Love is in the Air…

With Valentines Day almost upon us (again) I thought I’d share details of three different and ‘loved up‘ offers.

Can You Escape?

First up is for all of you who want to do something on the 14th February, but don’t have a date. The team at Can You Escape? have just the thing for you.
Join the team from Can You Escape? for a speed dating night with a difference!  There is space for 5 males and 5 females at 7 o’clock on 14th February to take on Operation Deadlock our game that sees two teams go head to head.

7:00pm – arrival, introductions & a mini game to decide the teams
7:30pm – Operation Deadlock begins
8:30pm (or earlier if you’re quick!) – head to a local bar for drinks.

After playing the Can You Escape? team will book a table at a local bar where you can hang out with your fellow escapees.

Tickets are £15 (plus fee of £1.52) and are available on Eventbrite at

Escape Rooms Scotland

Next up we have Escape Rooms Scotland who are offering a £20 off deal on rooms booked for Valentines Day.


All you have to do is pick a venue, pick a room, and enter the promo code “Valentines_2017” at checkout when booking your game at

This offer is available at all three venues, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee, but be quick as spaces are limited.

The Room

Finally we have The Room Glasgow who are also offering £20 off for Valentines, but are also throwing in a surprise Valentines gift.

The rooms included in the offer are the Mystery Room, Identity Room, Spy Room, and the offer is for 2 players only.
Games must be played on Sunday 12th, Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th or Thursday 16th February.
Just use the code  “bemyvalentine when booking your game at 

Go Escape

Scotlands newest escape room Go Escape, which opens in Dunfermline on Saturday 11th February, have also got an offer for Valentines Day.


On Tuesday only its only £40 per couple to get locked in a room with your loved one for an hour (maybe less?). Slots available at 5.30pm and 7.00pm.

However this can only be booked via the Go Escape Facebook page, not the website.

Deals of the Week

With so many deals and vouchers available I thought it best to put it into a blog post instead of a facebook post. Ideal if you’re looking for a festive activity or even a Christmas gift or two.



Escape Rooms Scotland have opened in Leith and are offering a Groupon voucher for their Bunker room, so a team of upto 6 can play for £39. The only restiction is that it excludes the holidays – 24 to 26 Dec 2016, 1 to 3 Jan 2017. The voucher is valid till 30th April, so it makes a fabulous Christmas gift.

Escape Rooms Scotland have a fabulous voucher deal for all their rooms, get 20% discount on all room specific gift vouchers.  Once you’ve decided which room you’re buying a gift voucher for then head for the booking page and select “Specific gift voucher” and pick your game. Use the code CHRISTMASGF and get 20% off on a voucher vaild for 6 months.


The Room have a Itison voucher where you can play either their Spy, Identity or Mystery rooms for £48. The only restriction is that there is a £10 surcharge for Saturdays (payable at the venue).

Tick Tock Unlock also have an Itison voucher for up to 6 people for £39, but be quick if you want to use it this year as not only does it exclude Saturdays, but also 8th December to 1st January. January 2017 is also available if you want a post festive escape.

Clue HQ are still offering their Bunker38 room on Wowcher, with a game for up to 6 for £39. There is a £10 surcharge for weekend bookings (payable at the venue) . 

Escape Rooms Scotland have a fabulous voucher deal for all their rooms, get 20% discount on all room specific gift vouchers.  Once you’ve decided which room you’re buying a gift voucher for then head for the booking page and select “Specific gift voucher” and pick your game. Use the code CHRISTMASGF and get 20% off on a voucher valid for 6 months.

The Exit Games have a discounted room rate on to celebrate their opening, with a room for up to 6 for just £40. The Sherlock room is definitely worth a trip to Paisley, give it a go!

