A spectacular room
You have entered the Kingdom of the Viking Gods & you are sat in the House of Thor. In an attempt to prevent Thor’s succession to the throne of Asgard, Lowki, Thor’s menacing brother, has stolen & trapped Thor’s weapon in the golden rings of Aesir.
The ice giants have got word of this, and they know Thor is helpless to protect the human race without his enchanted war-hammer. The giants are on their way, their mission to defeat Thor and destroy earth.
This was day three of our escape room roadtrip, and also my birthday (yay) and we were enjoying working our way through all of Extremescape’s offerings at their beautiful venue just outside of the Peak District. Having just finished The Lost Tomb, we took a short comfort break to try and mentally prepare ourselves for Viking.
Viking is in the same building as the other rooms but is on the ground floor so accessibility shouldn’t be an issue for those with reduced mobility, although there may be one or two steps to get into the room/building. Knowing that this was their newest room, and being full of confidence from two sterling performances in their other rooms, we were feeling ready and confident that we would do well in this room. As it would turn out, our confidence was misplaced and we struggled with this game more than we should have. I blame fatigue and lack of sugar, not a good combination for a 75 minute game!
Covid-19 Procedures: Normally there were lockers for personal belongings but these were out of action due to Covid. Plenty of hand sanitiser on site for us to use and track and trace was in place. We wore masks as did all the staff that we encountered and social distancing was followed. We were the only team onsite for our entire visit.
Right away upon entering the room, it was clear to see that Extremescape had once again done an amazing job with their room design. I’ve never been in an authentic Viking house but I have watched ‘Vikings’ on TV and this looked like something straight out of that world. The space was also very sizable and could easily accommodate larger teams without feeling claustrophobic.
Little touches in this room helped to add some humour in an otherwise serious space. In a way you could class one of these things as a bit of a red-herring, but that would be a stretch. It takes no time to solve and once you have it, I hope you’ll realise the pun that was intended. There also used to be a few minor jump scares in the game, but due to COVID these were removed (stupid COVID).
I don’t want to give too much away with this room, but from playing the other Extremescape games we had come to expect a certain amount of ‘pizzazz’, although that wasn’t instantly visible in this room, it had it in abundance. Later on in the game, when we felt we knew all there was to know about this game, they turned everything we have ever expected from an escape room and turned it on it’s head. What we were about to experience was something we never could have predicted, and will likely never see again.
Other than this room being beautifully put together, there was one major thing that we didn’t notice at the time that showed that this room was a step up for Extremescape (who knew that was even possible). There were no unauthentic padlocks in the room, I have to say ‘unauthentic’ as they have gone to great lengths to ensure that the one padlock that was present was historically accurate.
The attention to detail in this room was phenomenal, and this was carried through to the puzzle design. Every single one of the puzzles fitted the theme and nothing felt out of place.
The puzzles were varied and at one point, very unexpected; logic, observation, lateral thinking, decoding, some searching (not much), and communication puzzles all featured in this room. I would have no problems recommending this game for families and enthusiasts alike, as there is enough to keep everyone entertained for the full 75 minutes. Saying that, even if you don’t enjoy the game, it’s a lovely place just to be.
Once again, Extremescape managed to surprise us and one of the last puzzles we encountered was the highlight of the day. Impressive engineering and design, this puzzle was a wonder to behold and will likely bring a sense of joy to anyone who experiences it.
As previously alluded to, this room was lacking in the padlock department so most of the puzzles resulted in something being triggered using technology (or magic – take your pick). The uncertainty of what may happen next added to the excitement of the experience.
If there was one area that possibly let this game down, it was the clue system. Extremescape have gone for the tried and tested ‘TV in the room’ option which meant they could give clues through the screen. This system obviously works, and works well, but it does break with the immersion somewhat. However, they did do something different which was to hide the TV away a bit so you could choose if you wanted to look at it or not – so purists may be happy with that compromise. When clues were delivered, they were announced by a clue alert noise so you knew to look at the screen (or not, it’s your choice).
Other than the screen, there was also a secondary clue system built in which were in the form of audio clues/nudges from an in-character Thor over the speaker system.
As I said, we struggled a bit with this room in places, but thanks to some perfect clueing by our GM, Graham, we got through it in one piece without any feeling of frustration.
Despite struggling with this room (we were tired), we absolutely loved it. From the start to the incredible ending, this game had everything and more. This room is a real gem in the escape room industry and must be played by everyone.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 60 mins (75 minute room)
Address: Stanley Hall Farm, Stanley Hall Ln, Disley, Stockport SK12 2JX