One our favourite ways to spend our Friday evenings these days is by heading to the pub and then taking on one of London’s numerous escape games. This week we headed to Shepherd’s Bush to pit our collective wits against Escape London’s Da Vinci Room. And while it might not pack the cheap thrills of some of the other escapes in the capital, it makes up for it with one of the cleverest games we’ve played yet!
If you’re not aware of what an escape game is – it’s a physical adventure game in which you and a group of friends are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve puzzles, codes and locks, and escape within a set time limit – usually 1 hour. This is very much the case with The Da Vinci Room with teams taking on the role of thieves who are trying to recover the Holy Grail for the greater good.
First thing we should say about The Da Vinci Room is this is tough. While we’re by no means experts, we’re almost in double figures for escape attempts and we think this would be in the top two in terms of difficulty. Primarily focusing on code-breaking, symbolism and association problems, Escape London is less about turning over the room for physical clues and far more about using visual and numerical codes. As such, thinking unilaterally is a must.
That also brings us to probably our biggest criticism of The Da Vinci Room, the production value is very limited. In fairness, the room and Dan Brown-esque theme doesn’t require sliding doors and multimedia but it would have been nice to get a surprise or two. Having said that, what little props were in the room were apt and had a point to them.
On arrival, our hosts were extremely enthusiastic and we liked that we had to ask for clues (by mimicking a stork (seriously)) as opposed to having them given to you just as you’re getting to grips with the task at hand. Overall we enjoyed our experience at Escape London: The Da Vinci Room and would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a thinking man’s escape game in the capital.
Located at 117 Uxbridge Road, W12 8NL, Escape London has two other games available as well; Area 51, which is naturally based on an alien incident; and Escape Casino. Prices start at £17 per player depending on team size and when you go. Head over to the Escape London Website for more details.