Escape Reality is a brand new venue to Scotland and are opening on December 1st in the Merchants City with 5 rooms and a bar. They have an opening offer of 20% discount on all bookings made in November. Use the code ESCAPENOW20 at 


Lockdown offer a great 10% discount on both their rooms for off-peak bookings, just use the code THXS when booking online at

Breakout Inverness are opening their new room Prometheus, in the new year and are offering 50% off tester games in the first two weeks in January. Quote TITAN to them when booking (online booking not available at the moment, give them a call on 07788 254629).


Escape Rooms Scotland have a fabulous voucher deal for all their rooms, get 20% discount on all room specific gift vouchers.  Once you’ve decided which room you’re buying a gift voucher for then head for the booking page and select “Specific gift voucher” and pick your game. Use the code CHRISTMASGF and get 20% off on a voucher valid for 6 months.


Have I missed any offers or deals? Let me know and I’ll add you to the list.

Into The Bunker

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.

The Venue

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.


The Room

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.


Escaping out of the small screen

This has been a while in the reporting, as it all happened back in April, but I’ve been given the OK to shout it from the rooftops, so here goes!

What does ITV and Havas Media do when they want to promote their top four crime dramas to both advertising agencies and to potential sponsors? They give Escape a call in Edinburgh.

Well, why wouldn’t you head from London straight upto Edinburgh? Escape have rooms in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Blackpool, Doncaster and London (to name a few) as well as rooms in companies as far as New Zealand. In fact this weekend they are running an exclusive pop up room for the Bloody Scotland crime fiction festival in Stirling, with the help of award-winning ‘Wire in the Blood’ author Val McDermid.

Anyway, back to ITV and their four top rated shows, and all are viewer favourites. These were Endeavour, Vera, D.C.I Banks and Broadchurch. The top quality crime dramas that have so many of us engrossed in the mystery and speculating on just “whodunit”.

The brief to Escape, to create a unique escape experience that allows the players to immerse themselves into the shows they know and love and to become part of a storyline. Oh and make it a pop up room which can be built easily built and moved.

Thats no easy job when you have one show to promote, but to include four shows into one room, and make it relatively mobile, well thats going to need some serious TV magic.

With each show is set in a different area of the UK and in the case of Endeavor, in a different decade, making puzzles for each crime drama that evokes both the setting and the characters was key. How do you capture the essence of the drama that grips the nation on a weekly basis and catapult the advertising execs and potential show sponsors into the midst of the action?

The answer was to create a room with four sections and four mysteries to solve, and the MD16 (Mystery Drama 2016) shipping container set was created.


Each section was designed to evoke that feeling we all get when on the edge of our seats, that feeling of elation (and slight smugness) as the lead detective puts all the pieces together and confronts the criminal. The same clues we have already put together and decided who was the criminal at least 20 minutes earlier.


The added bonus to the room was being able to see the result of your detective work. Each of the four detectives and their mystery dramas helped you find the criminal, and you were rewarded with some exclusive footage showing the criminal being apprehended. A very nice finale to all the hard work done.


Add to all this the creativity of the Havas Media Group who incorporated the escape experience into their day of presentations and promotions and ITV had a full day of Mystery Drama promotion. It even had its own hashtag on Twitter #itvMD16 with lots of great team photos.

So why tell you about all this now? Firstly its a major promotional event created by a Scottish escape room company, and secondly, because I think it’s the start of a new way of active and engaging advertising. Why just watch the advertisement when you can live it and experience it?

I can see more and more of these events occurring, and not just in the corporate sector, the recent promotion by Norwegian Airlines in a London shopping centre is just the start.

I just wish I’d have been able to gatecrash the day and play the room myself, I love all four dramas, especially Vera and Endeavor. Perhaps I can talk  Escape into letting my beta test the next bespoke room they create?

Locked In The Distillery

I last visited Locked in Edinburgh just about a year ago when they’d first opened and had a great time escaping from the offices of Dr. C. Lion. I just loved the concept of the room theme being exactly what the building was used for, and having so many of the original features still in place from the old vet school gave an added atmosphere that you just can’t re-create.

