*Disclosure : We were invited to Escape Reality free of charge in exchange for an honest review*
I've heard a few people talking about Escape Reality in Cardiff but have never visited myself, so when they invited me and five friends along for a review I jumped at the chance. I wasn't really sure what to expect, all I knew was that you get locked into a room and have to solve clues in order to escape! Sounds exciting right?
Everything was against us arriving in time for our pre-booked slot and we ended up arriving about twenty minutes late. We went for food beforehand and the waiters were in no rush at all, when we eventually finished our food and whizzed across Cardiff we ended up at a rival company who informed us that we weren't booked in and were probably in the wrong place. All six of us took to Google and we managed to find the correct place, and realised that we had walked straight past it to get to the wrong place!
We were originally booked in to try the Jungala room, the easiest of the four rooms and apparently not too dis-similar to the popular film Jumangi. You have up to an hour in the room and as a result Escape Reality take bookings once an hour, and unfortunately someone was booked in to the Jungala room after us. The staff were very helpful and gave us the option of still going into the Jungala room but we would only get forty minutes instead of the full hour, or we could go into the Alcatraz room which had no other bookings and get the full hour. We decided to take the challenge and enter Alcatraz, the most difficult of all the rooms and not recommended for your first Escape experience.
I'm not going to go into a great amount of detail about the room as I don't want to give too much away as I don't want to spoil it, or make it easy for people! All I'm going to say about the room is that it is very well done out and there are a series of different clues, most of which get you thinking in a different way. Out of the six of us we all excelled at one particular clue each, while finding others incredibly difficult, but there was always one of us who knew the answer, and if we didn't the helpful staff were on hand.
The staff are very helpful and are always happy to aid you into finding the answer. They keep an eye on the cameras in the room and if you look a bit stuck they will regularly pop in to offer advice, if you don't want them to help you can tell them beforehand. You are also given iPads at the start which you can use to generate clues, although you are given a time penalty if you resort to using a clue - which is why we stuck to looking clueless and being helped out by the staff as you don't get penalised for that!
We failed to complete Alcatraz in our one hour time slot, but as there were no other bookings and we were so close to cracking it the staff gave us the option to stay until we completed it, so of course we said yes. I can't remember exactly how long it took us to complete, I think it was about one and a half hours.
We had a fantastic time, it was so nice to do something that little bit different with our friends and work together, it would be great for a team bonding exercise! I highly recommend a visit, although I would suggest doing the easiest room first rather than heading straight in at Alcatraz!
Things to bear in mind if visiting Escape Reality :
- Arrive early (or at least not late!) there is a bar on site so you could meet for a drink before you start
- It isn't the easiest to find as it is just a doorway in between shops - you may want to research the location beforehand
- When you first enter Alcatraz you are split into two separate groups, as a result if there are only two of you attending you may want to book a different room
For more information or to make a booking visit Escape Reality Cardiff.