Review: Alcatraz @ Xscape Reality Cardiff

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I think we can all agree that we live in a relatively safe world nowadays, but does safe mean less thrilling?

The entertainment sphere is changing every day, just as fast as our demand does. People are coming up with new ways to create thrilling (and sometimes spooky) attractions to bring more adrenaline into our lives. One of the latest innovations of the kind is the real-life escape room.

What is a real-life escape game?

Would you like to immerse yourself in a different reality? With only one chance to escape by solving all the puzzles in a limited amount of time? I can’t imagine many people that would refuse! And basically, it all comes down to the following:

  • You’re in a team of around 2 to 6 people
  • You find yourself in the middle of an exciting scenario, such as a bank robbery, or escaping from a crazy murderer, or finding your way through an old board game. In the beginning of any game you will be “trapped” in a room, and your main goal is to find a way out
  • You’ve only got 60 minutes to complete the task

Most Escape Room companies have different quests to offer. Xscape Reality Cardiff has a variety of rooms, with different levels of difficulty. From Jungala, a relatively easy quest recommended for beginners, to Fibonacci, probably the most difficult room in Xscape Reality that requires not just logic, but good maths skills as well.

What happens if we don’t manage to “escape” in time?

You stay trapped in the room forever. Mwahaha.

Joking aside, you’ll probably feel a little down and disappointed if you don’t manage to get out of the room in time. But fear not, you will not be left on your own after the game’s start. In Xscape Reality you will be given an iPad before your quest begins. In case you get seriously stuck during the game you can use the device and ask for a hint or a solution to a certain puzzle. Of course, nothing comes free, and you will pay for the hints you use with the precious time you’ve got left. (Not to mention the breaking of the fourth wall when you receive the hints – I’d say only get your hands on the iPad when you’re 100% sure you’re stuck!)

How do I choose my room?

There are currently six different game scenarios available to you at Xscape Reality Cardiff:

  • Jungala, based on an adventure fantasy story Jumanji
  • Enigmista, a serial killer kind of story
  • The Heist, an art gallery robbery
  • Alcatraz a high-security prison’s escape
  • Misery escape a killer’s room before they return to finish what they started
  • and the above-mentioned Fibonacci

We went to Xscape Reality in a team of six people, with two of us having already done other real-life escape games before, so we decided to go for a top difficult one.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 7.40.41 PM

Xscape Reality’s Alcatraz, just like the real one, has a grim reputation: there hasn’t been a team yet that has managed to escape in 60 minutes. Our team was close, yet so far – we were right in front of the exit, but didn’t have enough time left to unlock the final puzzle. If you’re feeling confident, try this quest and maybe your team will become the №1 Alcatraz escapees!

Xscape Reality

Pricing and Opening hours

The cost of the game depends on how many people are in your team: for example, a 2-person game will cost you £22 each, when a 6-player game is only £15 pp. There’s also a 15% discount code offer you can use on the website at the moment, and you get 20% off when you come back after completing one of the games.

Xscape 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 the website:

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