Escape Reality is one of Cardiff’s newest escape room experiences, adding to the ever growing phenomena of puzzle rooms, which are springing up around the country. Escape rooms offer players to chance to be in an immersive puzzle, whereby they are locked inside a themed room with a narrative or objective and given an hour to bust out by cracking codes, solving puzzles and hunting for clues. Escape Reality has several themed experiences, including, Enigmista, The Heist, Misery, Alcatraz, Fibonacci and Jungala, with themes ranging from horror, prison escape and cryptology with varying levels of difficulty.
Having played several puzzle rooms in Cardiff we were very excited to be invited to come and try out Escape Reality for an evening, especially when informed there was an on site bar. Nothing like a little dutch courage to give you a mis-placed sense of puzzle confidence. We were greeted by friendly and helpful staff who explained we were to be playing the ‘Jungala’ game tonight. This is a Jumanji style themed room with a tantalising description:
“You have discovered an old board game in your attic and once opened you are engulfed by a vortex and transported into an alternative realm. After only seeing a glimpse of the terrible world inside you are thrown back into reality. Vowing never to approach the game again you attempt to leave but the door has been locked trapping you in. Glancing over to the game you see the words “The dice have been rolled.” You have no choice but to complete the game or be trapped inside the other realm for eternity. You only have sixty minutes to complete the game!”
After the obligatory ‘Escape selfie’ we were ready to begin, with a mixture of anticipation and nervousness, what was going to be behind the door? Do we even know how to do puzzles? Had we had enough wine? We were led through the door and into fantastically decorated room, that instantly gives you the Jumanji vibe.
The tricky part about reviewing escape room experiences is that you don’t want to give too much away and spoil the fun for potential players. What I will say for Escape Reality is that the room we played was a comprehensive, multi-room experience with amazing jungle regalia and puzzles, that had us racing to beat the clock. Given that husband Luke and I aren’t exactly known for our puzzle cracking capabilities, it was a relief to have helpful staff on hand to nudge you in the right direction when you are struggling with clues. So immersed we were in the game that when one of the staff came in to attempt to help us I literally screamed out in surprise at someone entering the room, so apologies to the poor lad who’s face I yelled in, I hope you aren’t too scarred.
We sadly were a few seconds over beating the clock in our room, as the penny dropped too late on the last clue. Despite our lack of success we had a fantastic evening at escape Reality. The room was fantastically decorated and engaging and the staff were really helpful and encouraging, even when they are dealing with clueless customers like us.
If you fancy yourself as a code cracker make sure you book yourself and your friends into the fabulous Escape Reality Cardiff.