We were invited by the Lumos Society to help prevent a sinister dimension merging with our own. We had 75 minutes to prevent the Shadows from breaking into our realm by disabling their Summoning Signs, their gateways. These codes were scattered across a real woodland area in Southwark, the only problem being that some of the Shadows had already broken through and were prowling the area.
This was a simple but brilliant game – before arriving, our group of six broke into two teams of three and each team was assigned a special webpage. This link tied into our team and whenever we discovered a code, we entered it into this page and collected points. The page also showed team rankings so that we could always see our position in the game, which was a neat touch.
After a little introduction, we soon found ourselves wandering around woodlands, armed with just our wits and a map as we tried to discover as many codes as possible. The webpage had a list of the Summoning Signs and their general location – it was then up to us to seek them out and enter them. There were point incentives for locating the Summoning Signs before anyone else. Some also opened up time-limited events that meant that you always felt pressure to keep moving and discovering these codes.
Not all of this sounds too bad on the face of it but there were two brilliant touches that elevated this game beyond a simple scavenger hunt. The first was that the game began at 7:30 pm. Being November, it was pitch black by then. This was made worse by the trees blotting out any ambient light! During our game, there were a few moments where we were faced with walking into totally dark, enclosed areas – the kind of thing that you just know is a bad idea!
The second being that we were being hunted by three Shadows; the Shogghast, the Harpy, and the Waldgeist. Each of these creatures had a very distinct look and behaviour and if they got too close to you, they were able to drain points from your team. This was done through an RFID amulet that we had to wear. It was made clear to us that it was possible to outwit these creatures but they usually caught us off guard, hidden by the darkness, which meant that strategy went out of the window in place of a frenzied dash. These guys were brilliant as they managed to creep up on you; there were only about three times where we caught a glimpse of them before they went in for the attack. It would be a lot less effective in the summer months we reckon.
This game’s biggest advantage is that it takes place in a real ‘set’. Absolutely nothing can beat walking through the actual woods being hunted by creatures from another dimension! We noted this when we visited 139 Copeland Road (review here: http://scareaddicts.com/139-copeland-road-review) – genuine locations add so much to an experience. We’d say this game went even further though because we were completely left to our own devices, the only thing that was imposed on us was that we had to return to the HQ 75 mins later. Beyond that, we were able to play the game any way we wanted!
The creature designs were also fantastic, a lot of work had gone into them and the performers brought them to life perfectly. Each moved in a distinct way and made such unnatural sounds that you were compelled to get as far away from them as possible.
The tiniest thing here but we thought that there were possibly a bit too many people playing. For example, there were codes to uncover in the HQ before the game properly began yet were queuing to get access to them. This was made especially frustrating by the fact that one group of people were clearly reading it wrong and spent about 10 minutes trying to solve something that they eventually gave up on. As soon as we grabbed it, we cracked it in about 30 seconds. It’s great that the game’s successful though and I guess this was less of an issue in the main game (although we did have people noticing that we’d found things and then claiming them too). If the game’s run again, we’d recommend that maybe these opening scene props be duplicated so that there’s no bottleneck.
Shadow Over Southwark (2016) Fire Hazard
We absolutely loved this game and hope that it returns – we noticed that it had a previous incarnation (Shadow Over Shoreditch) so are crossing everything for a new version to pop up sometime soon! We ended up booking ourselves onto other Fire Hazard games straight after playing this (although they’re not horror related so we won’t cover them here)! We’d highly recommend visiting the Fire Hazard site as they run a number of games that all sound similar in concept but with different themes, we guarantee a great time! And we'll be waiting patiently for them to announce their next horror-themed game – please let it be soon!
Ticket Price: £20-25 depending on date attending
Address: Near Canada Water Underground station.