On the 29th January we decided last minute to book an escape room whilst in Derby and the company we chose was Make Your Escape. Make Your Escape host 4 rooms, The Signal, Utopia, Dystopia and the room of which we had booked with a daunting 5/5 difficulty level Spellbound.
Spellbound is Make Your Escapes witchy room and the story was simple. We entered the Witches of Bakewell's cabin only to find ourselves truly locked within and now we had to find means to escape, even if that meant delving into the roots and footsteps of the witches magic to do so. We entered in a group of 4 which only made our challenge that much harder and this was proven when being told on exit that a group of 4 only has a 20/30% success rate.
Potential spoilers ahead - Read at your own risk
Now let's start with the positives, Spellbound is a beautiful room. The bottles and books, an ornate fireplace and even a giant pentacle adorned on the wall, all adding to the story, narrative and aesthetic of Spellbound. You can tell that the creators of the room did their homework in creating something as authentic as possible and you really do feel like you're in some woodland cabin. The only thing we would have added is some strong smell pods along the way but that’s the scare actors in us. At the start of the game you will be split up into 2 groups for a reason you will find out if you choose to play.
Spellbound is one devious bugger of a game with a lot, and I mean a lot, to get done in the space of 1 hour and some of the puzzles will definitely require you to think outside of the box to complete whilst others will leave you facepalming over the fact you didn't figure them out sooner. I think to date this was the hardest room our team has ever done and we were shocked we didn't do better, but such is life and you can't beat them all. Now down to our major recurring issue with the room. Again this is not us being harsh, but the room heavily relied on padlocks, as much as maybe 90% of the unlockables being padlocked with the exception of the infamous directional lock, and when in other rooms we have seen more inventive release mechanisms it left us feeling like it was a little lazy. Although if the padlocks were all keys we could have seen that being more to the theme of the room. Our next issue with the room and again this could simply be down to our group size and a larger groups view may differ is that there is so much to do that, for us at least, half an hour in it felt like the room was starting to lose the fun and become more of a chore with the room being difficult for the sake of being difficult and the odds massively stacked against us, especially with the amount of codes thrown at you in one space giving you a feeling of being overwhelmed. That all aside it could simply have been due to our group size as the room offers up to 10 guests as a maximum team.
All that being said we can see the effort that Make Your Escape put into Spellbounds theme and story and if this is the standard of their work then we can’t wait to go back and try our skill and luck again at another one of their rooms. Thank you for our fantastic host and the entire team of Make Your Escape, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Until that time PSG Signing out