Madog’s Asylum, Paniq Rooms

Paniq Rooms

Played: July 2020

How we did: 2 person team – 56:24

In a nutshell:  Immersive horror-themed room set in a disused old Welsh hospital…

4.6 / 5

Host – 5

Puzzleology – 4

Fun Factor – 4

Immersion – 5

Room Quality – 5

Stash – Team photo, found on Facebook page 

Even before you arrive, when you’re told to meet your host outside an old, abandoned hospital, you know you are in for a fun and scary time. Nestled just outside the town of Porthmadog in Snowdonia, North Wales, there is a lot to love about this room. 

Before we get into it, a word to say how well the host explained the safety measures taken around Covid. We were both a little nervous about our first post-Covid room, but the host was thorough, reassuring and professional, taking a high standard of care around this. 

Set in a mental asylum, the room is horror themed. There’s a fun mix of non-linear puzzles and riddles here. Some puzzles will shock, some will tie you up in knots, some you’ll have to use your brain. As we were just a pair, we attacked the room in a linear fashion. 

Like all of the best rooms, there is a sense of fun and satisfaction throughout. Using your hands. Feeling things, picking things up, getting your hands dirty. What I especially love about this room is its commitment to the local history. Some of the puzzles nod to the building itself, and the history of the community. 

Clues and hints are available when needed, and our host was always there, always present if we needed her assistance. 

Clearly, a lot of love, care and thought has gone into this project. It really pays off, results in an authentic, unique and fun escape room. Much needed in the Snowdonia region. 

Full Disclosure, we weren’t charged for this room

Dark Magik, Access Escape

Dark Magik

Access Escape

Played: January 2020

How we did: 2 person team – 6/6 dragon eggs,  58:30

In a nutshell: The Uk’s only completely dark escape room

4.2 / 5

Host – 4

Puzzleology – 4

Fun Factor – 5

Immersion – 3

Room Quality – 4

Stash – Team photo emailed after

There’s a lot to love at this pop-up escape room.

First up, it is totally unique. Goodbye eyesight. Hello other senses! And lots of fumbling.

Second, I hugely admire Hannah’s project. In London at the moment it is easy to come across larger, international escape rooms where successful rooms are transplanted from other countries. 

It’s the opposite here. One woman, who has done everything herself. Setting up her puzzles in her living room to test on friends! A proper passion project, and so cool to see. 

She was a supportive host, watching us and attentive to our needs for clues. 

While I’ll keep this spoiler free, the set-up is that you need to retrieve six magic dragon eggs by solving the puzzles. Naturally enough, some puzzles worked better than others. 

There’s a hand-made feel to the puzzles, and despite the efforts of the audio and the props it was never lost on us that we were in the dark in a room above a pub in Canning Town. 

I recommend visiting this room while it’s still available. The fun factor of playing in the dark carries and uplifts the puzzles. And it is a total, mind-blowing moment when you take a peek in after the game is over. 

Also, with our ticket price around the £22 per person mark for a team of two – this represents one of London’s best value escape rooms.