Welcome to the DARKE side of the Room. D, A, R, K and E are a group of escape room enthusiasts based in Essex and East London (yes, we could have called ourselves Drake, but we wouldn’t have this awesome blog name if we’d done that). Here we will be reviewing our escape room experiences and scoring the rooms and the companies that host them in a variety of categories. The rooms we review will more often than not be in London, Essex or Kent, however we do also play them whenever we go on holiday so you will find some a little further afield. They are just our opinions of course, but we hope you find it helpful if you’re thinking of playing.
Escape rooms, in case you aren’t aware, are games in which players are “locked” in a room and need to solve a series of puzzles to complete the objectives at hand and ultimately find the key to their freedom, usually within 60 minutes, before the room is demolished/the bomb explodes/the assassin comes back… you get the idea. The rooms themselves will have a fictional theme and a story to set the mood and tell you why you’ve ended up in the room in the first place. Their popularity has surged since the 2010s. They’re great activities for families, friends, corporate team building events and the like.
Who are we?
D – Not the best at observation, D prefers to get his brain in gear and work on the more complex puzzles in a room which sometimes leads to overthinking what is actually a really simple puzzle. Still, it’s good practice for when we open our own some day. Also obsessed with board games and football games, in his spare time you will find D either playing or watching some sort of a game.
A – Loves a more traditional escape room as she loves a proper puzzle, but is strongest at noticing patterns, be they numbers, colours, words, shapes, whatever. Can see magic eyes, unlike D, but hasn’t yet found an escape room with one of those. Still banking that as a skill mind you. A is happy to try her hand at most puzzles but will always defer to D if it involves a clock and E if it’s a physical puzzle, just because she knows they love them. Aww. Weaknesses include being in an escape room where there’s even a chance there may be an actor inside – A becomes almost frozen in fear of accidentally punching actors who scare her and becomes pretty useless in actual fact.
A is the only non football fan unfortunately, she’d rather be petting your dog. They’re good dogs Brent!
R – Introduced the team to escape games back in July 2014 (thanks Groupon!) and has been obsessed ever since. R is the project manager (bossiest person) of the group. She works out of the tasks that need completing and then orders everyone else to work out how to do it. R has rare moments of genius where she actually works it out for herself :). Weaknesses include – inability to open doors, which isn’t great in escape games, but hey, there are 4 other team members who are perfectly capable! R is an avid spurs fan who also loves craft beer and thrill seeking activities.
K – Has an unhealthy obsession with all things board game and escape room (and mini golf while we’re there). If only a living could be made from such things! K loves to search and feel all round a room determined to find a sneaky hidden button or door – still manages to miss things though as is easily distracted by a red herring or mind boggling puzzle. Always ensures she passes things onto others when she finds them to allay the fear of forgetting to share. Definitely not a fan of rooms that rely on technology too much – something always seems to go awry! Tireless Gooner and lover of horses, cats, travel and beer.
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E – Never has a clue where or when the escape games are or what the escape game is. He just gets locked in and sets about escaping. Thrives on any physical activity required in a room, if you need to throw a beanbag through a hoop, navigate a dodgy remote control car or lasso the tiniest hook, E is your man. Escape game owners look on in amazement as he completes these tasks first time almost every time. Not fond of the numbers parts of games and will happily leave them to the super-genius A for that! Always looking to sweep a room to make sure nothing gets missed.
Sarcastic with a dry sense of humour, E loves all sports and technology and always has a dad joke ready.