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Review: Operation Moonshine - The Escaporium, Halifax

Room Story - from The Escaporium

It’s the tail end of the Prohibition era in Chicago and Al Capone has a stranglehold on all the Bootleg liquor in the city. As the newest members of Bugsy’s gang, Da’ Boss needs you to prove yourself and steal something right from under Scarface’s nose! Don’t let him down, or you’ll be sleeping with the fishes!

Key Stats

Room NameOperation Moonshine
VenueThe Escaporium
LocationHalifax, UK
Escape Time55:32
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5


This was our first visit to The Escaporium. At the time of writing, they have two rooms split across two sites. One room, The Haligonian is based in the historic Piece Hall and the game we played is situated in a former mill building. They’ve done a great job renovating and have a really modern and welcoming reception area. We were speaking to one of the owners whilst waiting for our room and found out that they have lots of space to open many more rooms, which is exciting news considering the quality of the game we played.

We took on the role of rival mobsters and the mission of our game was straightforward: break into a mob’s offices and speakeasy and steal a map that charts their illegal liquor operation. Simple. After receiving our briefing and confirming our choice of clueing method (as they thought we needed them or upon our request), we headed into the room. The game starts in a small office and straightaway the theming is excellent. There’s a window in the room that’s made to look like a Chicago street scene, really taking you back in time and confirming the setting of your game.

There’s one central puzzle in this the room that you’re working towards, collecting items as you solve other puzzles to help find the answer you need. As you work your way through the room, you find a few letters that reinforce the story and setting of the game that we really enjoyed. One puzzle required a tiny bit of maths and we made a massive mess of it – it took 3 attempts to do a simple multiplication, not one of our finest moments.

When we’d completed the first area of the game, we progressed to the main part of the room and were instantly blown away by the size and theming of it. You find yourself in what looks like a full size speakeasy complete with a bar! We were very impressed and also slightly worried about whether we’d get out in 60 minutes with all the puzzles we could see awaiting us. But we got stuck in.

This room requires a lot of searching, and by our standards, we didn’t do too badly. Sometimes searching can get a little bit tedious, but in this room the setting made it really fun. In our past experience, you typically search to find one type of item that you collect together to progress. At points in this game, we were searching for three different things and solving puzzles along the way to progress. It really was a game that kept us occupied.

We got so engrossed in the game that when we solved one of the last puzzles that presented us with a key to something we’d found miles earlier, we didn’t have any idea what to do with it. It’s amazing how you can forget your mission in the course of 60 minutes! With a clue, delivered via a screen, to point us in the right direction, we headed to complete the final task in the room. Unfortunately a padlock had opened unexpectedly earlier on, so we’d seen a little bit of the final task and not really understood it. But that didn’t spoil anything. The finale is really clever, brings the team together and is completely on theme. We loved it.

This was an excellent room with varied puzzles and superb theming. We really felt like we were somewhere else for the time we spent in the room. We absolutely loved the 1920s setting and the authentic music that played throughout the game. The hosting was flawless with clues delivered at appropriate times without us prompting for them. I highly recommend this game and can’t wait to play more games at The Escaporium.

The team were Daniel, Beth and Becky.


Overall A wonderfully themed historic game, packed with puzzles and surprises that keep you engrossed throughout. An absolutely brilliant game.
Difficulty There’s a lot to get through in an hour. The puzzles are all really logical, but it’s the volume that makes it hard. We needed 5 clues to help us out and lots of parallel working.
Fun We had great fun – we didn’t stop from the moment we entered the room until the moment we exited. We felt like we were constantly making progress, which brought a great amount of satisfaction.
Puzzles There is a really large variety of puzzles including observation, physical and a tiny bit of maths (which we managed to make very difficult). There are some really unique and memorable puzzles.
Immersion The immersion is absolutely fantastic – we loved the 1920s prohibition era theming and the fact the room actually has a speakeasy.
Surprises There are a few nice surprises in the game that made the game extra special.