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Review - Howitz v2 - 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... less

Key Stats

Room NameHowitz v2
LocationNottingham, UK
Escape Time41:00
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5


I played the original version of Howitz back in November 2016 (see review here). It was only the 2nd escape room I ever played, but even now I still remember it well. I see it often in my recurring nighmares... Okay, maybe that’s a little bit dramatic. But the original game made a real impression on me because of the creepy toy shop setting and the constant feeling of unease whilst playing. The new version of Howitz takes all of these feelings and turns them up a notch with a greater level of special effects and immersion.

This is the first time I’ve ever played a game that reuses the same space and retains the original theme, but is fundamentally a different game. It gives you a weird feeling of familiarity, mingled with a sense of the unknown. One thing that (obviously) remains unchanged is the original physical layout of the room and the physical space they have to play with in designing the room. However, the puzzles are all completely new. They’ve also added clown/fun house type theming into the mix and introduced the character ‘Howie’ the clown – I didn’t quite understand the storyline here, but it added a different feel to the game.

The flow of puzzles in this game is excellent. Everything has a good level of signposting and makes logical sense. The variety and quality of the puzzles have also been significantly improved. There was a skill-based puzzle in the previous game that split the team up we were glad to see had been replaced. The team is still split up at a certain point in the game, but the new puzzle allows greater involvement from everybody. It’s quite an amusing one that allows you to laugh at the misfortune of the separated one (unfortunately me on this occasion despite a few minutes of argument).

The creepiness has been stepped up a level. Last time, it was generic creepiness. This time, it was personalised on a few occasions. I won’t explain more – but I can say it makes the game feel a little more sinister. I was also thankful last time that the toys were static. This time... again, I’ll say no more.

The ending of the game is the most significantly changed space in the room, adding puzzles and theming with much stronger ties to the rest of the game. A space towards the very end of the game is very well put together and creepy!

It’s rare to see an escape room undergo a complete transformation, but keep lots of the original theme, story and atmosphere intact. Escapologic have done an excellent job of preserving all the things that were great about the original game and improving on it. For me, the biggest weakness of the old game was the puzzles. They were heavily based around searching and skill. The new game has much greater variety, tying in well to the theming of the room. For anybody who has played it before and liked it, go back for more! For anybody else, I think this game is somewhere in the middle on the scale between creepy and terrifying. If that appeals to you, go and play it. It’s a great game!

The team were Chris, Daniel and Craig.


Overall Despite it being a completely different game to the one I played nearly 2.5 years ago, it still has everything I loved about the original game. But Escapologic have also managed to improve it!
Difficulty Everything flows logically and makes sense. There are a few things It takes some time to figure out, but on the whole it’s not an overly difficult game.
Fun The atmosphere in this game is amazing. A lot of the fun comes from the creepiness. It really keeps you on your toes throughout the game.
Puzzles This is the biggest area of improvement on the original game. The majority of the puzzle content was previously search and skill based, but now there’s a much greater variety of puzzles.
Immersion This game is immersive from starts to finish – it really is its primary strength. The creepy toy shop theming has been taken a level up from the original game with a lot more things that move...
Surprises Being familiar with the physical space made it a little bit less surprising. But this game still packs plenty of moments of discovery that often leave you feeling a little bit creeped out.