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Review: Butcher - Escapologic, Nottingham

Room Story - from Escapologic

Anna and Max have the kind of relationship everyone pretends to find annoying. But really, their friends are just a little bit jealous. Because you can see how much these two people are meant to be together. They just-fit.

Anna is daring and inquisitive, Max is sensible. She encourages him to try new things. He stops her from doing stupid stuff.

USUALLY. But not today.

show more.... Maybe it's the sunshine. Maybe it's the wine. Because today, when Anna finds a randomly-unlocked shutter on a random side street, Max isn't quick enough to persuade her not to go inside. His mind is on the picnic they've just had, the kisses they've shared. So what if Anna is intent on seeking out some new dark and gloomy pace to scare him with. It's just Anna being Anna, right? This is why he loves her.

It's just an adventure. A dare. It'll be OK.

And then the shutter bangs down, and everything is very far from OK.

13utcher is the fifth locked room puzzle created by our resident mad genius, and it's one of the most impressively-realised yet! No expense has been spared to recreate the atmosphere of the butcher's lair in all its gory details. If you had to make a comparison with the movies, it'd be the set of Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The original, of course, not the dodgy 2003 remake...

Outside, in another world, the sun is still shining. But in here, amidst the buckets and the blood, things have taken a decidedly dark turn! You'll need to work fast to solve the puzzles and break out to freedom. Because there's no telling when the butcher might come back...

13utcher is one of the bloodiest of our Nottingham escape rooms, and while it isn't exactly a 'horror room', we'd definitely say it contains scenes and images some may find upsetting. With mental and physical puzzle elements to conquer, and a deliciously tactile set design, this is part classic escape room and part test of nerve. Can you see past the blood, and concentrate on the solution? less

Key Stats

Room NameButcher
LocationNottingham, UK
Escape Time49:50
Team Size4
My Recommended Team Size4 - 5


I’ll start this review by confessing that I’m a wimp when it comes to anything horror themed. If somebody asked me if I wanted to complete a horror themed escape room, the firm answer would be no. I’m also not easily talked into things. So I’m still surprised to this day that I accepted by friends’ idea to go and try the Butcher room at Escapologic.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with grimaces from the staff as we told them we were here to do the Butcher room. Things didn’t improve in our briefing as we were gleefully informed by our host about the high proportion of people who ask to exit the room because they are too scared, the people who’ve had involuntarily accidents as a result of the fear and those that have just sat in a corner and quietly wept. It’s fair to say we were all looking pretty nervous by this point.

We were also introduced to the storyline of the room. As the name probably suggests, the Butcher is a serial killer. And we’re about to enter his lair. At this point you’re also informed that the Butcher will return to the room after 40 minutes. So there’s a very big incentive to escape the room as quickly as possible. With most escape rooms, you're usually watching the clock for the 60 minute mark. In this room, you’re always focused on the 40 minute mark.

A screenshot from my Fitbit app. Notice the period of elevated heart rate...
We entered a smaller room to start the game with the host's final words, “I wouldn’t be doing this if I was you”, still ringing in our ears. After a bit of searching, we found the necessary items to make our way to the main room. We entered with nervous anticipation.

We were confronted with a grisly scene including pictures of victims, bloody implements and a general creepy industrial basement feel. It’s definitely very immersive, you need to summon quite a bit of willpower to overcome the nervousness and go and explore. Just to add to the fear, there’s a monitor showing the empty corridor outside the room and a timer advancing to the 40 minute mark. I’m sure I glanced at the monitor every minute throughout the game.

There’s quite a lot of searching in this game that’s necessary to progress and open up a further part of the room that’s initially cordoned off. Between the 4 of us, we searched quite well and progressed fairly quickly before eventually getting stuck on the main central puzzle in the room. We’d sort of got the idea of what we needed to do, but couldn’t decode some of the puzzle to get the right answer. We had a few clues, delivered via the ghostly voices of the Butcher’s former victims, and with a little bit of guesswork we eventually solved it.

We started work on the next puzzle that required different members of the team to work on things in different parts of the room. As Craig rushed to complete an element of a puzzle in a different part of the room, he became separated from the rest of the group. We’d taken too long and the 40 minute mark was upon us. The lights went out. Then, the sound of scraping and knives from the corridor signalled the return of the Butcher. It’s in times like these where sacrifices must be made. Myself, Jenny and Chris found a nice hiding place and shut ourselves away, thankful for finding our place of solace. All we could do was listen to the distant screams from Craig’s meeting with the Butcher.

After Craig’s release and the Butcher’s departure, we worked our way quickly through the final puzzles in the room, keen to avoid another encounter with the famed serial killer. We escaped around the 50 minute mark, breathing a huge sigh of relief and welcoming the opportunity for our heart rates to return to normal.

I didn’t think I’d like Butcher, but the theming and pacing of the game is top notch. It isn’t the best game I’ve played in terms of the puzzles, but it more than makes up in atmosphere. The nervous tension throughout the game makes it really great fun. Safety in numbers is key, so I’d definitely recommend taking 4 – 5 people to this room.

My only major complaint about the room is the fact that my friend Craig is a shell of his former self. I’m writing this review nearly 12 months after the experience and he’s still not okay. He sits with a distant stare and his vocabulary now consists of a single word.... “Butcher”.

The team were Craig, Daniel, Jenny and Chris.


Overall It’s a scary and tense room as you rush to complete the puzzles before the Butcher returns to his lair. This game is all about anticipation and immersion.
Difficulty In terms of the puzzles, it’s not a difficult room. The real difficulty is finding the bravery to go and explore and complete the puzzles...
Fun For some people, the fear wouldn’t be fun. We tried to see the humour in it all. After all, if we didn’t laugh, we’d probably have cried.
Puzzles There aren’t that many puzzles in the room. The main central puzzle is very on theme, but we found it a bit ambiguous. Your pace in the game is pretty much controlled by your bravery.
Immersion This game is all about immersion. The serial killer’s lair theming is perfect and your fear leaves you fully immersed for the full 60 minutes.
Surprises Thankfully, there weren’t too many surprises. There are a few things that make you jump.