The Best Escape Room in Lugaria
Agent Maxwell, our operative on the ground in Lugaria, has gone missing. We’ve tracked his last location as a barbershop on the outskirts of town. Infiltrate the barbershop while Ali is away and find out what’s happened to Agent Maxwell. We received a transmission from him a few days ago but it was scrambled. Find out what is going on.
Guildford Escape Rooms have two wonderful games already (The Case of The Missing Gun and Venus) so when I caught wind of the fact that they had another room in the works it instantly had my attention. Fast forward a few months and ‘Missing in Action’ was their creation, although not in Guildford but just outside of Redhill, Surrey (although it is going to be relocated to Dorking).
The venue is on an industrial estate so a world apart from their central Guildford location, but that meant plenty of parking and no issues finding it. It certainly wins the prize for the weirdest location we’ve seen, it shares a space with a ‘fake town’ used for training people who are going into conflict zones.
We were greeted enthusiastically by Nick, our GM and we took a seat in the lobby where we had a little chat before he went over the health and safety stuff. After walking down some winding, dark corridors and up some stairs we were transported to the fictional country of Lugaria.
Nick showed us in to the room and gave us the room specific briefing, explaining what our mission was, and how long we had to complete it (yes, 60 minutes). He also explained that there were six things we needed to do to complete the room fully, however it would still be classed as a success if we did two or more. He also informed us that up until now no-one had done all six and got out in less than sixty minutes – challenge accepted.
This room was like a hybrid of an escape room, it started off very traditional with finding items and codes and entering them in locks and padlocks. But just when you feel you’re comfortable and know what is coming they step it up a gear and suddenly padlocks are a thing of the past and you need to change your thinking.
As mentioned, the room starts off very search heavy, with a find an item, work out the code type of process. But then it shifts and there are more logic and teamwork puzzles to keep you busy.
I’m also a fan of puzzles-within-puzzles and this room had plenty of that. It was easy to look at something and take a simple solution to it, but just when you think you had it solved, you needed to work out something else. Great puzzles!
We were a team of five and as the room is nonlinear we were able to split up and work on different things simultaneously, although some of the puzzles required teamwork and would be difficult to do solo.
I always feel like Guildford Escape Rooms are at the top of their game and they put an equal amount of time on making great puzzles as they do on the room design. This room was no exception, the theming started before even entering the room and it continued throughout.
There was a great flow to the room and the more you explored, the more you found. I think the amount of time you have left on the clock will dictate how you feel about how the room opens up, but for us, despite giving a sense of dread and like we’d never finish it all, we loved everything new thing we found.
It’s hard to describe this room without giving away spoilers, but you enter expecting one thing and leave having had a completely different experience. Every one of the six tasks we had to complete had a clear system in place to let us know if we were successful or not, but more importantly there was no automatic fail penalty if you got it wrong the first time.
We did get a puzzle wrong on a couple of attempts but this was due to a slight issue with the design of the puzzle “pieces”; Nick chimed in to help steer us so we could continue but this is going to be redesigned anyway so it shouldn’t be an issue for much longer.
The quality of training must be high with Guildford Escape Rooms as Nick was top notch. I’m not sure he ever dropped his smile and he obviously put customer experience first.
There were two clue delivery systems in the room, the first was a till receipt printer that they had ‘hacked’ into and then another system later in the room. I think we received one actual clue that we needed, for a search fail early on, and then Nick gave us a little nudge on something just as it was being solved.
Early in the room there is no timer, but later it does make an appearance, just to add to the pressure!
We loved this room and enjoyed every moment in it. If you’ve done the other Guildford Escape Rooms room then you may find this a hybrid room of The Case of the Missing Gun and Venus. It’s a cracker of a room and even in a team of five there was plenty to keep us all busy.
It’s worth noting that this room will be moved in January 2020 so you’ll need to get in quick if you want to do it in Redhill. It will be reincarnated in Dorking sometime after that and it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for it.
Team: 5 Players – ‘escaped’ in 39 minutes completing 6/6 tasks
Address: Unit 8, Orchard Business Park, Bonehurst Road, Salfords, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5EL