Guiding My Brother Through Lasers & Stealing Diamonds With My Dad*
This week has been a busy one there's no doubt about it. I have been rushing here there and everyone, as you read this I am away with the weekend in West Wales with friends and I have had a million and one things to do in my bullet journal.
So how to combat it?
Throw caution to the wind and take your brother and father out for a wild Thursday evening of course.
Last weekend was of course Father's Day and my Dad is always super easy to buy for - he always requests a CD or DVD he's been hankering after and we're done but this year I had a very well timed email fall into my inbox.
When Escape Rooms Cardiff got in touch to ask if I fancied a freebie escape rooms experience I jumped at the chance and planned it for this week as a belated Father's Day present from me and my brother to my Dad. My brother and I have been lucky enough to do two escape rooms experiences which this blog brought to us and my Dad has always said how much he'd like to go so it was all booked in really easily with the team at Escape Rooms Cardiff and off we went.
We cleverly booked in for the same evening that Ed Sheeran was starting his 4 night residency in Cardiff so we booked a 9pm slot to try and miss the traffic into town and still be out before he finished his set and we timed it perfectly. Dad picked us both up from our respective homes and we ended up flying into the city centre and whizzed ourselves over to the escape rooms, which if you know Cardiff is down by the Westgate Street entrance to the Principality. Because we were there a bit early and nobody else waiting for a slot the lovely staff let us go in early which meant (spoiler) we got out early too and left whilst our Ed was still singing his heart out.
Obviously giving a review on an Escape Rooms is difficult because you can't spoil the secrets but we can talk a little bit about the theme of the room without giving too much away. My brother is an escape rooms pro and had actually done the other two rooms in Escape Rooms Cardiff so I booked us into the Heist room which was, as the name might suggest, a heist themed room.
When we did a bit of googling about the room we discovered it was the hardest of the rooms in this particular Escape Rooms and was a cheeky level 5 difficulty - the last one we did that hard took us 2 hours to get out of and that was only because the staff were nice enough to let us play on. The last one we did was an 'easy' escape rooms and I would rate this somewhere in between, verging on the harder end of the scale.
The 'theme' behind the room is that you're separated in an art gallery and the intention is to break into a vault and steal diamonds locked inside and relies 100% on your communication as clues in one room with one person might relate to answers in another room with another person. As with most escape rooms, the staff are watching on CCTV at all times and are waiting to help you with a clue to move you along if you're really stuck. Using a clue incurs a time penalty and we ended up using three, one of which we should really have worked out but it was at the beginning and our heads weren't in the game.
As with all escape rooms, without giving away specific clues, the room gave you scenarios, padlocks, safes, master key boxes and all kinds of surprises that meant we needed to communicate and work together. My brother and my Dad are very crafty individuals so things like riddles is a piece of piss to them whereas my brain doesn't work like that, but then we'd have some practical clues which I would solve immediately and that's exactly why the game works - it appeals to all parts of the brain and all ways of thinking so in theory there's something for everyone.
So of course the real question is did we make it out? And if you saw my Insta story on Thursday night you'll know that we did, with just under 10 minutes to spare. Our three clues incurred a few minutes time penalty and at about 20 minutes to go I was panicking but we had a wave of inspiration and some serious teamwork and we raced out of there with our stolen diamonds in tact.
Our suspicions that my father would like escape experiences as much as we do were proved correct and it really was the bets Father's Day present we could have given him. We finished our time with Escape Room Cardiff with a crystal maze esque challenge of catching gold and silver pieces of paper in a windy tunnel which we deffo weren't as good as and then headed home, buzzing, rehashing the clues and feeling like we could basically become detectives. Or ninjas.
So my review of escape room experiences on the whole? Big fan and I am sure you've always known it. They're not the cheapest of evenings out when you're paying full price when you think it's only an hour and you might not escape but most venues do student discount or cheapen the ticket per person the more people you book in and loads do special events discounts like summer nights or round Halloween and Christmas. I am really of the opinion they'd be a fabulous stag or hen party and if you have a massive troop with you you could always hire the whole venue, split up and conquer each room - whilst also trying to beat eachother's time.
But my review of Escape Rooms Cardiff for those of you close enough to fancy booking your own experience. Sort and sweet? We bloody loved it. My brother is a big fan of the venue having paid full price to do escape rooms there twice and now having done each room and that's testament to the staff who work there who are great and the rooms themselves which they change and work hard on.
I personally really liked the little touches like having a computer monitor in the rooms which counts down the time remaining for you and which is also where the clues flash up meaning no staff member comes in to give you a clue in person which I find can really take you out of the game. I also liked the venue a lot, it's super easy to find and the bonus game is a fun addition at the end of the evening, plus the free pens were highly rated for my brother and my dad to take to work.
Escape Rooms Cardiff is currently only three rooms but they confirmed they're starting work on two more soon which I am sure we will back to sample when they're complete and I for one cannot wait. Big thanks to the venue for giving me the chance to treat my brother and my dad to the spoils of this blog and to the staff for making our evening run smooth.
*This post was not paid for however our experience at Escape Rooms Cardiff was completely free in return for my honest review. All words, opinions and escaping skills are very much my own (and I suppose partly my family).