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Review: Howitz v1 - Escapologic, Nottingham

Room Story - from Escapologic

A tragic loss. A happy family destroyed. A desperate man, irresistibly drawn to dark forces. As the door slams shut behind you, you're trapped in the world of Eli Howitz, an enigmatic figure whose gut-wrenching story pervades every millimetre of the room.

show more.... Just what happened in Eli's toy shop? You've heard the rumours. You know the horror stories off by heart. But how much truth is there in the police report? Can there really be ritualistic carvings on the walls? They say there were glowing symbols, and toys that whirred, clicked, and span on their own...

Our resident genius created Howitz after too little sleep and too many disturbing movies! There are scenes of a nature that might upset in here. Of all the escape rooms in Nottingham, this is the one that could cause sleepless nights. If that kind of thing messes with your head, we recommend leaving the door locked on this one.

With the clock inexorably marking off the seconds and minutes of your nightmare, you only have limited time to find out what really happened in Eli's shop. Hunt for clues. Track down the horrifying puzzles that will bring you one step closer to freedom. And get the hell out of there, before the room claims you as its own.

There aren't any escape rooms in Nottingham that are as intense as this! At the very heart of Howitz lies a truth too terrible to imagine. Dare you uncover it? Enter Eli's world, and discover the man behind the myth. But don't tarry too long, or you could become just another plaything for the black magic that holds this room in its grip...

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Key Stats

Room NameHowitz v1
VenueEscapologic
LocationNottingham, UK
Date10/11/2016
Escape Time59:51
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size2 - 3

Review

Since publishing this review, Escapologic have performed a major revamp of the room so it is now very different to the room I reviewed.

Only a few days after completing my first escape room, I returned to Escapologic to do a different and somewhat more creepy room with a different group. I was a little bit nervous about how scary the room would be, but my wife reassured me as she’d done the room with some colleagues from work. It was only after I’d completed the room that she told me she’d spent the duration of her time in the room rooted to the spot and practically hiding...

The host set the scene, telling us tales of creepy goings on in the abandoned toy shop. He also warned us that at some point in the room, one of us would be separated from the rest of the team. Craig was volunteered for the task.

We entered a dimly lit room with eerie music and lots of toys surrounding us. We spent the first few minutes clinging to the light, avoiding progressing into the dark room beyond for fear of what lay there. At the beginning of the game, there’s a lot of searching involved which proves quite a challenging task due to the sheer number of things in the room. As we found the items we needed to progress, the time came to split the team in order to progress. I won’t describe how the split occurs, where the other team member goes or what happens when you split but all I will say is, there were many screams and shouts from our poor separated team mate.

When the team separates, there’s quite a frustrating physical puzzle that seemed almost impossible. We felt that the puzzle was going to keep us stuck for the rest of the game, until after a few minutes the host did something to help us. It did feel like the puzzle was a deliberate device to slow people down and was really the only negative in the room.

When the team was reunited, we immediately got stuck on a puzzle that ate up the biggest chunk of time in the room. The answer was frustratingly simple, yet clever at the same time, so we felt a little bit disappointed in ourselves and thought we’d cost ourselves a successful escape. This did give us the opportunity to experience the rooms clue system that managed to fully fit with the haunted theme of the room. We were really impressed with how cleverly they’d managed to weave the clues into the room. Unfortunately for my team, I took receipt of one of the clues and when I attempted to simultaneously decipher the message and listen at the same time, I instantly forgot the clue. Woops.

We then proceeded to the final part of the room with only minutes to spare and raced through a series of puzzles. At this point, there isn’t a great deal of room and for groups larger than 3, there would be a few people stood around missing out on the fun. This was my favourite part of the room due to the sheer pace and the moment of comedy at the end of all the puzzles. We escaped with only a few seconds to spare.

The team were Chris, Daniel and Craig.


Ratings

Overall A very creepy room with scarily realistic theming and a very amusing ending.
Difficulty There were a couple of puzzles that caused us difficulty – one which really frustrated us when we finally got the answer. We found it reasonably challenging without being frustratingly difficult.
Fun We had a lot of fun – despite spending some of the time in fearful anticipation.
Puzzles In general the puzzles are really good, particularly the quick succession of puzzles at the end of the game. However, there was one puzzle in the middle of the game that deliberately slowed down progress and felt frustrating rather than fun.
Immersion We felt like we were in a creepy haunted toy shop – everything felt very scarily real.
Surprises There were a series of surprises in quick succession at the end of the game that really amused us. If I gave away any more it would spoil it.

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