“I promise it will be quite the adventure”
As a kid, there were few things I wanted as much as to go on The Krypton Factor (that assault course aside), it seemed the height of sophistication and Gordon Burns was a bundle of avuncular joy. Along with the pesky kids of Knightmare and the more grown-up charms of The Crystal Maze, the early 90s were awash with these challenge-based game shows, so it is little surprise that a range of escape-the-room immersive theatre experiences are available across London.
The first (and it won’t be the last) of these that I have been to – Time Run – is located in an unassuming building just off of London Fields and is designed for groups of 3-5 players, so you can pick your own team. The set-up involves time-travelling scientist Luna Fox who is in dire need of help to save the very fabric of time itself (or something) and requires our assistance in locating a precious artefact. Over the space of an hour, your team will have to…well, I can’t give it away…exercise a whole lot of problem-solving skills, shall we say.
It is huge amounts of adventurous fun – so much fun you might not even want to escape the room – with some seriously impressive production values and the three of us all really got into the swing of things, once we’d finally clocked the kind of thought processes needed to crack the various puzzles in front of us. They’re far from easy as well so the experience becomes an all-consuming one as you’re trying desperately to beat the clock. Safe to say, we could have done with a little more time, well a fair bit more, as our lack of focus at the beginning meant we ended up very much against it.
The only real criticism we had was that it was all over a little too abruptly. Dumped like Sarah-Jane Smith out of the TARDIS, there’s no opportunity to compare scorecards or share your experiences – You Me Bum Bum Train’s bar at the end was brilliant in this respect – and find out if that particular thing took as damned long to work out for anyone else. With some help from Luna’s inspired robot colleague Babbage, we just about got there but if you’ve got a spare spot on your team, give me a call, I’d love to do it again!