Pier Pressure Escape Rooms in Brighton has opened a festive room in time for Christmas. But how is it?
Aptly named The Great ELFscape, the concept is that the elves are feeling slightly worse for wear after too many sweets at their work do - perhaps unwisely organised for the night before Christmas Eve - and they need your help to sort out which presents go to which Brighton girl or boy on the good list.
The room deviates from the normal escape room format in that the 12 puzzles to complete within the hour can be done in any order: which makes the first few minutes slightly overwhelming. Where to begin? What item links to what puzzle?
But with a bit of guidance from our friendly helper elf, who spoke to us through a mystical festive window (aka a flat screen telly... sorry to ruin Christmas) my team was on its way.
Without giving too much away on the puzzle front, each conundrum to solve comes from an elf in a different department of Father Christmas’ workshop. So the financial elf’s puzzle involves numbers, and making things is the name of the game with the builder elf. And of course, the elf and safety department gets an outing.
The contrast between the jolly festive music and our task was more noticeable as the time ticked away, but we managed to complete the room with ten minutes to spare - despite one of our padlocked presents not opening, a minor glitch.
We were told afterwards by our helper that the staff would expect a team of three to complete three puzzles as a minimum - which to be honest, I found hard to believe. With all the clues we got, it would be hard not to complete the room. Apparently one group did complete it with no clues and ten minutes to spare, which was genuinely impressive to me.
As a more unusual way to get into the festive spirit, I’d highly recommend this. My only criticism was some slightly awkward acting at the beginning from our elf helper as he set the scene. As a 6ft-plus man dressed in an elf costume, I think it would have been funnier if he’d spoken in his own voice.
And if this wasn’t enough to convince you, 10% of all proceeds from the room will be donated to The Clock Tower Sanctuary, which helps young homeless people in Brighton.
The room is designed for up to six players aged 12+ and comes with a variable difficulty setting. It is open seven days a week (excluding Christmas Day) from 9am-10pm, tickets range from £18 - £30 per person. Book now by clicking here.