Fairy lights, fairy lights everywhere!
Transformed back to the 80’s Your team have been requested by Agent Andrea Owens to investigate the rifts, also known as ‘the upside down’ that have been appearing around Hawkins.
Your mission is to try and locate any gaps that may have opened up.
You have 60 minutes to locate a rift and get information you can recover.
We had just completed four rooms at Escape Peterborough in the town centre so had a nice (not really) walk to the industrial estate slightly out of town to check out rooms at Hour Escapes. I’d spoken to the owners prior to the day to see which rooms were doable as a two, unfortunately only two were, Stranger Things and The Black Diamond.
I’m a child of the 80s so naturally I loved everything about the Netflix show, Stranger Things, so anytime I see a Stranger Things room I’m both excited and apprehensive about if it will live up to the show.
The venue is not the most exciting of locations from the outside but once we got in we were warmly greeted by the owner, Amy and our GM for our games, Dan. If you’re thirsty there are drinks you can purchase on site and although we didn’t see a waiting area I was told there is a second room that does have seating.
After a brief chat and then depositing our belongings in the lockers provided, we were taken to the entrance to the room where we were given the health and safety and room specific briefing. Formalities out of the way, we were blindfolded and then led into the room – the blindfolds aren’t part of the story, they just make sure there are some surprises left for you.
There is always a concern that rooms based on tv shows may require you to have seen them to be able to escape. Having watched the show I can definitely say that it gives you a greater appreciation and understanding of the set and story, but it wasn’t needed.
The room wasn’t overly linear and at one point I turned round and Liz seemed to have solved a few things while I was just working out where I was.
There was a little bit of searching required but this wasn’t a search heavy room, there was actually more maths (basic) required than searching. Most of the room was ‘work out a code and enter it in a padlock’ types of puzzles and there weren’t really any logic puzzles.
We found there was a lot of sign posting to guide you to puzzles; for beginner teams this may work well but I think it actually confused us because we often found the signposting after we had solved the puzzle. This signposting became more annoying for us later in the room when we were convinced we still needed to solve more before finishing the room (we didn’t).
One puzzle, using one of my favourite escape room items, felt a bit drawn out and I found myself just getting annoyed with it and how long it was taking. Somehow Liz completely missed that this was even a puzzle I was working on, so I’m not sure what she thought I was doing…
When first entering the room (and removing the blindfold) you couldn’t help but enjoy the set, who doesn’t love fairy lights?! It didn’t really bear much resemblance to the Stranger Things set but it did have a suitably 80s feel about it with some Stranger Things related pictures and items around the place.
As previously alluded to there was a fair number of padlocks here (and a lot of keys), but there was also some tech thrown in for good measure – although we found it to be a bit temperamental at times.
For me, the room fell down on one aspect, red herrings. I get some items were there to point you in the right direction, but when you collect various items from different locations and it builds up to a piece of equipment that doesn’t switch on, that is a red herring (and it wasn’t the only one). Even if they made the piece of equipment totally obsolete by removing the cable it would have been better, but it was plugged in and just didn’t switch on, couple that with a piece of tech near it and it made you wonder if you needed to do something to get it to turn on.
Speaking of things being plugged in and not working, there was one item in the room that worked very well, so much so that I could have potentially burned the place down with my attempts to solve the puzzle. As we were told before we went in that we may need to plug things in, I would recommend they remove the plug from this item to avoid the confusion with others (although it did actually work as I intended).
The thing I probably enjoyed the most was the wonderful soundtrack that was playing in the room, I could have happily just listened to that for the hour! There was also a good journey to the room, I don’t want to give anything away but it just had a good flow that fit the story well.
One more thing, there are some tight spaces in this room and those with mobility issues may struggle here – we couldn’t see a work around for this without some spoilers, but there may be an alternative. If you’re concerned, do contact the venue.
This room didn’t fully click with how our brains work (and we had some stupid moments) so we needed several clues and nudges to help us get through it. When clues were delivered they were through a walkie-talkie that we were given before we went in.
Dan was very good at giving help when needed, although at times it felt like the clues gave a bit too much detail as we would have preferred just a gentle nudge in the right direction rather than an in-depth clue (but that’s just personal preference).
From what we saw it looks like the GMs here may be watching multiple rooms at the same time, this can work but the problem is that they then don’t know what you have done and where you are with the puzzles. We found a few times that when we requested a clue we were then told information for things we had already done. We prefer when it’s one room per GM, as then they can monitor how you are doing much more closely, but understand there can be limitations when trying to run a business and actually make a profit..
There was no timer in the room so the only way of knowing how you were progressing was the GM chiming in over the walkie-talkie every 15 minutes with an update on your time.
A fun room with some nice 80s touches. Decent puzzles but ultimately let down by red herrings and an over abundance of sign-posting. It’s still the best Stranger Things room we’ve done, although we’ve only done two and the other one was not great. A few tweaks to the puzzles, and perhaps the clue system and this could be a great room.
Team: 2 players
Address: 6F Forward House, Aston Business Park, Shrewsbury Avenue, Woodston, Peterborough, PE2 7BF