You know we love a good escape room here at PSG so when we were looking for one to do in and around the Manchester area before Scream Camp we came across Compendium in Bury. We hadn't heard anything about them and they had kind of gone under our radar and so after a quick Google and a look around the escape room review sites we settled on UI-55, their submarine heist themed room (Plus it was the only one available for when we were free which helped in our decision). A few days before we were due to visit someone posted in a Facebook group about this room saying that is was very full on and not like any room they had done before. This made us nervous. We were only a team of five, would we be able to do it. I guess we would find out.
The moment you enter though the front door you are thrown into an Aladdins cave and its amazing! Alex, the owner and our games master for the day was so welcoming and he showed so much passion for each and every room they had. The love they have really shows through. He gave us the usual health and safety speech that comes with visiting escape rooms and then he took us to our room to explain the finer details. Our mission was to solve the puzzles to get codes that would give us tokens. These tokens could then be used to win keys to lockers which would give us the money bags we needed to collect. This was so completely different to the escape rooms we have done previously where you have to escape. This one, whilst you had to escape, it wasn't the focus of the room. Once Alex left, the game was live.
Unlike most escape rooms, the puzzles weren't linear. You could all spread out, solve you own puzzle and then move on to the next one. Each puzzle was so different and some intertwined. Its a room that will keep everyone busy right up until you finish. If you aren't solving a puzzle you are trying to win a key or unlocking a locker. The most simplest way to describe it is its organised chaos, or, at least our team was. The themeing of the room is pretty great and with a constant countdown it all adds to the immersion of the room. I think our group put extra pressure on itself as we wanted to get all the bags of money. We wanted to solve every puzzle. We wanted to excel at the room. The more we played the more fun we were having too and the more we ended up working as a team. The difficulty of the puzzles in the room is mixed too. There are easy and hard puzzles and there are different styles of puzzles too from electronic to physical and everything in between.
We escaped the room but we missed four money bags, so we left with forty eight out of fifty two money bags. But we weren't disappointed by this result. We were extremely proud. The only thing in this room that I personally despised was the machine to the get the keys. That thing can go to hell as it really didn't like our group, though we found out at the end that we just have really poor aim. I mean, it works well in the room, but i'm going to have nightmares about it. This is the first escape room where we have come out exhausted but loved every single second we were in there and even though we are southerners we will definitley come back for the other rooms as they all sound amazing.
Compendium Escape Rooms currently have four rooms in UI-55, Wrong Turn, Bedlam and Laboratory.Prices vary depending on the size of the group. For more information and to book tickets you can visit the Compendium Escape Rooms website!