Wondering what to do to celebrate Halloween in Cardiff this year? If you’re not heading to a fancy dress party, taking the kids trick-or-treating, or watching scary movies, check out one of Cardiff’s scarier escape rooms.
Escape rooms are becoming increasingly popular both in the UK and overseas, and Cardiff is a prime example of this growing trend, with five escape rooms opening up in the city since last year. Designed for anywhere between 2-6 players, escape room games usually last for one hour, during which time the players are locked in a themed room and must work together to solve clues in order to escape before the timer runs out. I first wrote about Cardiff’s escape rooms last month, when I tried out Breakout Cardiff with a few friends.
Unlike most of Cardiff’s other escape rooms, Escape Reality features several sinister, and in some cases gruesome scenarios, ideal for a Halloween with a difference. Choose between being engulfed in a vortex after finding a Jumanji-style board game, handcuffed and held hostage by a serial killer at his latest crime scene, trapped in a nurse’s house after she offers to help you when your car breaks down, or locked in an art gallery as a cryptologist trying to solve a gruesome murder (to highlight just a few of the themes).
We opted for the second option. Enitled Enigmista, this room sees 2-6 players awake to find themselves handcuffed in darkness by a serial killer who forces his prisoners to perform tasks to see how far they will push themselves to escape within 60 minutes. The story line reminded me very much of the Saw movies, and the room looked like it could’ve been a scene from one of Jigsaw’s twisted experiments. Rest assured that you can exit the room at any time if you feel uncomfortable – the team watch you on CCTV, so just signal to let them know.
Photography is forbidden inside the escape rooms, so I don’t have any photos of my own to show you. Neither can I tell you what was inside the room, or what clues we had to solve, as I wouldn’t want to ruin the element of surprise for future visitors to Escape Reality. However, I can tell you that it was pretty creepy, and it took us all a minute or two to adjust to our surroundings. Once we started looking for clues, we managed to find the first ones just a few minutes in, but solving the puzzles was much trickier.
Each room has a difficulty rating, ranging from 3-5 (with 5 being the most difficult). Enigmista is rated 4, and some of the puzzles really baffled us. Luckily, we were given an iPad which we could use to scan numbered stickers placed next to the puzzles and generate a hint to help us out, although the scanning technology was a bit unreliable.
With a little help from the friendly team at Escape Reality, we managed to escape with no time at all left to spare.
We had a great time at Escape Reality and would love to take on another one of their escape rooms again in future. The sinister storyline and surroundings of Enigmista added to the fun of the game for us, and if you’re looking for something different to do for Halloween in Cardiff with your friends or family this year, I can’t recommend it enough.
This isn’t the kind of place you’d want to take your children to, though. Escape Reality’s website says there is no age restriction on their escape games, but that children under 12 years old should be accompanied by an adult. However, we were all taken aback by the sight of the room at first, and the handcuffs are attached to a heavy chain and were slightly uncomfortable on our wrists, and so could be painful for a child.
Regardless of which room you choose to book, the cost remains the same and ranges from £15 to £22 per head, depending how many players there are (the more players, the it cheaper it is). This weekend only, receive a free drink at the bar after your game when you arrive in your best Halloween-themed fancy dress outfits! To book an escape room at Escape Reality Cardiff, please click here.
6-7 St John St,
I was given a complimentary game at Escape Reality Cardiff in exchange for an honest review.