So just before the festival comes round again we headed back to do the Gin Room, another room that is very site specific as the Pickering Gin distillery is just downstairs from the escape rooms. I do love that both historic and current uses of the Summerhall complex are featured so well in Locked in Edinburgh.

20160715_195617[1]  20160715_214741[1]

After marvelling at the new light-up sign for Locked in Edinburgh just above the Royal Dick Bar (which has Pickerings Gin on draught!) and popping in for a quick drink (well it would be rude not to!) We waited at the designated point by the lifts.


After a warm welcome by Jackie, our host and gamesmaster for the evening, and some woofy cuddles from Dexter the resident canine employee (and we bribed him to be kind with several Jumbones!) we headed up in the lift to the walkway. It has changed a little in the last year, as there is now neon lights but this doesn’t detract from that slightly ominous feeling you get when walking down to the rooms. I don’t know what it is, perhaps years of veterinary students agonising over exams, or years of animals being housed in there, but there is a ‘feeling’. This is what I mean about the specialness of the venue, you can’t manufacture a feeling.

We also passed the leaderboard, got to love the use of the original features left over from academia, and of course we did ponder on what happened to the ‘Y’ in Veterinary.  The use of the in/out feature made us laugh too.


The Briefing

Your mission here is to uncover the identity of the disgruntled employee plotting against the Distillery, find out what they’re up to, save yourself and save the gin! Some of our team were much more interested in saving the gin than escaping the room!

We were then given more details on the mission and the health and safety requirements for being in a gin distillery (two of our team were most gutted that they weren’t getting samples during the escape) and of course dressed in the site uniform of Pickerings bar aprons and we were off.

The Room

First off I have to compliment the Locked in Edinburgh team at such a well researched and fun room, I’d recommend coming a little earlier for this room and doing the Pickerings Gin Distillery tour beforehand as you will see many in-jokes within the room. If you haven’t done the distillery tour then one or two of the puzzles may seem a little odd, but there are stories behind them and knowing the in-joke makes it all the more special.

So we were off to a cracking start, splitting the team into the usual couple of searchers and the couple of information handlers and me just doing a little of everything. I stumbled on one puzzle purely because of lack of attention to detail (I thought the answer was a 3 digit lock code and it was a 4, I’d missed one) and that was one of our only two nudges throughout the game. The other was also an attention to detail issue as we hadn’t read something properly. Dunno why this was our problem in here as the room is well-lit and the locks aren’t tiny or fiddly, and nothing is in a dark corner, they’re all well situated and easy to reach and see. Just us being too hasty I suppose.

We didn’t get a whiteboard or paper to write on here… instead you use the side of the gin still or a metal workbench, which is a nice touch and far easier to write on than some of those cheap poundshop mini whiteboards. The puzzles and locks within the room are well spaced, so we didn’t have the problem of everyone trying to crowd into one corner to group solve a mystery. Being a group of 5 I find that having to excuse myself constantly to move around the room; “Can I use squeeze past?” and “Sorry, can I just grab that from behind you” does detract from the gameplay.

The other thing we didn’t get in the room was a countdown clock, this was a revelation to me as I can’t think of a room where I’ve not had some sort of time device before, even if it’s an hourglass. At the start I thought this would make things more frantic, but for us it actually helped, we kept a more even pace and had significantly less ‘panic moments’.

Some clever visual and audio tasks and of course enough searching to allow everyone to find something, but not so much that the searching becomes a chore or overtakes the solving, and you have a room that flows very well. Add to this a varied mixture of puzzles and locks to open and also a couple of really well designed and executed set pieces of engineering, one of which is the final puzzle which two of our team were much more interested in working out how it works than to actually solving the final challenge and getting out of the room.   Despite that we managed to get out in 45:0 and made it to 5th on the leaderboard.

locked in edinburgh

Another major bonus point for Locked in Edinburgh is that after a successful escape Jackie spent quite some time asking us about what areas we found difficult, or if anything wasn’t easy to see/reach/use. I’ve been in other rooms who get very defensive if you point out something is made unnecessarily difficult by the location of the puzzle, or if something doesn’t work well, but not here at Locked in Edinburgh as they are actively asking for feedback on your room experience.


