Roll Out the Barrel, Escape Plan

Played: February 2020

How we did: 3 person team – 58:58 – escaped with full barrel

In a nutshell:   Stealing a barrel of beer in WWII party room – it’s a corker

4.6 / 5

Host – 5

Puzzleology – 5

Fun Factor – 5

Immersion – 4

Room Quality – 4

Stash – Team photo, emailed afterwards + score card

This is a really fun, World War II themed room. It offers a broad mix of puzzles to work the muscles and the brain. So taxing are some of the puzzles it’s advisable to attempt this one stone cold sober – as Poirot would say – with all the little grey cells intact. Ironic for a room themed around stealing beer!

True to form, the team at Escape Plan have created a well thought out room. Like a lot of top escape rooms in London, they care about the little details and touches, and they clearly take pride in what they do. 

Where they stand out is the uniqueness of some of the puzzles and props. Lots of really hands-on puzzles involving wood, metal, glass and parts of planes – and the odd bicycle. As wacky as a party at the end World War Two should be. 

Now it’s in a unique location underneath a very snazzy Indian restaurant in Shoreditch.  They do well to get straight to the puzzling before you even get in the door. Regular readers of the blog will know how much I value a sense of progression, moving through the puzzles – as well as fun, personable and responsive hosting. 

In both senses, they really nail it here. Like all good rooms, communication and teamwork will be some of the many keys to success. After that, everything drops into place. 

While their Battle for Britain room remains my favourite room in London, I am happy to recommend this one hugely. For me it’s just lacking the charming setting and the spectacle of grandstand puzzle we enjoyed before.

I’m mightily relieved that we managed to escape this one without the incisive military knowledge, experience and heroism of my father.

Full Disclosure; we were not charged for this room

The Battle for Britain, Escape Plan

Played: January 2020

How we did: 3 person team – 62/71 aircraft shot down,  59:28

In a nutshell: Hugely satisfying, uniquely British WWII room. My favourite in London so far. 

5 / 5

Host – 5

Puzzleology – 5

Fun Factor – 5

Immersion – 5

Room Quality – 5

Stash – Team photo, with uniform, emailed after. Also individual cards with times and contact details

Regular readers of this blog will know that my dad doesn’t really like escape rooms. I’d heard really good things about this room from Escape Plan. Golly gosh were those expectations met. This is a really, really excellent escape room – which even my dad enjoyed. Here’s why.

First up. Sara was a top-tier host. She brought professionalism and enthusiasm to the room and the story, keeping to character and knowing when to nudge us the right way with a clue. 

The room is set up in such a way that you’re – at first – a little muddled as to how you’re going to complete the mission. I admire the way the Escape Plan designer purposely allowed this, and it gives a really satisfying ‘click’ at some point during the game. After that, we found full flow. 

And satisfying is the one word to describe this room. It’s a really fun room, built around an excellent grandstand ‘point scoring’ final puzzle. But what is so commendable here is that each of the little puzzles is just in that sweet spot.

On reflection it seemed that there were nicely different types of puzzles to fit the different ways our teams brains worked. (I got dad cracking on a morse code clue which kept him busy)

The use of background music or audio can sometimes miss the mark in rooms. Here it is utilised really well, building and swirling to create an adrenaline rush as you launch your defence of the country. What a way to end a room!

You leave feeling satisfied; you’re brain has had a good workout – and when Sara was explaining the couple of clues we couldn’t crack, we weren’t groaning, as can be the case in other rooms. We were applauding the creator and kicking ourselves. Only one puzzle stuck out as hitting the bum note.

Full disclosure: we weren’t charged for the tickets