We’re in a basement in London with ties to Area 51 and have to discover whether the conspiracy theories are true or not and get out to tell the tale!
The first five minutes began in quite a claustrophobic manner; with very low lighting and hints of things going on just beyond our current room, it felt very creepy and atmospheric. Our first mission was to get out of this space into the bigger area and this was a fun start to the hour with the puzzles being logical and our progression rewarded with the entrance into the main room.
Two things killed this game for us. The first was the theming. The room was so sparse and poorly decorated that, given where we were supposed to be, it felt anti-climactic after that first area. There was a mural on one side of the room that didn’t really make much sense to us and just felt like it was put there to break up the monotony of the room. The problem really was that we had no real sense of where we were. Were we in the catacombs of a top secret government building? A laboratory? Or were we walking around in a UFO? There were elements that could point to any three of these locations.
Our second issue was the puzzles. On one hand, they didn’t seem logical or fit with the theme of the room at all. There was one puzzle that felt so out of place that we wondered why the designers hadn’t thought of a better way of making it fit the theme rather than dumping an item in the room that had no association whatsoever with aliens or Area 51 lore. The other problem that we had with the puzzles was that some of them seemed stupidly abstract. Now, we should caveat this by saying that this was the first room of over ten played that we didn’t manage to escape from. So we’re fairly confident that we can acquit ourselves well but when we’re receiving 4/5 hints for something and we’re still not getting the answer correct, even after following one of the clues to the letter, there’s something wrong. There were two puzzles that we managed to solve but have absolutely no idea how!
Area 51 (2016) Escape London
The guys here seemed enthusiastic and clearly enjoyed what they were doing but it was a frustrating room that had lots of promise but didn’t capitalise on it at all, chucking in puzzles that felt so out of context and more like they had been ripped out of a magazine that you find in the local newsagent. If you can live with the mismatch of theme and puzzle you might want to give it a go but be warned, this probably isn’t a room for beginners.
Ticket Price: £16 – £24pp (depending on group size)
Address: 117 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8NL