James Bloodworth


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Game
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Played: 25 Jun 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivegreat hostingfamily friendly

It always nice to see a concept that is different to the norm and this certainly qualifies.  This is effectively 3 escape rooms in 1 giant room with a central plot to tie it all together.  The idea is you have a large group (6-12) and you can move between each room.  We tackled this as a party of 3 and we completed in just under 2 hours, we each took on a room and when one of us got stuck we would change rooms and move to help each other and so on.  At its maximum it would be tight to have more than 2-3 people in each of the rooms (particularly one as there is a lot of stuff to move round) and each room is actually trickier than they initially look (I’d say the Wild West room being the hardest of the three).  There’s a lot of puzzles and it’s worth booking the double slots to try and do all of it as a smaller team.  Our clues were once again delivered by a tablet and our GM, Linda, clued us effectively and at just the right time.

Played: 25 Jun 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting😨creepy

What is it about serial killers who are so punctual.  You’ve been taken prisoner and have an hour to escape before you meet your fate.   This was my favourite game at the venue from the beginning, the gameplay and a clever end where we had escaped, we just hadn’t realised it (that doesn’t sound great but I don’t want to give a major spoiler away).  You do start the game by being led in blindfolded and are handcuffed (although they use leather as opposed to metal and are non-locking) and getting out will require a degree of cooperation.  The rest of the puzzles have a nice flow but there was a couple of times we needed a nudge to get us back on track.  Our GM was Linda once again who (after expertly chaining us up) expertly clued us when we needed to.  There’s some nice surprises in this room that I hadn’t seen for a while, this is also their newest room and it does show.

Played: 25 Jun 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneygreat hosting

Ah, the old science test.  Whether you are Guinea pigs in an unwitting experiment or trying to leave somewhere, solving a plethora of tests like this (and even the set design to a degree) reminded me of other games but in a good way.  You have to solve a series of puzzles to find your escape.  The design was functional and fine and some of the puzzles contained spins on old favourite.  Our GM was Linda who once again ran the game with precision.  This was a fun diversion and worth a visit.

Played: 25 Jun 2022 Team size: 3 Time taken: 59:53
value for moneygreat hosting

Some Escape games don’t feature you ‘escaping’ per se but rather uncovering a solution via a series of puzzles.  Here you are trying to track down a murderer from piecing together various pieces of evidence.  Fairly routine and by the numbers game but still implemented well and there is clear passion for the hobby from the owners.  Clues were delivered on a tablet and Linda (our GM) did a fantastic job from briefing to nudging us just we needed to.

