated canal area from St Pancras and one which took us passed a fabulous book barge selling second hand books that I would thoroughly recommend to anyone in the area…

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Anyway second hand book buying aside our particular adventure was called Biohazard Laboratory. Suitable for 3-5 players it was based in a secret underground laboratory hidden in the sewage system of New York City. We had just one hour to find an antidote to a dangerous toxin and had to follow a selection of clues and puzzles to open doors and traps to get to a secret laboratory. We were shown to our room and locked in armed with torches, pen and paper and a walkie talkie.

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The whole expensive was really exciting and full of suspense. The rooms were dark and atmospheric, the clues and puzzles challenging and tricky, demanding plenty of lateral thinking as well as some numerical skills and confident guess work. At times we did need a clue from our man at the other end of the walkie talkie, and we steadily progressed through the rooms and finally found ourselves in the secret laboratory trying to calculate the formula for the toxin antidote.

Unfortunately at the final challenge we were so engrossed in getting the right combination of acids and antibodies that we forgot that this was just a way to get the correct number code for the keypad to escape the laboratory and successfully complete the challenge. And when we finally twigged it was all too late – we were less than half a minute late from saving the world… Escaping the room in one hour 27 seconds rather than the one-hour challenged. No shiny certificate for us.

Omescape was a very slick operation and was as promised immersive mind-blowing entertainment. I will definitely be going again and next time I will escape the room in the allotted timeframe and save the world.

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