Another pop-up promo escape room, this time for the launch of a new TV show, ‘Dracula, Escape the Castle’, on INSIGHT.
The game began with an actor led pre-show before we were led by ‘Cloth’, a mute minion, who guided us through the whole event. The game was split into four mini rooms lasting seven minutes each. The premise was less about winning or losing the challenges but collecting points in the form of mini skulls. The quicker the task was completed, the more skulls you were awarded. Regardless of whether you won or lost each mission, you proceeded to the next area with your total score being tallied and written on a leader board at the end.
Each of the four games varied in style from a puzzle based task to a pure searching game. Each of them felt very achievable despite the fact that we only actually won one of them. Yeah, this was another game where it’s safe to say that we failed and in a pretty epic fashion too, managing a final score of minus one when one of our teammates left behind the only skull that we’d managed to win! This didn’t diminish the fun of the event at all though!
The thing that hit us straight away was the venue. The House of Detention is a supposedly haunted venue that used to be an old prison. As you can see from our pictures, it really looked the part and required minimal set dressing to suggest that you were in the bowels of Dracula’s castle.
As mentioned, the games themselves all felt very achievable. We didn’t encounter anything that we felt required a leap of logic unlike some escape rooms that we’ve been in. Unfortunately we just weren’t quick enough on the ball in most cases! The first game was notable in the way that it interacted with the environment – we had to reposition metal balls in the same configuration that a pile of skulls were in at the other end of the room. Getting from one end to the other required going down a long corridor and ducking under very low beams – that particular game was perfectly tailored for the space that they had.
We’re less keen on the ‘mini room’ format as we’re used to taking our time in rooms, searching everywhere and anywhere before getting stuck into the puzzles. The pressure was on from the very first second and our style of play isn’t really suited to it! But that’s a problem with us more than the game, we just took a bit too long to adapt to it. And we suspect that it’s also the way that the TV show is structured plus it’s a way of dealing with capacity, you can get a new group of people in the attraction every 10 minutes. So whilst we weren’t fans ourselves, we can totally see how it was the best way to present the experience.
This was great for a promotional event. Whilst we enjoyed the 10 Cloverfield Lane promo game, this was on another level. The location, the inclusion of live actors throughout and fun, fair games made this equal to and, in some cases, better than games that we’ve paid £30 for! If we had paid for this, we would have felt like we had gotten our money’s worth. We would recommend this but, sadly, it was only open for the one weekend.
Rating: **** (Out of 5) – Recommend
Ticket Price: Free
Address: House of Detention, Clerkenwell House, 12 Sans Walk, London