4 August 2017

Doing Something I've Always Wanted To Do

Okay, so I'm quite geeky, I like nerdy things, that's no secret. It has long been a dream of mine to take part in an Escape Room and to play Laser Tag, (just call me Barney Stinson). But really, I absolutely love puzzles, and I have always been intrigued by the idea of escape rooms, I like a challenge. As for laser tag, well that's just fun, who wouldn't want to shoot people with lasers and jump scare them whilst running around a dark room? Well, thanks to the amazing people at ClueHQ and LaserQuest in Glasgow, last week I got to live out this dream. And it was epic. Spoiler: We escaped!

For anyone who doesn't know what an escape room is, an escape room is when you and a small handful of others are locked in a room, and have to solve puzzles to get you out. (See? Nerdy, I told you okay). Each correctly solved puzzle leads you onto the next puzzle and gives you the code to opening a padlock or leads you to the next clue, and gets you a little closer to escaping. Escape rooms often have a theme, and traditionally it is in groups of 2-6, and  you have 1 hour to escape. Of course, if you don't escape before the hour ends, you are let go. Don't worry, you're not going to be kidnapped. Laser tag is pretty much what it says on the tin, your group is put into a dark room filled with obstacles to hide behind and hiding spots, you put on a a vest with light up packs, and run around shooting each other with lasers. It's fun, trust me... it's very fun.

I was invited along to try out the Cell Block C escape room at ClueHQ in Glasgow, followed by a game of laser tag with LaserQuest, which are conveniently located and run together in the same building. So my sister Nicola, my best friend/cousin/fellow blogger Robyn, and I headed along and gave it a go.

ClueHQ has two escape rooms to take on: Cell Block C and Bunker 38. We took on Cell Block C, (which we didn't find out until after we escaped was the hardest of the two rooms!), which is a prison themed escape room. We were playing as convicts accused of a crime who, if we didn't escape prison within 1 hour, would be found guilty and facing a lifetime in jail. I love that the room was themed and it gave you a backstory, it made the whole experience much more immersive for us.

Before we entered the escape room we were given blacked out goggles and very safely guided inside by the staff. We only had to keep the goggles on until we were inside and into position to start so that we wouldn't see any pesky spoilers before it was time to begin the game. We only had them on for less than five minutes, but the whole time we did I was convinced that something or someone was going to jumpscare me, but it didn't, (well. intentionally, anyway, turns out when I'm blindfolded I can be jumpscared by the loud closing of a door...).

Once we were inside we were able to take the goggles off, and it was time to begin the game. I won't give away too many detail about inside the game, as I don't want to spoil it for anyone who plans to go, but what I will say; think outside the box.

The puzzles inside the escape room were incredible, very smart and well thought out, and at times they were pretty tough and really made you think. It definitely makes you work as a team, and I loved having such a small group to work with as we got on so well together, and each of us had smart, and unique ideas on how to solve the puzzles. The rooms take up to 6 people a group but I would definitely say working in teams of 2-4 would be better.

In the end, we escaped with just under 2 minutes left on the clock. The clock was only stopped twice throughout the escape room, the first because we had all the right answers, we just were putting them into the padlocks incorrectly (turns out, none of us really knew how to open a padlock... tip: you have to push down after entering the numbers/letters to unhinge it, then it will pull open. We just tried to open it once the password was in!). The second time was right at the very end, because we had the method for the right code, we were just dumb and literally couldn't read a chart!

With there only being three of us it was really easy to work together, and for each person to be heard, and show their skills. It was really fun getting to do it with to people so close to me as well it was a lot of fun and everyone had their own strengths that shone through. I am better with logic based puzzles and the more quirky, unique methods solving tings, Nicola is really good with problem solving and noticing little details, and Robyn is really good with numbers and words so she was great with passwords solving and any puzzles that involved a lot of organising.

All in all, I am 110% in love with escape rooms, and I cannot wait to do more of them. I have wanted to do one for a long time, and it was every bit as exciting and thrilling as I thought it would be, even more so I would say. I would highly recommend trying it out to anyone who loves puzzles, who fancies themselves as a bit of a detective, or if you are looking for a fun night out for you and your friends, it is definitely worth it!

After our escape room adventure, the three of us headed to the other side of the building for a game of laser tag at LaserQuest. The first task we had for laser tag was to choose nickname for ourselves so we could keep score. There were so many names to chose from, everything from superheros and villains, to movie characters and Pokemon. I went with Joker, with him being one of my all time favourite DC characters. I was originally going to choose Deadpool, (told you, geek), which Nicola and I playfully fought over, until I spotted Joker, and then we playfully fought over that too. (We're sister, so naturally, she is a huge geek too). In the end though, I went for Joker and she went with being Deadpool. Robyn being well... Robyn, she went with God. I'm not joking, her screen name was God.

Once we were all set up for laser tag, we all headed off into the dark in different directions to wait for the game to begin. I loved the radioactive theme of the laser tag room, it was dark with a tonne of glow in the dark details to light up the room. I tried really hard to catch them, but it was mostly us all running into each other and jumpscaring each other, that and Nicola 100% kicking our asses. She has been to laser tag before, so I still maintain that she had an unfair advantage.

After a while, Nicola and I decided to team up against Robyn. this came after I was trying to shoot Nicola, and Robyn shot me in the back while I wasn't looking... fiend. At the end of the game, we headed back out to the main area to get our scores. I came in last, shocker. Nicola came first, and fairly so, she had almost triple both of ours. I didn't mind losing thought, for me it wasn't about winning or losing, I just wanted to have fun (ah, spoken like a true loser), ... and shoot them with lasers.

Nicola's thoughts: I have always wanted to try an escape room, and I thought it was a really good experience for someone who is really into puzzles. I really enjoy crime shows and logic puzzles, I used to play Professor Layton a lot on the Nintendo DS so this was a lot of fun for me as the puzzles are similar kinds to those, it was a really way to get your brain going. It was really enjoyable, and pretty funny towards the end as we were all about to kill each other, in a relatively, (get it, because we  are all related?) harmless way, (Side note from Ashley: I'm sorry, I don't know why she's like this). The laser tag was so much fun. I've played laser tag before, so I was really excited to play it again. This one was really fun as I was with family, and it made it more competitive, in a fun way. I thought that it was better with a small group, because it put us more on edge since we couldn't constantly see people running about. It was also really funny because our teeth were glowing in the dark, so there were times when I was turning corners and all I could see was a Cheshire cat like grin in the dark. What Ashley didn't know was that Robyn and I were teaming up before Ashley and I were... I suspect this is why Robyn shot her in the back. (Another side note from Ashley: I am offended). I then gave up Robyn and I's alliance because she interrupted my Deadpool speech by shooting me. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, and I would definitely like to go back, (and this time be Joker).

I highly recommend giving laser tag a try, it was so much fun and I would love to go back. the games are usually half an hour long, and you can book them for large groups of people. The experience was one that I will never forget, and for someone who really enjoys this type o things, it was something I would love to do more of.

Have you ever been to an escape room, or played laser tag? Is it something you would like to try doing?

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