Escape The Van – The Experiment

Escape The Van – The Experiment
Location: They come to you!!
Game Date: 10/07/2019
Team: Amy & Ian


“You recently volunteered to take part in a groundbreaking and intriguing medical experiment. The Doctors sent you some samples to ingest before inviting you to their mobile laboratory to test the effects.

The doctors claimed that the mysterious substance would radically improve your mental and physical abilities. So you eagerly signed up and convinced your friends and family to do so as well.

On arrival at the testing facility, you are shown to a door labelled the Further Analysis Kinesthetic Experiment Lab and asked to conduct a series of tests to see how your abilities have improved.

Will you be able to solve all the puzzles in time to escape the van? Or will the serum turn out to be a failed experiment?”

The setting of a van is certainly a novel one, and it being only a 3.5 tonne van the space wasn’t huge, but it was used incredibly well. The space was fine for 2 people, I can imagine it being ok with 5 people, as there are places you can get out of each others way. Lighting was good, and never hampered gameplay.
The theming itself was creative for the space it was in and it utilised the van cabin very well. A sterile lab that could have been used for travelling experiments and transporting victims volunteers.
All the lab tropes you would expect to see were there and used within the story and puzzles with a smattering of humour thrown in too.  It was clear that great care was taken into the design of this game and fitting it into the van’s space.

Game Play:
An open game that progressively funnelled down to an end goal. Puzzles consisted of logic, observation, maths, physical (yes, physical fun in a very small space!) skill and aural.
The puzzles were nicely on theme, and in some cases were tasks you could imagine doing in a testing facility.
The puzzles were all excellent in their logic, and they all came with great ah-ha moments and exceptional clarity in the answers. This was a room that from the get-go we found solid and we could really put our trust into the puzzles. This made the job of puzzle-solving much more enjoyable.
One puzzle, in particular, was very unique, and made fun use of something that Ian is very familiar with in his line of work, it was interesting to see it used the way it was (and 100% appreciate the skill involved in creating that specific puzzle)
The game became more and more linear as we went on and all the puzzles lead to a large meta puzzle towards the end of the game, this meta puzzle was a lovely and skilful use of almost everything we’d come across in the room so far and really tied the room together, it was very clever in its execution.
The signposting… wow, this room had some of the most subtly placed yet clear signposting I had ever seen. It was fantastic and only served to make the game flow with ease.
The flow, again was wonderful with no hold-up points or specific sticky points this was a really smooth game. The flow wasn’t fast, it was definitely a “slow and steady” wins the race type room and everything was achievable and slick.
Escape the Van is a very enjoyable game and a unique addition to the escape room scene in the North West. I would take a smaller team if you have experience!

Clue System:
Clues were delivered via a screen

Game Host:
Greg was our game host and he was lovely, you can see his intelligence and engineering background come through in his puzzles and he clearly has a fond spot for escape rooms!
He delivered a great brief and story. Clues were delivered with excellent, impeccable timing.

Did we escape?
Yes, in 45 minutes

Website: https://escapethevan.co.uk
2 Players £49.99
3 Players £64.99
4 Players £79.99
5 Players £89.99

A delivery fee is also added on top dependent on how far Escape the Van have to travel to you, or you can visit them at their base for no extra cost.

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