Zombie Outbreak is a horror-themed escape room where you have an hour to get out of a room that you are trapped in, with a zombie. The zombie is on a chain that extends every 5 mins meaning that the longer you’re in the room for, the more difficult the game becomes as the zombie can cover more and more of the room.
The zombie performer in this game gave it 110%. Having been to the London game where the zombie occasionally broke character and spoke, this zombie was the real deal with facial prosthetics and an attitude. He even did something that I totally didn’t expect which very nearly meant the end of me.
The two issues we had with this game were the same as in the London game. Firstly, the room and overall theming just feels odd. We’re not sure where these games are supposed to be taking place. The presence of a scientist suggests a lab but the room is set out like someone’s front room and the puzzles sometimes clash – especially the map of the outbreak timeline being on one of the walls, it’s not exactly home décor.
And the other issue is group size. This game admitted 12 people and, on our visit, it was sold to capacity. As soon as the zombie appeared everyone huddled in the furthest corner from him. Something we soon realised wouldn’t be a good tactic as the chain would only get longer and make the situation more hopeless. It took a lot of convincing to get anyone to go anywhere near it and made our job harder as we risked ourselves to try and get around to the other puzzles in the room. The fact that we were venturing out of the corner always put us in the zombie’s reach and with the huddle being about three people deep, even returning back to the safe corner put us within biting distance. Fundamentally, this may not have been an issue if we knew everyone in the room but with 10 other strangers and only an hour to get out, this grouping worked against us.
We think it has the makings of a good game but with such large mixed groups, there are definitely too many people playing if you aren’t a single group and, even then, the maximum capacity of 12 would still probably work against in such a small, confined space.
Zombie Outbreak (2016) Room Escape Southend
Ticket Price: £10 - £15pp (depending on date)
Address: 12 West Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS2 6HJ