Operated by Hide & Shriek, Alien Escape is an hour long escape room set in an abandoned space facility. As the game progresses, players discover that the station isn’t as abandoned as first thought.
First things first, the design of the alien was incredibly cool. It didn’t look as typical as we expected with a human skin tone and very humanoid features. Its look was reminiscent of the newborn from Alien Resurrection but smaller and agiler. We didn’t see it as much as we would have liked.
The alien’s first appearance was handled well too with a good bit of misdirection meaning that I actually had my back to it when it first decided to show itself. The team went with subtlety over jump scares and that was quite refreshing.
This is where we encountered the same issue we had faced in Zombie Escape but in the other direction, here everyone was trying to get involved and there simply wasn’t enough for eight people to do. What ensued was frustration when members of our group took control, wasting time doing things that they didn’t need to do and ignoring advice to that effect. Escape rooms are made or broken depending on who you are with and in this case, certain members unknowingly slowed us down through their insistence that they knew what they were doing.
The other thing that disappointed here was that the interaction with the alien was minimal. We never expected that it’d be with us the entire time or it’d undoubtedly ‘kill’ us but we expected more moments where the alien factored into the game a bit more meaningfully. Short of one appearance midway through the game, the alien doesn’t really have much impact on the proceedings until the end at which point all control was taken away from us anyway.
We really wanted to like this and think it’s a few tweaks away from being an amazing experience. It has all the right ingredients with a fantastic looking alien and a good concept of an escape room with horror maze elements but group sizes and a lack of the actual alien (or even any hint of it) let the team’s efforts down. And they clearly had gone to a lot of effort on this for which they are to be commended for.
Alien Escape (2016) Hide and Shriek
Ticket Price: £21
Address: 344-347 Chartwell Square, Victoria Plaza, Southend-on-sea, Essex, SS2 5SP