Last week, I received an invitation to go time travelling with London’s favourite escape room…..Time Run. Located near London Fields in East London, I took my housemates along for an adventure filled afternoon, where we took on both games Time Run has to offer: The Lance of Longinus and Celestial Chain. Both games are designed for 3-6 players (there were 5 of us) and have a time limit of 60 minutes.
We arrived looking for some sort of reception or waiting area, only to find a door and a sign with our game and start time on. A little confused, we waited outside until our allotted time, when suddenly the door flew open and our experienced started! We were greeted by an actor who explains the mission you have ahead of you, and what you need to achieve. This happens for both games. He also fills you in on the back story and introduces your mentors who will be helping you throughout your mission; Luna Fox and her robot assistant Babbage. The actor performed the role brilliantly and had us part of the experience before the game had even started.
We began with the highly acclaimed ‘Lance of Longinus’ , and it was genuinely one of, if not the best escape room I have done. We were taken into our “locked room” where we were played a final briefing from Luna and Babbage explaining our quest. Your mission is to voyage through forgotten and undiscovered worlds, on an exploratory quest across multiple time periods, to track down the most powerful weapon of all – The Lance of Longinus . It uses state of the art technology, cinematic sets and immersive performance. As the film ended, flashing lights around a circled corridor provided a cool ‘wormhole’ effect and as we walked through the portal, a shutter opened to reveal our first time period. I don’t want to ruin the time periods or layout of the game, but there’s anything and everything from ancient temples, to WW2 offices, to futuristic space stations….and more!
Throughout this game, you are much more involved than your average escape room. You aren’t just locked in a room with your mates having to frantically puzzle solve against the clock. It’s so much more immersive. The amount of effort that has gone in to building the set is incredible and it felt like we were part of something much bigger than your typical escape room. It was so nice to steer away from repetitive puzzles that open padlock after padlock. Having to physically move objects, direct magnets, and play with sand and laser beams, made the experience much more hands on and fun.
There are lots of puzzles in each room, to allow team mates to split up and explore independently. The downside to this is that I didn’t get a chance to be part of every puzzle, and on some occasions I found out a team mate had solved something without me even realising it was there. However, as there are lots of puzzles to go around, everyone is kept busy and it works well pairing off to get things done.
The best part was – I didn’t stop thinking for once. The hour flew by and I could have kept playing for longer. It was frantic from start to finish which is every escapees dream!
My Top Tip: Practise Jigsaw puzzles. It was our nemesis! We managed to get to the final section with a good 10-15 minutes to spare and ended up running out of time on the final jigsaw puzzle (seriously, it was one of the most stressful moments of my life!). Luckily, because we were so close – our time portal was kept open for an extra 5 minutes and we were able to complete the game and retrieve the Lance of Longinus in a total of 63 minutes. Yeyy!
After retrieving the Lance of Longinus, we were sent to our next mission and explored Time Runs second game; Celestial Chain. Celestial Chain is not your normal escape room. You have 15 minutes in each room to collect as many artefacts from that time period as you can (all of which will be needed in the final room). The story? A rogue goddess, once imprisoned, has broken free of the Celestial Chain, and the artefacts you gather are what you need to bind her once again…. or risk the end of the world! This is a brand new format and never seen before in a live game experience. Plus, you get a clear scoring system that reflects your team’s achievements at the end.
I think I exhibited every possible emotion in this game. I shouted and laughed the whole way through. Although I love the novel concept of Celestial Chain, it was frustrating having a 15 min time limit on each room, as we found ourselves finally getting to grips with what was expected but not having enough time to complete it, as we were forced to abandon that part of the mission and move into the next zone. At one point, I was so set on completing one of the puzzles, despite the fact that the door was closing, that when I eventually managed to finish it, I sprinted towards the door, shoving one of my teammates out of the way, managing to get myself through, but locking him out! Very Crystal Maze-esque.
Amongst the hilarious screams of “We’ve lost Dan” and coming to terms with being a man down, we attacked the final challenge. There were some really cool special effects and the overall nature of this last section made it feel like we were in an Indiana Jones movie.
As a team, we ended up achieving 79%. We found two more artefacts after the time had ran out which was annoying as we could have scored better, but hey, 79% is a first at university so I’ll take it!
TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
I absolutely loved my experience with Time Run and would highly recommend it. BUT…….if you want to book a place you must hurry!
After three years, the time run portal is finally closing! Since April 2015, 78,000 runners have passed through the portal to take on a fast-paced adventure through time and space. Teams now have until 25th April to join the legions who have raced against the clock, solving challenges and cracking puzzles to try and beat Time Run’s top scores for both games. That’s right – Time Run is holding a tournament to determine its greatest players of all time.
If you and your teammates can achieve over 118 points in Celestial Chain or obtain the Lance in 45 minutes or less, you will win the title of Time Run Champion along with exclusive tickets to their next production launching in Autumn 2018.
So what are you waiting for? Get down to Time Run before 25th April 2018 and battle it out to see if you and your team are good enough to win tickets for the new venture announced later this year!
For more info, check out their website: Time Run