Since we started blogging two years ago, we’ve met so many great people and made some great friends. This week I was invited along to The Escape Key in Newcastle by Katie (Katie Jane Online). We were also joined by Chloe (New Girl on Toon) and her husband Simon. Our team of four were ready for a challenge and I was quite excited to try another Escape room.
The Escape Key, Newcastle
The Escape Key is based on St Andrew’s Street in Newcastle (Opposite the Newcastle Arms). It is upstairs on the 2nd (and 3rd) floor of the building. Theming and decor start as you get on the stairs leading to the reception room. As we were arriving separately this was a good spot to wait for the others. With a comfy leather sofa and a handful of fidget puzzles on the table. I could have occupied myself If I hadn’t been chatting to Martin (The owner).
He explained that venue had been open around 7 months. As Escape Rooms are relatively new in the UK, it is an entertainment industry that is improving all the time. The expectations of “escapees” have evolved over the past few years. Instead of providing a linear treasure hunt of padlocks, combinations and keys, the Escape Key has introduced a technology element, with physical problems.
Armageddon Escape Room
Before I go too far, I’ll aim to not give any spoiler details, but at least explain enough to understand what we did!
The Armageddon Adventure starts in the reception room. We were shown some video footage to set the scene. A giant meteor was hurtling to earth and as a last chance attempt, the government were going to try and open up some old nuclear bunkers hoping that they can be used to blast a missile at the meteor and save the Earth. A team of experts were being sent into a bunker in the North of England and hopefully, they will be able to complete their mission.
Yes, we were the experts!
We were lead to the room, where we were met with a dimly lit office/locker room. Not a lot of apparent clues or where to get started, until Simon took off like a whirlwind. I must admit the first clue took us a while to get started and it takes a little while to get your head into the zone. Once you start to tune into what your looking for you can quickly pick up patterns.
The room as promised was more than expected. There was a physical challenge, as well as the mental ones. The room we started in was only half of the challenge. As we solved the clues and worked our way around, we unlocked the second room.
This room contained more physical challenges. Instead of looking for 4 digit combinations we were looking for ways to find answers. Working out connections and finding a way to start up the nuclear missile launcher.
We completed the room in 42 minutes and 32 seconds.
The Escape Key Review
I’ve only done one other Escape room (which I enjoyed), but I honestly can say the Armageddon room at The Escape Key was so much more. What I had expected to be moving back and forward across a room with keys and padlocks, was far from reality. There were switches to switch, cables to plug in, torches, magnets, puzzles and an old telephone.
The setup was immersive and atmospheric. With some clues being relatively straightforward, others slightly more puzzling. If we were totally floundering a mystical voice would send us a clue. This was very useful at the beginning. There is nothing worse than getting absolutely stuck. The number of crosswords I’ve started and scrapped as I just couldn’t continue. So with a time limit of an hour, it was brilliant to occasionally be given a helping hand.
The Escape Key on St. Andrews Street has another Escape room to try out. This one is the Plague Doctor. As the unit backs onto the church grounds of St Andrews Church, there is a creepy connection to the Black Death. The Plague Room isn’t a horror room, but it sounds like it may have an eerie atmosphere.
We went on a Tuesday night and the cost for a 4 person escape team would have been £60.
For Booking information you can visit https://www.escape-key.co.uk/