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Review: Escape 999 - Time Race, Bury

Room Story - from Time Race

Terrorists are suspected to be behind an outbreak of a man-made virus. You and your elite team of immunologists have just 30 minutes to identify and cure the deadly pathogen before it spreads from patient zero.

The terrorists have sabotaged your ambulance, so you'll need to work twice as hard. Will you save a life before you arrive at the hospital?

Key Stats

Room NameEscape 999
VenueTime Race
LocationBury, UK
Escape Time25:14
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size2 - 3


Escape 999 is a 30 minute game set in an old decommissioned ambulance. There were three firsts when we played this game. It was our first vehicle based game. It was our first 30 minute game. And it was the first time we’d set a record for a game (it’s a very new game so once other enthusiasts play I’m sure we’ll be quickly eclipsed!).

It’s very hard to compare a 30 minute experience in a limited space to some of the epically themed adventures we’ve played with sprawling amounts of space to theme and decorate. But taken in its own right, Escape 999 is a very well-constructed and fun game that’s suited to the space it is set in. There is a real novelty factor of boarding an ambulance that we really enjoyed!

At first we were a little but unsure where to start, but once we got going it’s a game with a nice linear flow leading to a finale puzzle that throws in a bit of “real” science. We thought this added some realism to the storyline. Due to the limited space, a lot of the puzzles followed a similar pattern, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

In terms of clues, these were delivered via a walkie-talkie. We didn’t receive any clues unprompted, but we asked for confirmation on a couple of things and for a hint on a puzzle that we just wouldn’t have made the connection on (although I believe they are revising that one).

We weren’t sure how we’d feel about a 30 minute escape experience, but we did really enjoyed it and found it to be a nice change only requiring a short sharp burst of puzzle solving energy! We already had a booking at nearby Lucardo Rawtenstall and we decided to add this game into our trip out as a puzzle solving warm up. Given that Time Race is based on the same site as the brilliant Arcade Club, I can see Escape 999 being a great little extra activity amongst an afternoon of gaming.

The game officially supports 2 -5 players. Personally, I wouldn’t take more than a team of 3 as you’d quickly get in each other’s way. In terms of height, I’m 6ft 2ins and I just about managed to stand without stooping. If you’re taller than me, you can expect to keep your head down throughout the game.

Escape 999 has a real novelty factor that draws you in, but it’s combined with a good flow of puzzles and a decent storyline reinforced by the game. A 30 minute experience was the right decision for the space available and the price reflects the shorter time. It’s worth a play if you’re in the area, particularly so that you can boast to your friends that you created a virus cure whilst riding in the back of an ambulance!

The team were Beth, Daniel and Becky.


Overall A fun and entertaining 30 minute game that makes good use of the limited space in an ambulance to deliver some “real” science.
Difficulty Apart from a couple of things we found ambiguous, it was largely a straightforward and logical game.
Fun We found it a fun experience and found the faster pace of a shorter game an interesting difference.
Puzzles The puzzles were logical and flowed well. We particularly enjoyed doing some “real” science to solve one of them.
Immersion They’ve themed the game perfectly to the host vehicle, delivering an immersive experience. We loved the sound effects adding in extra realism.
Surprises This game doesn’t have any real surprise elements or wow factor moments.