Four of our writers paid a visit to Experimental Escape in Leamington, and here’s what they thought:
Leamington’s first escape room was slipped between Coffee #1 and Shoe Zone on Warwick Road, just a over a minute from the main Parade bus stops. ‘Professional escape artist’ Charlie Little, who along with David Billany has has worked towards opening the escape room over the last two years, met us at the top of two flights of stairs.Our room was called ‘The Machine’: between the group of us, we were given sixty minutes to solve the mysterious disappearance of a crackerjack scientist working on an artificial intelligence project.
We then celebrated our puzzle-smarts with some science props and a group photo to commemorate the moment
Charlie gave us each a lab coat and a buzzer in case we needed any extra tips (we did).The story was engaging and the puzzles were challenging, but not impossible — when we eventually cracked the final code we made it out with twenty minutes to spare, earning ourselves a respectable spot on the team scoreboard. We then celebrated our puzzle-smarts with some science props and a group photo to commemorate the moment. Experimental Escape has had over 70 groups pass through its doors since it opened last October; David and Charlie were fantastic escape room overseers, patiently watching over us as we persistently headed in all the wrong directions, then offering us some helpful clues. The Machine was a load of fun and I can’t wait to try out their new room, Perspective, which is opening soon.
Having completed escape rooms before, I admit I was possibly a bit complacent in my initial approach to Experimental Escape. To my mind, the general idea was to find a couple of keys and solve a puzzle or two. I was fairly surprised then, around ten minutes in, to discover I in fact had no idea what was going on. They’ve hit the nail on the head here in terms of the difficulty. Without giving anything away, you’ve got a lot of types of puzzles to complete, and a well thought out storyline that ties it all together neatly.
Maybe it was the lab coat, but everything seemed that bit more convincing.
Whilst I’ve enjoyed other escape rooms, I found myself pretty immersed in this one. Maybe it was the lab coat, but everything seemed that bit more convincing. The whole thing really came alive through the enthusiasm of the team as well, and the moment we stepped inside it was evident that a lot of time, energy and money had gone into realising the game. It’s a local start up, and a risk of sorts. There’s nothing quite like it in Leamington, and it’s refreshingly new. Don’t assume however that this comes at the expense of the set; it’s meticulously planned and brilliantly executed, making an especially good use of technology. I get the impression that the team here are personally invested in this project as well as financially involved. They’ve got plans for more as well, and gesture around the space towards the works in progress. I hope they’ll let me know when the new rooms are ready; I’ll certainly be back.
As a person who has experienced a reasonable amount of what Coventry has to offer in the way of escape rooms and a fan of the new trend, I was pleased to hear that Experimental Escape was offering a more local experience in Leamington. Upon arrival I was surprised by all the little details that they had included, even though they are still expanding their business and continuing to add more rooms my initial experience of the room was perhaps the best of all that I have encountered.
I look to forward to seeing what more Experimental Escape has to offer as they continue to grow
The escape room we trialled out was fully kitted out with cool props and intriguing gameplay that I’ve not experienced in other escape rooms. The creators have already managed to create a wonderful experience despite only being up and running for a couple of months. I look to forward to seeing what more Experimental Escape has to offer as they continue to grow.
Occupying an unassuming spot just opposite Waterstones, Experimental Escape is possibly Leamington’s coolest hidden gem. Being an escape room novice, I had arrived with certain apprehensions over how comprehensible the puzzles would be – but I needn’t have worried. Prior to entering the room, we were given a comprehensive briefing on how to navigate the room, the sorts of places clues could be hidden, and how to operate the locks we would inevitably come across. What’s more, once inside the room a bell is provided which can be rung a maximum of three times in order to prompt a hint. Even though we were far from the most competent crew, there was never a chance we’d end up stuck in a dead-end.
I thought there was a lovely balance between significant clues and red-herrings
The gameplay itself was deeply engaging. That the conceit behind the room was a professor’s mysterious disappearance and the curious silence of the AI he created was an inspired touch – it not only anchored the tasks with a specific goal, but also gave the perfect pretext for a computer screen through which the hints could be unobtrusively delivered. I also thought there was a lovely balance between significant clues and red-herrings – it’s truly a testament to just how well-made the room is that I didn’t feel at all irritated to discover I’d spent 10 minutes barking up the wrong tree.