It is one of the more accessible rooms I’ve seen if mobility is an issue as there is a lift and flat walkway to the room. Inside the room may be a little tight if a larger team includes a member with mobility issues, but it is very workable. I can only think of one area where there may be a small step to negotiate. The puzzles are also at differing heights, so there are locks and tasks that a player can accomplish from a sitting height, but nothing requires climbing or reaching high (a couple of things you need to be standing for though)


As always I can’t go into detail about the room as that’s spoilers, and no one wants advance notice of the “WOW” moments in the room, they’re far too good to give you even a hint. But I will heartily recommend this room to one and all, even with its distillery theme its suitable for families as well as groups of adults. Even if gin is not your thing, it’s a unique room theme and is immense fun.

The gin room is an excellently themed and well laid out room, with lots of distillery related items and props (and even some bottles of gin!) and a mix of puzzle types so there is something that everyone will be able to solve. Add in the very welcoming and helpful staff and the original location and you’ve a real reason to head out of the centre of Edinburgh.

Book online at

Getting to the Heart of the Matter…

Since I heard that  Escape Rooms Scotland were branching out to the east coast I’ve been waiting for months for the new Escape Rooms Scotland – Dundee to open, so as soon as the opening date was announced I bagged the first game of the opening weekend for both the rooms at Dundee, Black Pearl and CARA.

You can tell how keen we were to visit, we’d driven up from West Lothian and our third team member had traveled over from Ayrshire.

The Venue

The new venue is at Balgray Works on Balgray Place, which is tucked up a side street just to the south of the Kingsway ring road in Dundee, but putting DD3 8SH in the satnav took me straight to it and there is a lovely big sign to point you to the front door. There was plenty on on-street parking out front when we arrived too.


Inside and up a few steps and you’re into the reception area, which is a bright and spacious area with plenty of seating and a warm welcome from the staff.

Once the team was assembled (we were just a team of three today) and we had a welcome chat with the staff (who are very friendly and chatty) we were briefed with the Escape Rooms Scotland briefing video that explains the safety aspects of the room. If you haven’t watched this briefing at one of their rooms before then click on the link below to watch it’s a great intro to the room and much more user-friendly than being given text to read.

The Room

Then it was onto the briefing, we were to enter the Black Pearl and find Davy Jones’s locker and retrieve his heart…. and we were taken back down the corridor to a wooden door and then into the room.

Now I could wax lyrical about the attention to detail in this room, but I’m terrified of accidentally giving you spoilers. This is a room you really want to do with no prior knowledge at all, its one of those rooms with those “aahh!” moments in and someone had tipped me off to what they are then I think I’d have made them walk the plank for ruining the surprise. But we are the second team to play this room so we were safe from spoilers.

The decor is very, well, piratey, right down to the hats for you to wear as you solve the puzzles (and also wear in the photo later too) and the puzzles are nicely themed to be nautical/piratey. We soon found the first puzzle and got cracking.

As there is no electronic timer in the room, you get a room appropriate time-piece, it does feel like you’re using far more time than you actually are (well it did for me) but that just added to the room as it focused you more on the puzzles and less on the clock watching.

A couple of puzzles stumped us, and we got a clue, mainly to point us in the right direction as we’d missed spotting the vital bit of information, but we progressed well until we got to one of those “aahh!” moments and then all sense of urgency went out of the window while we marveled at what had just happened, before we dived back into the task at hand.

