Not one for the faint hearted
Anna and Max have the kind of relationship everyone pretends to find annoying. But really, their friends are just a little bit jealous. Because you can see how much these two people are meant to be together. They just-fit. Anna is daring and inquisitive, Max is sensible. She encourages him to try new things. He stops her from doing stupid stuff. Usually. But not today.
Maybe it’s the sunshine. Maybe it’s the wine. Because today, when Anna finds a randomly-unlocked shutter on a random side street, Max isn’t quick enough to persuade her not to go inside. His mind is on the picnic they’ve just had, the kisses they’ve shared. So what if Anna is intent on seeking out some new dark and gloomy pace to scare him with. It’s just Anna being Anna, right? This is why he loves her.
It’s just an adventure. A dare. It’ll be OK. And then the shutter bangs down, and everything is very far from OK.
We’d heard a lot about 13utcher (The Butcher) both good and bad so we had a rough idea of what to expect. Even while being taken to the room we were told and asked things which gave us an insight into what was to come. We had to create a safe word which we could use if the room became too much and we were told that previous groups had ‘wet themselves’ due to the fear that this room holds for some.
Safe word in place and mop and bucket on stand by we headed in the room, with the ominous warning that the Butcher would return in 35 minutes so we’d need to be quick if we wanted to avoid him.
The room starts as any normal escape room would with a few puzzles to get you going, but after that you enter a different world, especially if/when the butcher returns.
If you’re looking for a traditional escape room, then this is not that. Your mind won’t be challenged and you won’t find puzzles at every turn. Aspects are frustrating and the lighting can be annoying, but if you go into this room looking for something different then this room will certainly deliver that.
Arguably the one area where this room was lacking was the puzzles. But this room really isn’t a traditional escape room and is much more an escape experience. If this room was done with the lights on and no Butcher then it would be a very simple room, but with limited light it became more challenging.
You needed to find items, some of which were hidden in plain sight, and for us at least one or two things took big leaps in logic. The last puzzle was arguably the trickiest of the bunch and took us the longest out of them all, but again this was due to the low lightening.
13utcher has been designed as a horror experience more than an escape room and in that sense they have done a great job of immersing you in the Butcher’s world.
Normally we don’t like rooms that are overly dark but you can’t fault this room for that, in fact at numerous points the room is pitch black.
There were a few things in the room that didn’t work for us, it’s possible they were puzzles before things got changed around but they distracted us somewhat as they didn’t actually serve any purpose that we could see. I wouldn’t call them red herrings, but they were distracting.
Obviously a big part of the room is the Butcher coming in to see what you’re up to and this was fine, the only annoyance is that you’re obviously on a deadline and the Butcher is very slow and thorough so his sweeps of the room cost valuable time.
This is a horror room, there is no getting away from that, some people will love it and some will hate it. We don’t do many horror rooms with live actors (this is arguably our third) but we’d rate it slightly behind our favourite which was Zoe in LA.
Like with the most of the rooms at Escapologic, there was no clock in the room which for once I actually liked. A clock would have detracted from the experience and stopped you focusing on just avoiding the Butcher.
Our GM was good and I’m pleased to say there was no need for a mop or our safe word! Clues were delivered by two other inhabitants of the Butchers lair who were locked in other rooms but could still scream clues to assist.
After speaking with our GM and other staff after the game we found out that the GM has a huge affect on your experience. Some GMs are just there to scare you, jump scares, banging etc, while others will physically interact with you when they come in – so be warned!
We escaped from the Butcher in 53:59 having taken a few clues due to stupidity. Our Butcher arrived after 35 mins (we think) but it felt far quicker than that!
This room is not one for the faint hearted and if you’re of a nervous disposition it’s probably one to avoid. However, if you want a room that it a bit different and will not only challenge your mind but also your bladder control, then give it a go!
Team: 2 players – escaped in 53:49
Address: 21-23 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AQ