Escape Reality Cardiff, 6-7 St. John Street, Cardiff, CF10 1GJ
If you’re looking for the perfect way to bond with someone, then get inexplicably infuriated with them, before finally reconnecting as you escape to victory, then you need Escape Reality in your life.
What’s an escape game?
Escape Reality is one of a handful of Escape Games that have popped up in Cardiff over the past year or so. The basic premise of an escape game is that 2-6 people get locked in a room for an hour. Rather than have a nap or a nice sit down, there are clues and puzzles dotted around the room that lead you towards eventually escaping.
It’s not quite The Crystal Maze, as there’s no running around or physical exertion needed (nor Richard O’Brien being sardonic with a mouth organ) but there are a range of themes and difficulties to suit all players. Escape Reality has 6 different games to play from the super-hard prison break of Alcatraz via the creepy Misery to the serial killer themed Enigmista. As massive scaredy cats we plumped for Jungala in this review.
You have discovered an old board game in your attic and once opened you are engulfed by a vortex and transported into an alternative realm. After only seeing a glimpse of the terrible world inside you are thrown back into reality. Vowing never to approach the game again you attempt to leave but the door has been locked trapping you in. Glancing over to the game you see the words “The dice have been rolled.” You have no choice but to complete the game or be trapped inside the other realm for eternity. You only have sixty minutes to complete the game!
Before you enter the room you’re given a tablet device that you can use on QR codes dotted around the room that can either give you a clue at the cost of a minute off your time or the solution for five minutes. If you get completely stuck or get claustrophobic then there are panic buttons or you can flash your torch at the CCTV to alert staff. We had to do that once, as one of the QR codes wouldn’t scan and we were stumped. The solutions are often 4 digit codes that you either have to punch into a keypad or fiddle with combination locks to reach the next puzzle. There are, I think, 10 in total in Jungala but I’m not going to give away any of the answers or tips on how to escape, apart from watch out for the monkey button. You’ll know what I mean if you play it. I actually yelped when it happened.
If you’ve never done an escape room before then I thoroughly recommend Escape Reality. It’s handily located in the middle of town (basically opposite the big Burger King by the Castle), the rooms are nice and atmospheric and the prices start at £15 per person if 6 of you are playing. That might sound a bit steep, but you don’t get much change out of a tenner if you go to the cinema nowadays. And this is much more fun, interactive and memorable than a trip to the flicks. It’s also oddly relaxing, as you’re purely focused on the game and not school or college or work or whatever.
So if you’re looking for something a bit different to do on a rainy day in Cardiff, then give Escape Reality a spin. Just watch out for the monkeys.
Escape Reality Cardiff is open Monday to Thursday from 12pm to 10.30pm, and Friday to Sunday from 10.30am to 10.30 pm. All bookings must be made through their website.
P.S. The Isotopes escaped in around 55 minutes, well short of the record, which currently stands at 37 minutes. ‘Topes lose.
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