Carole’s Birthday Escape-ades

I don’t want it to sound like I’m cheating on work, but my heart belongs to another at the moment.

The Escaporium in Halifax is just amazing. It really is. Both of the sites are, in fact. Because, yes, we ended up doing both rooms back-to-back and enjoying every single moment of both of them. Even if they were tense as fudge as we started to run out of time in both of them!

The first room we did, stealing a map of Al Capone’s operations, was so tense. It was looking, quite honestly, like we’d fail it because there was just SO much to do and we were amazingly bad when we first started.

And by we I mean me.

I missed a code on something entirely. Even though I’d spent about five minutes in its company. Then I forgot how padlocks worked. Because I only spin them round numerous times a day. And there we other things I was terrible at. Like, you know, looking. All of which are essential skills in the escape room biz. But we managed it. Carole was on top form and giddy as a kipper because the setting was just amazing… the décor and everything was top notch. It was beautiful. Just… yeah. Beautiful.

When we’d done that room – by the skin of our teeth – we pretty much immediately asked if we could do the other one if it was free. That’s how you know you’ve had a good time. And that you’ve paid for 12 hours parking so you have plenty of time to mooch about.

The second room encompasses the history of Halifax. A collection of artifacts relating to various things from in and around Halifax and its history – from carpets to banking to Ed Sheeran, stopping off at the zoo, poorly thought out chimneys and wrestlers of days gone by on the way.

It’s not as amazing from a décor point of view, but that’s more down to the fact that it’s in the Piece Hall – a listed building with only so much you can do to it. But having said that, you soon lose yourself in the scenario of the room and are off doing crazy things like deciphering sweets and marvelling at Halifax Town ever winning a trophy. You know, things like that. I was expecting a Halifax themed room to mainly be based around pensioners and complaining, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Again, we took it to the wire. There were a few obvious puzzles that we missed the solution to for a while. The sort of thing where afterwards you’re kicking yourself for not realising it at the time.

There were moments in both rooms when it was hard not to just stop and admire the ingenuity that had gone into it. Both rooms used a lot more tech that I get to play with at work, and they used it to great effect. It wasn’t just in there as a gimmick because you can do it, if that makes sense. It was there to give you satisfying pay-offs to puzzle solving and leave you wondering what else would happen as you played further into the game.

It was brilliant.

I want to do another one.

As soon as possible.

I’ve heard – from numerous sources – that Disley is excellent…

Road trip!