It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I’m in the right place and the right time and get the opportunity for a sneak peak at new escape rooms, and also get to beta test them. This week I was most fortunate to take a team to the new venue for Escape Rooms Scotland which is on Great Junction Street in Leith to be one of the lucky tester teams.
OK, I failed the first challenge! I had to text to get directions…. Great Junction Street is easy to find and I got parked down one of the side streets without any hassle, but I missed the door for the venue.
That’s because you go through the Spilt Milk cafe and down the stairs. There is a sign at the door, but I missed it in my rush to get there.
The cafe is very easy to spot, its right next to the church. The cafe staff are lovely (and make an excellent caramel latte) and will direct you down the stairs to Escape Rooms Scotland where you will be greeted by some fabulous street art.
Its 1942 and you are trapped underground in THE BUNKER.
Do you have what it takes to outsmart your enemies and make it out in one piece???
We were briefed by the very friendly games master, Paul, who was most interested in finding out all about us and what rooms we’d enjoyed previously. I do like it when the host takes the time to chat and settle you in; it gives the team a few minutes to settle and take in the new surroundings before the health and safety briefing.
We were then taken back to 1942, and as with all evacuees back then we needed to be furnished with our kit bags containing our gas masks. It’s a great authentic touch that brings the room to life before you even start. We were also given a walkie talkie for communications.
We were given a very short briefing, and very little information given, but what do you expect when you need to take cover… it is 1942 you know!
Into the Bunker we went, and was immediately impressed with the both the production of the room and the atmosphere that Escape Rooms Scotland have made. It helps to have an underground location as you’ve no windows looking out to a modern street scene, but also with the materials used add to the effect too. The room also has some great sound (no wonder they put recording studios down here too) and the soundtrack used really enhances the immersion of the game.
In fact the only thing that didn’t fit in the room was the TV used for the timer and some of the locks, but you have to allow for those.
We were a team of four and we soon got to grips with the initial puzzles, which are nicely designed to get you settled in and get you working as a team. These worked a treat and we were soon making progress with the puzzles.
We only had major problems with one puzzle, and that had been earmarked already for re-working to make the puzzle clearer. All the tester teams had some issues with it (hence the need for putting several groups through). Being a tester also flagged up another puzzle that needed a design tweak, because I worked it out without finding the correct information.
We escaped with just over 10 minutes to spare, and even remembered our gas masks too….just in case!
Access to the rooms is through the Spilt Milk Café and then down the stairs. But don’t worry if you don’t want to use the stairs, there is also a lift (just ask the café).
Entrance to the Bunker room is a small space, but this can easily accommodate a team with space to spare. A couple of the doors may be a little narrow for some wider mobility aids though, so please check with the venue.
Escape Rooms Scotland are a great new addition to the growing escape room community in Edinburgh, and despite it being outwith the centre it is easily accessible as it’s on a major bus route. Having an on site café also adds to the experience, we had coffee and cake between rooms and it was lovely.
The two rooms contrast each other nicely, the Outbreak room is ideal for those who want some “intensive feelings” while the Bunker is perfect for those who want to solve puzzles and its ideal for families.
The Bunker will keep more experienced escape room players immersed and entertained there is a good variety of puzzles in there. Newer escape room players and first timers will also enjoy the Bunker, as you’re not overwhelmed at the start which gives players the time and space to concentrate on the first puzzles, easing them into the game.