The heart of the matter was soon in hand, and we rushed for the exit door without a backwards glance at the timepiece, and almost fell onto the gamesmaster who got three voices shouting “what was our time?”.  Despite convincing myself that we must have been in there well over the hour we actually escaped in 56:10 and I was very pleased with that as we were only a team of 3 and we didn’t rush as we all wanted to see and solve each puzzle and challenge.

Then we even got to pose for the victory photo with Captain Jack himself!


The only issues we had during the room were with reading some of the numbers on the lock in the darker corners, and some of the locks were rather stiff to move. Not huge issues on a new room as the locks will be a lot easier to move by now and Escape Rooms Scotland had already ordered some additional lights for the players.


So to summarise, the Black Pearl room is one that I’d recommend to new players (as well as the more addicted, like me) as the room is a semi-linear design with a variety of puzzles which range from observational, physical, logical and even a little maths too. There is something there for every team member to use their talents enough to do to keep a team of 6 busy. The gamesmasters are very good at helping without giving you the answer outright and even ask you if you’d like clues before you start.

From a room design and immersion point of view alone then The Black Pearl is in my personal top three must do rooms, as you really do forget you’re in Dundee. The look, feel and sound of the room are done to a standard that Richard O’Brien would be happy with.

I will save the CARA review for another day, but if you’re even in Dundee then please seek out  Escape Rooms Scotland – Dundee at Balgray mill, you wont be disappointed.

Escape Livingston – Prison Break

When I heard about Escape  opening in Livingston I was over the moon, as it isn’t based in a city (the fact that its very close to home was an added bonus).

Escape opened in early May 2016 with two brand new rooms, Espionage and Prison Break, with both rooms suitable for teams of 2-5 players. Booking is online, as with all Escape rooms, and is here .

The new venue is located in a courtyard block of offices about a 5min walk from The Centre, Livingston but with the busy road between The Centre and Escape its far easier to drive there as there are lots of parking space. All the doors within the courtyard are identical but they’re all numbered so its only a matter of moments to find the correct door.

Once inside you head up the stairs to a small waiting area with some seating and the gamesmasters console. There you will be briefed on your selected mission and then straight into your room. As we were a team of three we had lots of space in the welcome area, but it will be cosy if two teams are starting at the same time.

Prison break is described on the website as;  “Your team have been wrongly incarcerated, having been paid a large sum of money the warden holds the information that is key to clearing your name.  You’ve been working on escaping for months and now is the time, get out the cells and break into the wardens safe and escape the facility. He’ll be back in an hour though….”

Our team of three were the inaugural team into the room, I’ll admit it I just couldn’t wait, so we took the first available booking. Liam was our games master and despite it being his first briefing of this room he did a great job at making sure we knew everything.

On entering the room we were very impressed by the attention to detail that Escape have gone to, the level of immersion in Prison Break was much higher than I imagined, with very authentic looking cells and even ‘facilities’ in place. **

We were then locked in place, two of us in one cell and one in the other cell, and left to get on with the business of getting out of the cells. This is a great starting concept as it relies on your team communicating and sharing, only with working together do you get out of the cells and on with the rest of the room.

Loved the attention to detail in the room, with some very obvious nods to the Shawshank Redemption film, but we also spotted a couple of other nods to other prison films. The gameplay is well balanced and easy to keep track of where you are so first time escapers won’t be overwhelmed with several puzzles at once.

There is a great mix of puzzles in there, and enough keys and codes so that everyone can get a turn at opening something and solving something. We had a few head scratching moments and used a couple of clues, and a couple more “D’oh!” moments (note to self, don’t assume that all the doors are locked, try them just in case) but the gameplay flowed well and we were escaping before we realised.

The only niggle I have is that the description on the website mentions that the warden holds the key to clearing your name, but we didn’t find or retrieve anything to clear our names, we just escaped.

We left with a fanfare and positively bounced out of the room with just over 15mins left on the clock. Then back in for dressing up and the victory photos (it has to be done, doesn’t it!)


