She’s back, and better than ever!
Years have past since Dr Alan Harris and his team of Paranormal Investigators discovered the truth behind the the infamously named Curse of Old Maid Milly. The eponymous spirit had seemed to have found peace, but now suddenly, years on, the bedroom where Old Maid Milly had previously lived with her many cats has become a hive of supernatural activity again. When an inquisitive group of ghost hunters disappeared after making their way into the once haunted bedroom it was a clear signal of the Return of Old Maid Milly.
It had been over four months since we last physically set foot in an escape room (thanks Corona!). With lockdown lifting and escape rooms struggling, we knew it was time for us to get back out there. As fate would have it, Escape from the Room, our local company recently announced that they had a new room – that’s a sign if we ever did see one!
Our first impressions of their new Epsom location was very different to their other venues. Where before they were operating from a residential address and a golf club, they’ve now ‘upgraded’ and have their own premises that felt a world apart from before.
At the end of the street is a car park but there is also limited onsite parking that you can use. The waiting area is small but comfortable and has decent decor that fits the theme.
When we arrived we were greeted by our GM for the game, Joseph. Joseph welcomed us to Escape from the Room and we had a little chat before we got down to business. Normally there will be a video that plays the health and safety stuff and I think an intro to your game, but as they had just opened this wasn’t up and running yet. This was no problem as Joseph just read out everything we needed to know. With the disclaimer signed and the formalities out of the way we were lead through the curtain, down the hallway and into the room.
If you’re not a fan of rooms with a heavy search element then you may not like this room and it was rather search heavy, at least early on and some of the hiding places were very sneaky.
Outside of the searching, there was a good mixture of puzzles, including logic, maths, communication, and physically needing to interact with your surroundings. There’s got to be a puzzle for everyone in this room.
Most of the puzzles resulted in either being rewarded with an item or obtaining a combination for a padlock. There were a number of padlocks but the signposting on them was decent and it was always easy to know what went where.
Although this room was dark, it was never too dark and surprisingly we didn’t struggle to see anything in there. The darkness was just right to add to the atmosphere but not so dark that it became a challenge in its own right.
If there was one fault with the puzzles it would be that some of them required a decent eye for colour so if anyone on your team is colour blind, they could struggle.
We found one puzzle was a little ambiguous as there were a number of ways to interpret it, however, if you just keep things simple then it likely won’t be an issue for you.
When we played The Curse of Old Maid Milly and The Cabin in the Woods, despite being good games they still had a bit of a rough feel to them, probably because they were in a house and garden cabin. This game had none of that thanks to the new premises that it is located in, this felt like a space designed around a game rather than a game designed around a space.
Bedrooms are often not the most exciting of stagings for an escape room, yet this game still managed to find ways to surprise us and keep us guessing. In a way, you could class this room as a horror-themed room but other than a few minor jump scares, it wasn’t a scary room.
If high-tech rooms are your thing then this room probably isn’t that, but with low-tech there is less to go wrong. Everything worked as it should, when it should, and even though we knew how things were ‘triggering’ it didn’t detract from the experience.
Just when we thought the room was ending there was yet another twist, and what a fun twist it was. It gave us a laugh although we’d have probably laughed more if we weren’t in such a rush to get out as time was limited!
There was a timer in the room that was suitably disguised to blend in with the room (a nice touch) and this screen was also used for delivering clues. When clues were delivered there was a knocking from Milly’s ghost which was just enough to get your attention.
Our GM, Joseph was welcoming when we arrived and was watching our progress closely as he was quick to chime in when he saw us stumbling. I say quick to jump in, but really his nudges were perfectly timed as we were certainly rusty!
This was our first post-lockdown physical escape room, and it was a good one. Escape from the Room have upped their game and we would have no problems recommending this room.
We wore masks while we played as it seemed like the right thing to do, and we noticed our GM was wearing gloves. We felt safe while playing, and used the hand sanitiser that was provided, both before and after our game.
There is on-site parking; although I gather it can be limited we saw parking for at least three cars right outside. If that’s busy, there’s a car park literally at the end of the street that is (at time of writing) £2 for two hours.
Team: 2 players (escaped in 52:00)
Address: Escape from the Room, Depot Road, Epsom KT17 4RJ