I think there comes a time in most people’s lives when just going out round town on a Saturday night no longer becomes enjoyable. When a meet up in the pub with the lads becomes a little lacklustre and a gossip with the girls just isn’t entertaining enough. I’m always on the look out for new things to do with friends besides the cinema, bowling and sitting in The Yorkshireman while the barmen take photos of the clientele’s cleavage (long story); so when a friend suggested hitting The Great Escape in Sheffield for a birthday alternative I was up for it.
Up until this point I’d never heard of The Great Escape, our friend decided to book a room for his wife’s birthday and we were one of the lucky couples joining them – I honestly think they only picked us for the husband’s brain.
The Great Escape is located in the Avec building on Sidney Street (3-7, S1 4RG) and isn’t all that obvious that it’s there. It is a live action puzzle game where participants have to think on their feet in order to escape their chosen room within the allotted time period. There are 4 rooms to chose from; Homicide, Mad Scientist, Alcatraz and Placebo. Each with a unique plot and different puzzles to solve in order to get out before something terrible happens but don’t worry, I’m not going to spoil it for you (or give you the answers, if that’s what you were hoping for).
For my friend’s birthday, the six of us hit the homicide room – which we later learnt was one of the harder rooms, especially for first timers. We were led into the room where out valuables were stored (left at your own risk) and were asked to sign liability forms – so we couldn’t sue if we ended up breaking our leg tripping over a severed leg or what not. We were then each assigned a role within the game, this we got to chose based on who we thought best for the role. I was timekeeper which meant rather than the 45 minutes that you are given to escape, we got 50 minutes. After that we had to each cover our eyes with a blindfold, place our arms on the shoulders of the person in front of us and we were guided to the room. If you want to know what happened from then on then you will just have to book a room to see….unfortunately, we just missed out on escaping that room BUT we were so close.
A few weeks ago I went back with a couple of girlie friends, one who also did the homicide room with me, to attempt the Mad Scientist room. After breaking a bell, standing on a test tube and throwing pipettes all over the floor we are proud to say we escaped this room with moments to spare.
As I said, you are given 45 minutes to basically rip the room to shreds looking for clues, codes and puzzle pieces that will get you out of that room in the fasted time possible. If you are successful then you leave with a certificate, a wristband to declare to all your friends that you escaped and a huge, proud grin on your face.
Each room can be played by a minimum of 2 people with the maximum depending on the individual room (most being 7). Prices are charged per room so the more friends you take not only means more brainpower to help you escape but it also makes it cheaper. It really is a great alternative to try with your friends or if you’re looking for something in Sheffield to do for a hen night, stag night, birthday, team building event then The Great Escape is amazing for that too.
I’ve had a lot of fun with the two I’ve done so far, the team really add that extra excitement to the whole thing and I’m very much looking forward to giving the Placebo room and Alcatraz room a go next.