Out of the two rooms at Livingston this is the one I’d recommend to first time players as it has a fabulous level of immersion (you really do feel like you’re in there for a crime you didn’t commit), its well worth the trip to Livingston.


**Although I have to point out that the ‘facilities’ are purely set dressing and are not plumbed in. So please don’t use them.

A London Binge

Whilst this is Exit Game Scotland, I did say I’d occasionally mention rooms elsewhere and this is one of those occasions.

In late April I traveled down to London to attend the second UK Escape Room unconference (the first was in Leeds in January) and well, I wasn’t going all that way without playing a couple of rooms….. which turned into a grand total of 6 in 36hours.

I wont go through each and every room, as they were a very varied and mixed bag, but I will tell you all about three rooms, all of which have something I’ve never seen in Scotland (as yet).

So here are my three recommendations for you if you find yourself down in London and want to do a room with a difference to the great rooms we know and love in Scotland.

Enter the Oubliette, Brixton

Don’t let Brixton put you off, its only a couple of underground stops from Victoria and the room is only a couple of minutes walk from the tube.

This is a wonderful cross between escape room and interactive theatre, which is set in a 1984-esque distopian world where you’re sent to infiltrate the high command and set the people free.

I’ve done rooms with some interaction with staff/characters, but not to the extent of this one, and it really does enhance the experience. They also have a novel means of buying extra clues and help, which is worth squandering your limited resources just to use the system.

Its for teams 4-8, and can be booked online at 

Image courtesy of the Wellcome Library

Revenge of the Sheep (SheepMutator), ClueQuest

Located on Caledonia Road, about 10mins walk from Kings Cross Station the ClueQuest rooms are easy to find and have three rooms available. The newest room (and most difficult room) is Revenge of the Sheep, and its really really worth visiting.

You are entrusted with the mission to stop the evil Dr. Blacksheep from turning everyone in the world into sheep, and as part of your agent training you have to show your skills as a sharp-shooter on some errant ovines!

The room itself must been seen, there is a great mix of low and hi-tech, with the most inventive use of a single prop item I’ve ever seen, I lost count of how many times (and ways) this one item was used in the room. The hi-tech is very well done in a room, as I’ve used similar apps before (while out geocaching) and they’re flaky at best, but ClueQuest have a bug free system that really gets you interacting with the room.

The room is for 3-5 players and can be booked online at

Archimedes Inspiration, Bermondsey

Another little jaunt out of the centre, this time just one stop on the underground from London Bridge and a 10 min walk, and you’ll arrive at the old Peak Freens factory which is now a haven for small businesses.

Leo’s Path at Archimedes Inspiration is currently the only room they have open, but three more are being planned. The reason I’m listing Leo’s Path is because its unlike any other room I’ve ever done as it doesn’t have a single combination padlock in there. Not a one!

The room is a masterpiece in craft and design as everything you need is out in the open or given to you at the appropriate time, there is no searching for keys or codes under everything and anything.

Also there is a more creative use of a narrative in this room, rather than getting to the objective as quickly as possible and getting out, here at AI the journey is just as important as the escape and every part of the room has been carefully crafted.

Leo’s Path is for 2-6 players and can be booked online at 

Leo's path: Adventure Escape Room Inspired By An Influential Writer



Hurtling Through Space……

In honour of Can You Escape? taking part in Disabled Access Day on March 12th, I thought I’d write my next review for them and include my thoughts on accessibility.

Can You Escape? is already an established escape room company in Scotland as they’ve celebrated their first birthday, already revamped one of their rooms from Operation Bald Eagle to the head to head game Operation Deadlock, and are about to launch a mobile game (as well dropping hints about their forthcoming second venue).

Situated on Holyrood Road, they are literally a stones throw from Dynamic Earth and although there is on onsite/street front carparking, there is a multi story car park a couple of hundred metres up the road.

