Escape rooms offer an experience like no other, from classic detective mystery rooms to Jurassic Worlds and ancient temples, in which you must solve puzzles, find clues and collect items to solve the mystery of the game. Escape Rooms have originally started as online games, first in 1988 when John Wilson created “Behind Close Doors” and later in 2004 with the release of “Crimson Room” by Japanese creator Toshimitsu Takagi. In 2007, Takao Kato created the first real life escape game and, between 2012 and 2014, the game experience finally landed in the United States, gaining ground in Seattle, San Francisco, Nashville and New York. For this review we’ve tested one of Houdini’s Escape Room Experiences – Escape From Alcatraz, after it has been voted the No.1 Escape Room in the World, due to its amazing collection of unforgettable experiences across United Kingdom, guaranteed to put your detective skills to the test.
Originally, Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States before becoming a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963 and now, it is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Recently opened at Houdini’s Escape Room in York, Escape From Alcatraz is one of the most difficult immersive experiences, with a success rate of only 23%.
*Escape from Alcatraz is also available to play at Houdini’s Southampton, Cheshire Oaks, Gloucester, Thurrock, Nottingham, Kingston, Walsall, Greenwich, Crewe, and Doncaster.
FRAMED FOR A CRIME YOU DIDN’T COMMIT, WILL YOU PROVE YOUR INNOCENCE?
The year is 1952, you have been convicted of multiple murders that you claim you’re innocent of. With only an hour to go before your execution, surely it’s too late for your brother to finally prove your innocence and save your life?
Can you escape your prison cell in the infamous Alcatraz before the guards come to take you to the electric chair?
Escape From Alcatraz is a 60 minutes prison themed escape game experience, in which you must solve puzzles, find clues and collect items to escape from your cell, before being taken to the electric chair. Due to its theme, it is only suitable for players over 10 years old. Children under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult. If you do manage to complete the game under 60 minutes, you and your team (2 – 8 players) have the chance to be featured on the leaderboards, and compare your escape times and how many clues you had with other teams. But, as our Game Master explained, “there has never been a team able to complete the game without any help”. The game is indeed very challenging, as the clues are not placed in a specific order and you must work as a team to place together the pieces of each of the puzzles. Phones or any type of video recording equipment are not allowed inside the room during the game play, to protect the story and puzzles.
Just like any other escape room games, the difficulty of this experience is designed to put your mental capacity, your team-player ability and your potential to work under pressure to the test. The Escape Game who has served over five million players in U.S. notes that: Escape rooms fit seamlessly into this entertainment genre because they are immersive experiences. Instead of watching characters depict a story on screen, players ARE the main characters! Players get to be the hero of their own adventures as they live out plots and adventures previously only seen on screen. They can break out of prison, take part in daring art heists, find hidden treasure, and much more!
Below we named a few of the benefits of playing this real-life adventure game.
For our escape room experience, we have requested our Game Master to take part in the game also as an actor, being able to assist us at any given time in solving the puzzles, before the time ran out. Apart from the guidance offered by the Game Master throughout the game, a short introductive video is played at the start of the mission in order to explain the purpose of the assignment. As a general rule, once a puzzle is solved or a clue is used, it is not needed again in the game.
As a non-linear game experience, Escape From Alcatraz is more complex than its equivalents, offering interconnected clues leading to the final solution of escaping the room. What made the game truly challenging was both the high volume of puzzles that required more abstract and critical thinking skills, and the short time amount needed to search for the underlying patterns in the objects inside the room.
As part of Houdini’s Escape Room Experience, Escape From Alcatraz is a story-driven fast paced game unlike any other, that offers both written and physical puzzles and clues, hidden within the room.
With over 50,000 epic escape rooms worldwide, escape rooms offer more than just a real-life mission. As live actioned problem solving games, they require communication, attention to detail, leadership, and teamwork for successful completion. A recent study showed fascinating details on labour division, leadership, and decision making after analysing over 35 hours of audio-visual ethnographic data and interviews with different participants as they took part in the escape room game-play.
To book your game experience, head over to Houdini’s Escape Room and start your own adventure.
*Disclaimer: The electric chair used in the game is a Prop and should not be used without consent. Under no circumstances Iconic Magazine Online condones Capital Punishment, as everyone has an inalienable human right to life.