Reviewed by Claire Giles
‘Are you ready for the challenge of helping your teammates escape?
You have just 60 minutes to do it, so you need to get cracking as the clock is ticking! Each of elements you need in order to crack the codes can be found in your very own escape room, but can you decipher the clues fast enough to escape.
Teamwork, creativity, logic and attention to detail will be needed to race against the clock, crack the clues, unlock the door, and make your escape in time’
States the blurb on the box and it does not fail to deliver.
As an escape room novice I was excited to receive this. I have always wanted to do an escape room with the family but its something we never get around to doing. With the current restrictions in place the idea of an escape room at home really appealed to me and seemed like something different to do with the family whilst in lockdown. I wasn’t sure if the escape room concept would work at home but was pleasantly surprised by how well it did work.
When the box arrived the first thing I noticed was how heavy the box was and was intrigued by what could possibly be inside to make make it that heavy. The Escape Room Starter Pack contains three packs in one box each with a different difficulty level. The packs are:
Hijack (Hard) – You’ve been locked in the hijacker’s house. Figure out his plan to save the plane and to escape the room.
Piracy (Intermediate) – Your captain has locked you in his quarters and is diverting the ship to a warlord. Escape the room to save the ship and yourselves.
Crime (Easy) – Your friend has asked you to house sit while he is away in Italy for the weekend, Turns out he’s an organised crime boss and you’re trapped in his safe room – escape the room and get to the police!
Each pack can be played with 3-6 players. It is possible to play with less (even solo) but ideally need 3 players minimum to get the best experience. One person will be the host. The host sets up the escape room and therefore does not participate in escaping the room as they know the answers. Each clearly labelled pack has its own set of components inside that you will need to set up that escape room scenario.
In the box there are also shared components you use for all the escape room set ups. These include wooden lock boxes, dictionary book safe, UV light, pad locks, door lock, note pad, pencils, pencil sharpener. Literally everything you need has been provided. All the components are solid quality products hence the weight of the box when it arrived.
The instructions advise you to set up the escape room 24 hours in advance in case you have any questions or problems. This gives you time to message them for advice. Each pack has its own instruction manual which the host uses to set up the escape room that is very thorough. It contains a contents checklist, checklist / instructions on room set up and solutions for the puzzles. The instructions are very clear and contain diagrams / pictures which are really useful. There are separate instruction cards for the door lock and dictionary safe which make using these components really easy. It advises leaving an hour to set up the rooms but it took me about 40 minutes the first time (the instructions were really that good). It would probably be quicker to set up next time now I know how to reset the codes on the padlocks / safe.
Once the room is set up there is a challenge card for each pack that the host leaves in the room that sets up the scenario and explains the rules. The scenario’s are all intriguing and like movie plots.
As newbies to escape rooms and cause our kids aged 9 and 16 wanted to play we chose the easy Crime escape room to start with. The kids were really excited after hearing the scenario and couldn’t wait to start. Though some of the puzzles were too hard for my youngest she loved dashing around the room searching for clues and trying to open the boxes. The games are based on adult difficulty levels so I was impressed by how much she could do. You need to find all the clues around the room in order to solve all the puzzles and escape. You are given 60 minutes to escape but this can be extended if needed. There are a set of hint cards for each room that can be used if you get stuck and need a clue on how to solve a puzzle. I admit we used these a couple of times when we just needed that extra help. It was definitely a test of our mental abilities and we had to pull together as a team to solve the puzzles. What seemed obvious to one player totally baffled another player. You need to pay very close attention to detail and use all your skills to decipher the clues. Both adults and kids really enjoyed the escape room and are already asking when we can do the next one. It was nice to see the kids so happy and engaged in something different than the norm. I acted as host this time but looking forward to properly taking part next time as a player. I was desperate to join in on the fun solving the puzzles and searching for clues.
The starter pack retails at £99 which seems quite expensive but you actually get three escape rooms in the box so works out at £33 a pack which isn’t that expensive for 3-6 players. Plus you can reuse the game packs again with different groups of people. Expansion packs will be available soon to purchase separately to add to the starter pack.
A lot of thought and effort has been put into each escape room to make it the best experience possible. There is so much attention to detail in each of the packs that setting them up was quick and easy. They have honestly thought of everything. There is even a countdown timer on their website that you can use on a phone, tablet or laptop and leave on view in the room.
We honestly cannot wait to try another of the escape rooms. This is good fun for adults and children, though probably too hard for younger children to play alone, and would make good home entertainment for special occasions such as birthdays or even team building.
This product can be purchased from Epic Escapes website here.