Back in August 2015 we booked for our first game at Can You Escape? for the Operation Odyssey room. This is described as a 4 out of 5 difficulty room for 2-6 players. The mission is:

As space cadets on the International Space Station you must race against time to ensure you fix the escape pod before it’s too late. Houston received your distress call and has concluded that it was a meteor shower that struck the main ship a short time ago. The escape pod has also been damaged so you must first restore all of the systems before attempting an escape.

Cadets, you need to hurry! The next meteor shower is predicted to strike in an hour so there is no room for error!

The entrance is well signposted, but its not the largest of shopfronts, so you still have to look for it. From an access point of view then this is the first issue, its a standard door with a couple of steps, so will need some negotiating for mobility chairs/walkers.

Once in the entrance of Can You Escape? its rather cosy, there is just enough room for a team to be briefed, space is a premium. The Operation Odyssey room is direct facing the entrance so easy to get to, and the toilets are round the corner (also on the same level) with the other game room downstairs.

We were warmly welcomed by the gamesmaster, who was in full character thoughout and gave us an excellent briefing and then issued us all the first mission….. think up Agent names! Of course we weren’t prepared for this but as its space themed room we went for names of mars space rovers (Curiosity, Opportunity, Beagle, Spirit and Phoenix) ….and yes we quickly Googled them!

The team photo was taken and then we were issued with out equipment, walkie-talkie, note taking equipment and Agent armbands. Then into the game and into the dark!

After negotiating the initial puzzle to get into the control room of the space craft we soon set out the puzzles. Can You Escape? have a modular system for the room where you have distinct min-missions to solve to release the final puzzle. This is perfect for groups and there at least a mission each, and no two missions are the same, there is a wonderful mix of the more physical and more mental and a couple that rely on communication within the team, it ensures that everyone can shine at something.

Communication with the games master is thought the mission control computer, and you type in your questions. The walkie talkie is also there if you’re not near the terminal or just need something explaining. We got a couple of clues, one of which we shouldn’t have needed, but we missed finding an obviously hidden key! Its always the ones in plain sight that we miss…

Then onto the final mission, and I’ve still no idea how we managed to complete the room in 50:55 as we were laughing so much during the final puzzle. Its the most like a game from the Crystal Maze I’ve ever encountered in an escape room and we LOVED it.

We fell out into the reception area laughing and positively bouncing with achievement! We had a ball and made it onto the mission completed wall of fame.

Although I don’t have a favourite room (but that’s another story) this is one of the three rooms I recommend to people who ask me whats a good room to do. The entire escape is well set out, its mini-mission system makes it good for new players to see what goes where and there is two systems of getting hints and help (and the gamesmasters are very good). The puzzles are well themed and the finish of the room and we were immersed in the story quite quickly (to the point of wasting time by trying to fit someone into the space suit before they attempted the final puzzle!)

If you haven’t visited Can You Escape? yet then please add it to your to-do list.

can you escape

So onto the accessibility bit……

The mission is split into distinct areas, none of which have that much space, and involve some tight bends or low doors and some low puzzle solving, so not easy to negotiate a chair/walker. The main control room has a central table and a computer terminal on one wall, so again space to move isn’t plentiful. We had no problems, but we were a team of 5. Also there is no seating in the room, so ask if you want a chair put in.

There a dark areas and areas with lots of lights, so players with visual issues could benefit from a torch for the early section. For players with hearing issues then the soundtrack is rather loud in places, but that’s a very easy fix.

Having two systems of communication is a huge benefit for accessibility, with vocal and text systems, and having a mix of puzzle types ensures that everyone can solve something and contribute to the success of the mission.

EDITED to add that there are several features that we didn’t notice at the time (or have been installed since August 2015), including ramps for the entrance, and additional doors that can be opened. Can You Escape? have put a huge amount of time and resources into making Operation Odyssey as accessible as possible.

For more information, and to see the room and chat to the staff then please get in touch with Can You Escape? on and read their blog at  




Evac – Glasgow

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…evac

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…..