Having taken the plunge at the start of the holiday, I wanted to get one more room in before returning to our small London flat and shutting ourselves away again. I debated over which room to do for a while, knowing we wanted to return to ‘Escape Kent’, but simultaneously wanting to get the most for our money. Having already completed two of the rooms on offer (Pirates of the Stormy Seas, which I highly recommend for the set design alone, and Vicé Versa, which I similarly recommend), we were left with a choice of 4. One of these requires 4 players, so was immediately ruled out for us (but we will return to complete when we have managed to convince 2 other to join us!), the other 2 are ‘scary’ games, which I am always reticent to complete. However, I may be convinced to attempt one in the future! This left ‘Missing’, the easiest game on the roster. I was worried it may not be worth the money, simply just because I know how quickly we can get through games, but decided to do it anyway.
This room is actually built within a shipping container, but you wouldn’t know it! The walls and floors have been beautifully insulated, wallpapered and carpeted, so you are only aware of your surroundings when the occasional lorry passed by outside.
The room is nicely furnished with all the trappings you might expect to find in your granny’s sitting room. There were quite a few moments when we were surprised, having not noticed something until our attention was drawn to it.
Knowing this was the easiest room, we immediately got straight into puzzle hunting. The room had a nice mix of one puzzle running throughout, as well as other individual puzzles to solve here and there. Each of these were pretty easy to solve once we’d located them, and the padlock where we were to input the code. However, although they were simple, there were still quite a few unique ones in there, and a nice range of puzzles to.
One of the downsides for me with this room was it felt like there were a few puzzles here and there requiring the GM to trigger something, which I always dislike. Without going into it too much, I feel like these open up the possibility of human error too much, as well as potentially wasting time (definitely time wasting, in this case). However, in this case I recognise that this room is purposefully a ‘beginner’ room, and I can absolutely see how these puzzles would be a lot of fun for families!
The puzzles themselves flowed beautifully – we initially had a little stumble when we couldn’t find any puzzles, before realising we had both overlooked something fairly obvious (thinking the other had already checked). After that, it was very smooth moving from one puzzle to the next. This could have meant it felt too linear, but in actual fact there was always something else to be doing, so avoided this issue. However, I would be careful doing this room with more than 2 enthusiasts for that reason!
The hint system was a phone, which I hated and didn’t use. It was a one way system, requiring ‘granny’ to call you, and we were told to ensure we hung up properly afterwards. However, before going in we asked to not have any hints, which was just as well. More on that shortly….
There is a small step into the room, but a nice comfy armchair once inside. The room didn’t feel too narrow, so should (in theory) be enough space for a wheelchair. However, there are a couple of parts that do require some mobility skill. There were also puzzles relying on colour, sound and even taste (although we did this via guess work, due to allergies).
The room felt cool, due to an air con, and didn’t feel too small with only 2 of us. However, anyone concerned with space should limit the number of players. It was well lit, with no loud noises or smells.
Outside the room
This room takes place in a shipping container outside the main ‘Escape Kent’ building. The main building features a rather nice waiting area, briefing room, toilets and (I believe) basic refreshments.
The staff are all top notch. I was able to geek out about escape rooms before going in, swapping recommendations for games around the country, as well as whether or not I’d be able to cope with their ‘The Haunting’ room (being a huge wimp), and trying to tease out anything about their upcoming room. Our GM for this game was lovely, and discussed with us whether we’d like hints or not (we asked her not to give us hints). We also had a nice chat afterwards and left with a nice, happy feeling.
The only downside to ‘Escape Kent’ is the location – on your classic industrial estate. It’s a short walk from Canterbury East station, but will take you a little while from Canterbury town centre. However, it is well worth it!
Was it worth the money?
We paid £25pp, so £50 for our team of 2. For us, it probably wasn’t worth the money as we escaped so quickly (under 30mins), although we had a fun time. I’d probably have preferred to pay around £20 each. However, for a team of beginners, or particularly a team featuring kids, I think it would definitely have been worth it!
Pros; Staff, puzzle variety
Cons; GM triggered puzzles, accessibility (audio, motor, taste)