Played: 30 Apr 2022 Team size: 2
Played: 2 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
great hostingintense😨creepy
The sequel to “The Governor” but it doesn’t really carry the story forward.  Advisory, you do start handcuffed but this is one of the more interesting situations that I’ve found myself in.  You also do have a live actor in there with you as well.  We failed to escape as we degenerated into hysterics (we played this right at the end of a long weekend of escaping) and there some tough puzzles here and it was mostly search fails that cost us the win (although we were at the second to last puzzle when the timer expired).  We had a good time here and I feel it’s one of the better games at the venue.  Our GM was Robyn who (as well as hosting us on other games) was excellent throughout.
Played: 2 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
funnyclevergreat hosting
My usual game ER partner has a particular affinity for Christmas rooms so we were never not going to play this.  Unusually this is a 90 minute room but there is a lot to do and some very tricky puzzles before you can rescue Santa.  It is a tight space and there is a degree of low ceilings and crawling but with some padded areas.
Played: 2 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
immersivegreat hosting😨creepy
Fairy tales are another well used trope with Alice in Wonderland being used probably most of all.  This initially feels like its going to be a scary game but it really isn’t but is a well thought out experience with clever use of space.  Right at the end there is the possibility of insta-failing the room so choose wisely..
Played: 2 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
great hostingintense👻scary
An interesting game with a couple of clever physical puzzles.  
Played: 1 May 2022
funnyimmersivenostalgic
If you get the above reference then you should know where this time travelling game draws its influence from.  Some clever use of video sets the scene and we are off on our travels.  Featuring a great finale, this should appeal to anyone with a love of 80’s nostalgia.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
hi-techcleverquite difficult
A box game that sits on a table but features some great props and some very tricky puzzles that are mostly logic and some observational.  If you’re between game slots then this is a great diversion for an hour.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
I’d played the first version of this room as a remote during the first lockdown and had a great time so I was quite keen to play this.  This is a fun game that combines some great theatrical moments of one of history’s most remembered events.  Very much a game of two parts but with some great physical puzzles.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
How much of the pirates treasure can you steal in 60 minutes?  This is another game where the aim is both to escape but how much treasure can you steal as well.  Well themed room with some great puzzles that range in difficulty.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
immersivegreat hostingintense👻scary
Another cabin in the woods, another serial killer.  What stands this one out is the great theming of the play space.  Puzzles are mixed and there is some crawling for at least one person.  There is some actor engagement but this can be tailored to groups desired scare levels.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnycleverfamily friendly
A superhero’s life is never a dull one!  This is a great fun game that had us in stitches at various points (and I’m sure the GM as well!).  Lighthearted with a lot of comedic elements.
Played: 1 May 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnygreat hostingfamily friendly
Very much a cluedo style game but with a fun play value to it.  You have to work out who did it, with what and where in order to escape.  Good flow with some clever puzzles to it.
Played: 30 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulstory-drivengreat hosting
The idea of puzzle rests has grown considerably with “Daylight Robbery” at Cryptology and “UI-55”| at Compendium.  This is a similar idea where you have a considerable number of puzzles to solve in order to find time crystals.  The setting is amazing and reminiscent of “Loot the Lanes”, the more crystals you find then other shops open up to you.  Not all shops will as the overall game will change every so often almost guaranteeing repeat visits (I know I will).  A massive range of puzzles from obvious searches to cunning logic puzzles, audio driven ones and observational.  
Played: 30 Apr 2022 Team size: 2
great hosting
The latest from Lucardo did not disappoint and is once again a lot of fun to play incorporating some great dramatic and theatrical moments (that key eh?).  The game is set around Guy Fawkes as he tries to blow up parliament and incorporates you into the plot.  Whilst possibly not historically accurate this is a fun game with a lot going for it.
Played: 30 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
clevergreat hostingintense
One of the best split starts I’ve played for a long while then opens up into an interesting game and story.  Some very innovative puzzles are balanced out by some tricky physical ones that could prove frustrating.  Similarly there is a lot of searching to do that could trip you up.  Even though we failed to escape we had a great time here and this is definitely one venue I will be keeping an eye on.
Played: 29 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
clevergreat hosting
A game set in a cargo container will have a restricted play area to start with but Adrenaline have crafted a fun game here with a nice flow to it.  Puzzles are relatively straight forward with a lot of padlocks but it’s got a good flow to it.
Played: 23 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulgreat hostingfamily friendly
