I love puzzles. I started solving 500-piece puzzles in an hour when I was 5. Then in 2015, I discovered escape rooms in Riga, Latvia with some friends. I’ve been in love with them ever since. When I found Puzzlair in Bristol, I knew I had to go.
What is an Escape Room?
If you’ve never been to an escape room before, I have to say you’re missing out on loads of fun. Escape rooms are basically a room or series of rooms in which you have to solve puzzles and clues in order to “escape.” Most rooms have time limits of an hour and allow teams of 2-5 people. The teams who design the escape rooms are free to use any tricks, traps or tools to create the game. I won’t give anything away, beyond saying things like magnets, clocks, water puzzles and some good circuitry are normally used.
Escape rooms first started in Japan a few years ago, and have since spread like a wildfire around the world. When I was in Riga, there were over 30 different locations to choose from! The rooms are great for something a bit more out-of-the-ordinary in cities you visit, or even in your home city. Another great time to visit them is when it’s raining out (like it often does in Edinburgh) or as a team-building activity for businesses.
I’ve become quite good at escape rooms since I beat the first one in Riga. I did fail to finish one in Bangkok, but unfortunately my team partner simply wasn’t interested in playing the game.
What Made Puzzlair the Best
Then there’s Puzzlair.
After a few minutes in the game, I had yet to solve my first puzzle. Next thing I knew, a clue appeared on the screen for me, allowing me to quickly figure out the riddle and continue through the game.
For the next hour, clue after clue showed up on the screen, helping my friend Corina and I to solve all the puzzles and make it out of the room with a minute and thirty-five seconds to spare. It was her first escape room, and I think it’s safe to say she’s now hooked.
At first I was a little disgruntled with getting the constant clues. This was quickly supplanted by two other points. First, Puzzlair was by far the most difficult escape room I had been to, and there is no way I would have finished the room without the clues. Second, it was actually a real joy to finish all the puzzles in the room, as some of them were really clever and I would have been bummed to have missed them, or not known about them.
Puzzlair has six rooms to choose from between two locations within a couple minutes of each other. They are also opening a new location in Yeovil near the legendary Glastonbury Abbey with an additional three rooms to escape from. I did their Lab of Dr. Lev Pasted, which I’m willing to guess is their most challenging room.
Prices start at £54 for two players and go up to £96 for 5 players, although there’s also an option for six players in the Secret Agent Room for £115. Visit their website for further information or to book your game.
Oh, and for the record, there was once a single team which escaped from the room without a single hint. Blew the staff away too. Will you be the second?
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