If you had asked me last week if I ever thought that I would need to experience an escape room in a cave i'd have laughed, that was until I visited Cave Escape in Nottingham. Cave Escape currently have two escape rooms in Carfax, their Dracula themed room and Monuments their World War 2 themed room, (With a third, Judgement, opening at a different location called Judges Escape Emporium nearby soon). We arrived slightly early but were let in and told just to chill on the sofa. I have seen some beautiful receptions before but Cave Escape really take the top spot on this. It was stunningly beautiful and so cosy and the staff are all so lovely and are so passionate about escape rooms as at a few times in our interactions we got distracted talking about other rooms. Anyway, we got given a locker by our lovely host Imogen and we descended down some stairs to our room Monuments.
WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS
We entered the rom and had some health and safety explained to us because, well, its a cave. We also had the story of the room explained to us.
"Inspired by true events. You have been called upon by the allied forces to become Monuments Men and venture deep into the salt mines of Aultaussee in Austria. Your task is to locate and retrieve the priceless artworks, precious gems and gold bullion that have been stolen by the Nazi’s. Can your team solve the puzzles, diffuse the bomb and crack the codes to save the artefacts before the mine is blown to smithereens?"
We watched a projection which explained our first task and our game begun. The first thing you notice is how well the theme suits being in a cave. Nothing actually feels out of place, especially in this environment. If anything It actually added to the experience. The puzzles started off a bit tricky, I won't lie and it took us a few attempts to crack a rotating lock safe, but we did and we really got into the flow of the puzzles. These are definitely some of the trickier puzzles we've seen in rooms but they weren't impossible and solving them really gave a sense of achievement. I personally got a thrill from having to defuse a bomb I won't lie. At one point in the games story one our or group had to go into a dark room alone with nothing but a small lantern for light and with team work via shouting through a door we solved the room and opened up an entire area we had no idea was there which housed all the art work. This wasn't the end of our game. We had a few more really clever puzzles in this room, one involving the Mona Lisa which I really enjoyed that needed solving. But did we save the artwork?
Of course we did. We escape in 52 minutes and 14 seconds, which for this room is quite good given its got a difficulty of 8 out of 10. This room completely surprised me in such a good way and it was just a really extraordinary room to get to experience and I don't think anything could have been better. It all just flowed and worked so well. I want to say thank you to Imogen for being such an amazing host and a big thank you to Cave Escape for creating two incredible rooms. You can find our review of Carfax here.
You can find more information about both their rooms, as well as to book tickets (Which we highly recommend) on the Cave Escape website.