REVIEW: ESCAPE IN THE TOWERS - CRIME & PUNISHMENT LAB. CANTERBURY, KENT


Having previously played at historical sites where escape games have failed to reflect the grandeur of the listed buildings surrounding them, we entered Escape In The Towers in Canterbury somewhat dubiously.

We met with our welcoming games master who led us up a stairwell and into a cosy former gaol cell, where he retold a fascinating account of the buildings history and its former use as the city police station. After a run through of the rules of the game before becoming acquainted with its plot, we were marched off to our starting point blindfolded to an equally intimidating adjoining cell where our escape began.   

Whilst it would be easy to lazily construct a simple “jail escape” game here, we were impressed that the plot was a little more padded. Instead of setting the game play in 1883, we were to stumble across Dr Wellington’s controversial former crime and punishment laboratories in 1994 almost an entire century later. We had just 60 minutes to escape before suffering the same fate of Dr Wellington's many experiment victims!

As the synopsis suggests the space lay abandoned for 80 years so it’s easy to conclude that the likelihood of fancy tech to be found here would be minimal or appear uncharacteristically out of place, but Escape The Towers excelled in incorporating reliable and robust technological elements that somehow managed to befit its period. ...But fear not if traditional lock-and-keys are more your loot, there’s plenty of those to be had here too. 


The puzzles were a welcomed variation of styles, with plenty of sinister props to investigate which further complimented the history of the building and kept all team members curiously busy. The inclusion of theme appropriate background sound along with its increasing intensity assisted further in its immersion, although we occasionally found it intrusive whilst attempting to relay information to other team members across the space.

Talking of space, at times it was a little snug so groups larger than four may struggle to navigate the space without treading on one another's toes. 

Alongside the games masters attentive live guidance; another great addition was the use of novel sound bites for clues that assisted in subtly directing you on the right path without giving any out-and-out resolves. 

We managed to escape the clutches of Dr Wellington in time; relieved that any previous apprehension this game would be all style over substance returned us with a non-guilty verdict. 

Alongside it's impressive location and history, Escape The Towers offers a standout game full of excellent challenging puzzles that combine both impressive tech and the traditional. All which flowed effortlessly under the watchful warden of our astute games master who enforced his role with perfect jurisdiction.  

It was a real slammer, and we really cant recommend highly enough that you go and get banged up for a hour next time you happen to be in the Canterbury area!



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