Bank Heists are not a new theme, but rarely have I enjoyed one as much as this.  This is a delightful game that plays incredibly smoothly and with a range of puzzles.  The first part is a relatively normal linear game but the game changes and becomes a puzzle fest of how much can you steal.  Theming is simple but effective, puzzles vary in difficulty (I would argue even one of the decryption tools is a puzzle!).  Nothing here will probably surprise you but this is a great game for both beginner and experienced player.  Our GM was Adam who expertly nudged back on course and was great throughout.  As others have said, this feels a but like an undiscovered gem when compared to its more well known games in Derby but it well worth a visit, we had a great time.
Played: 23 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyclevergreat hosting
Like all of the other rooms at the venue, decoration is sparse but effective, this game starts with a lot of searching including one type of hiding place I have never encountered before!  Your task is to find and retrieve 5 diamonds before the Mr Big comes back (he should be away for 60 minutes conveniently enough).  Progress is mostly linear in nature but that’s not to say there are some clever puzzles along the way.  Once again an incredibly fun way to spend an hour whether you are a beginner or an experienced player.  Our GM was Adam who expertly nudged back on course and was great throughout.
Played: 23 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyclevergreat hosting
Like all of the other rooms at the venue, decoration is sparse but effective, this game starts with a lot of searching including one type of hiding place I have never encountered before!  Your task is to find and retrieve 5 diamonds before the Mr Big comes back (he should be away for 60 minutes conveniently enough).  Progress is mostly linear in nature but that’s not to say there are some clever puzzles along the way.  Once again an incredibly fun way to spend an hour whether you are a beginner or an experienced player.  Our GM was Adam who expertly nudged back on course and was great throughout.
Played: 18 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting
Wow.  Quite simply one of the best rooms I have ever played, from theming to puzzle design to reveals.  The space may be limited but everything is so cleverly done and you can see the thought that has gone into it.  The story is coupled with some brilliant atmospheric events and has more than a trace of humour and at time moments of sheer magic.  I’d love to say more but its one of the few rooms I wish I could forget all about it and just go and play it again.
Played: 18 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting
Once again terrific theming and solid puzzle design (with some incredible physical effects) create an incredible game.  The puzzle flow is mostly non-linear in nature and will test your searching, observation and deduction skills.  I think the puzzles in the second half let the room down slightly but it’s still of a high standard and still very much worth your time.
Played: 18 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulgreat hosting
I’ve always had a soft spot for a good pirate room, and this is a good pirate room!  This is the oldest room at this venue but I found it hard to tell.  The overall puzzle design may feel a little dated (nothing here will probably surprise you but old ideas still have the power to surprise) but they flow well and will test your overall puzzling skills.  The theming and scenery is first rate and all puzzles are on theme.
Played: 18 Apr 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulfamily friendlymagical
A fun well themed room with some simplistic puzzles that an experienced team might overthink (we did).  One thing that did rankle is that they have a policy of not giving hints for the first 15 minutes but the first puzzle you need to solve is a potentially tricky search one and we only did it by fluke, I can see that being potentially frustrating.
Played: 17 Apr 2022 Team size: 3 Time taken: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting😨creepy
A solid room with some good puzzles delivered with a touch of theatricality.
Played: 17 Apr 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting😨creepy
Definitely not for the screamish!  This game is another dealing with potentially uncomfortable themes.  Medical experiments gone awry is another popular theme and this is very much a game of two halves.  It does feature live actors and also a degree of theatricality that I’ve not seen before.  Puzzles are mostly linear with a combination of searching, placement and deduction.
Played: 17 Apr 2022 Team size: 3 Outcome: Successful escape!
story-drivengreat hosting😨creepy
This was one of the best online rooms I played at the height of the Covid pandemic and was curious how it would translate in reality.  The room is the same, the puzzles are (mostly) the same but there is an atmosphere in this room, it was cold and I’m not sure if that was part of the effect or it was just cold!  The overall story is helped by the video cutscenes that you discover along the way which help develop the narrative.  The progress is mostly linear with some relatively familiar tropes to help you along the way.  Its a tough one but I think playing the online version did spoil me slightly as some things did come back to me as the game went on.  
Played: 17 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
😨creepy
A creepy room with some fun puzzles that may have younger players scratching their heads as they have never heard of them!  It is dark but there is enough light to play the game as you progress in a roughly linear manner.  There’s a couple of puzzles that were slightly ambiguous in nature but we were clued effectively with just enough to nudge us in the right direction.  Your party is forced to split up at one point in one of the more atmospheric moments of the game.  Ultimately nothing here will surprise you but it’s a fun game to play none the less.
