We were rather intrigued by Evac Glasgow as it appeared with very little publicity and a rather cryptic company website, Evac UK which also pointed to sites opening in Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The Glasgow site was listed as The Asylum, so we had visions of lots of mind games to work through.
The next we heard of Evac was vouchers on not one,but two online discount deal sites. So of course we just had to buy one and visit.
The Evac premises do not conform with the rest of the Glasgow escape rooms in that it is not in the city centre and is not in an office type building. Instead it is south of the river on Commerce Street and is located in one of the many railway arches.
It also does not conform to the ‘standard’ model (if there is such a thing) as Evac is only open for Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. The game is for upto 5 players (again the Glasgow standard is 6 or more). Another unique feature (well, I’ve never seen this on any other site) is that the website clearly states that there are no restroom facilities on site. Perhaps this is an added incentive to complete the room??
Anyway, we arrived on a cold and wet evening to the Evac site, which is very easy to find, the satnav takes you to the door and there is parking available outside. The building is well signed so you don’t have to search for a doorway.
We got to the door and pressed the doorbell, and were asked on the intercom for our booking name. We then were buzzed into the reception area where we expected to see someone to brief us…. there was no one. You’re immediately in the game! There is a small walkie-talkie on the table and this is your only link to any other person until you escape.
Loved this little twist as we took the lack of briefing to mean that the game is so slick that no further instruction or explanation is required.
As with all game reviews I wont go though the puzzles or the twists/turns but we managed to get though the room without any clues, it wasn’t a record breaking time as we only had a couple of minutes to spare, but we were pleased with our clueless success. We had a couple of head-scratcher moments and it did help that we’d seen some puzzles elsewhere, but this didn’t spoil the enjoyment of Evac.
The final puzzle was the one that took the most time (as it should, in my opinion) and it does rely on lots of communication, a very steady hand, some tongue biting and a whole bucketful of patience! How there was no major domestic in our team I’ve no idea.
We then burst through the final door and finally met our gamesmaster in his tiny office/workshop and did the usual congrats, game post mortem and photo.
Not the greatest photo, but it was dark and raining…
We loved the mix of puzzles in Evac, there is a great mix of observational, logic, hands on and sneaky puzzles and challenges. There was something for everyone to shine at and also something for everyone to get stumped with.
Also loved the straight into the game theme, and the use of the space in the railway arch is also exceptional, as you have no idea when you enter how big, or how small, the room is going to be. The more traditional office type rooms you get a sense of scale from the corridor.
What wasn’t what we were expecting/hoping for? Well, there was no sign of the Asylum that the Evac UK site promised, in fact there was no theme/story or aim to the room. Some sites call these classic rooms, but I do prefer the rooms with a story and a specific objective to do before exiting. But that’s just me.
The only other slight niggle was that we weren’t warned about the 5 min lockout on a safe. Luckily we knew it would lock us out,and didn’t enter codes blindly, but for new players who didn’t know then it would be easy to lose time and momentum by having to wait for 5 mins.
Would I recommend? Definitely. Its great for families as there are lots of the puzzles that smaller hands can do. Great for groups, but also doable by couples. Unfortunately its not fully wheelchair accessible, there is at least one narrow door and a couple of steps, but it is accessible to players with limited mobility (and there are plenty of chairs if you need to sit down)
We look forward to see what Evac come up with next, with a railway arch venue then I envision some ‘Italian job’ type gang hideout, or a lair for a super criminal…..