Played: 17 Apr 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting
A prison escape is a well worn Escape Room trope and is probably familiar if you are reading this.  This is one of the better versions with solid scenery and elements of theatricality that elevate it from the typical style of room.  Progress is relatively linear in nature but you must read and remember the rules otherwise you could have a very different experience!  You start off in your cell and must move from there to other prison locations in order to facilitate your escape whilst a riot is ongoing.  Our GM was Rick who was fantastic throughout and clued us at exactly the right moments with just enough to push us in the right direction.
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
great hosting
For my money, the best game at the venue.  Puzzles are in keeping with the theming of the room, there a couple of puzzles that are a little ambiguous (someone else has mentioned the audio puzzle).  There are a couple of time sinks in the room and light levels does play a part in this (even though they have installed some alleviation on this front).  A fun game that we failed right on the last puzzle.
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
great hosting
A good Sweeney Todd inspired game with the requisite theming on point.  The game is linear in fashion and the puzzles are relatively straight forward.
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Failed :-(
great hosting
A relatively straight forward game of two halves.  The first half is relatively straight forward but after that some of the puzzles become a bit ambiguous.  We only failed as we read something the wrong way.  Theming is basic but it works, hosting was very good and hints were relayed over a walkie talkie.  This game does feature a split start.
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulimmersivegreat hosting
Like their Prison room where you start off locked in an actual cell, this room takes place in the actual court room that was used for real.  The Sherlock theming is potentially tenuous but there is a progression of puzzles, some are quite easy luring you into an aura of self confidence.   Its easy to get bogged down and there a couple of leaps of logic needed to solve the game.  Our host way Jayne who hinted us expertly throughout. 
Played: 19 Feb 2022 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
originalimmersivegreat hosting
Obviously it scores on theming as you are playing in an actual former prison van, starting off locked in the various cells.  The first task is obviously getting out and this is done in a relatively linear fashion, the higher the number of your cell the longer it may take for you to get out but there are elements in each cell you need to progress.  Puzzles have a good flow to them but there are some red herrings mixed in there, which cost us some time, as ever, if something is seemingly taking too long then move on.  Possibly not one to play if you suffer from claustrophobia, also if playing in winter, wrap up warm, I imagine if you play in summer it will be hot!  Our host was Ruby who was fantastic and enthusiastic throughout.
Played: 20 Jan 2022 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
funnygreat hostingfamily friendly
I will admit, I went into this without really knowing anything of the Rugrats (after my time sadly).  It does not matter as you don't need to know anything.  You have to help the babies find their toys!  The room is well themed and has a great flow to it, we barely stopped the whole way through.  There's a lot of locks but it's always relatively clear which code is for which lock, some puzzles/room effects lose their impact when played remotely.  Video/Audio was stable throughout, Inventory also worked well.
Played: 10 Jan 2022 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
beautifulgreat hosting
Fun game but held few surprises mostly due to the camera quality, we had to ask the Avatar a few times to slow down and it didn't cope with the low light levels in a few places.  Inventory was a new system but seemed to work reasonably well.  Would be a much better game to play in person.
Played: 13 Dec 2021 Team size: 4 Time taken: 00:31 Outcome: Successful escape!
christmas
Well themed room but puzzles are relatively straight forward.
Played: 10 Dec 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneyfamily friendly
I would say one of the harder games from this venue but it still carries their own inimitable style.  Our GM was Floyd who was wonderfully engaging throughout.  My only quibble was that some of the colours were hard to differentiate on some of the puzzles, between a faded red, pink and orange but there were still some tough puzzles to try and crack.
Played: 10 Dec 2021 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
value for moneygreat hosting
Room Escape Southend have turned out some fun Avatar hosted escape games, you may recognise some of the puzzles and locations of this game but that in now way detracts from the fun of it.  Wayne is, as ever, a wonderfully engaging GM and the Telescape inventory worked very well.
Played: 11 Sep 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 30 May 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 17 May 2021 Team size: 4 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 15 May 2021 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 30 Apr 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 24 Apr 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 23 Apr 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
Played: 9 Apr 2021 Team size: 5 Outcome: Successful escape!
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