A new, 40-minute addition to the Brighton escape room scene required us to rob a bank and get away without a hitch. It’s tucked away behind a coffee bar – but would we end up behind bars of a different kind?
- Location: Brighton
- Players: 1-4
- We played: May 2019 as a team of 2
Great things about Escape the Vault
- Upon arrival at Presuming Ed Coffee House, the venue for Escape the Vault, you’ll be given a number to contact your getaway driver via WhatsApp. Your driver, Terrance, then sends you a video that briefs you on your mission and sets the scene, which we thought was a nice touch. This communication system is subsequently used to ask for and receive automated hints, using hint codes which are stuck around the room – unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to test whether this apparently clever system works as intended.
- This room has a non-linear structure for most of the game. Players can be working on different things at the same time, and there are multiple possible starting points upon entering the room (barring a couple of steps before you do actually enter the room).
- This is one escape room that can be played as a team of two – affordably! – and indeed is probably best suited to a pair. You can even “fly solo” without paying the two-player price. Let us know if you do this, we want to hear about your experience!
- Although not among our top escape rooms, a few things contributed to making Escape the Vault a fun and worthwhile experience. The game makes good use of an original bank vault, hidden away behind a charming and eccentric cafe that is well worth a visit anyway. Our host, one of the room’s designers, was friendly and enthusiastic, and to top it off a percentage of the ticket price is donated to charity, so you can feel doubly good about escaping.
On the other hand…
- From an experienced escapist’s point of view, this room is short on content, and we escaped in less than half of the allotted time. It would be best viewed as a mini-escape room – and fortunately, it is priced accordingly. Its website also describes it as an entry level game, good for first time players, but we think changing the time limit from 40 to 30 minutes would give a better idea of what to expect in terms of difficulty and puzzles.
- The puzzles that featured here were not very varied. Don’t expect much more sophisticated than finding number codes and trying those number codes in one of the many combination locks.
Who should try this room?
The short duration, relative ease and affordability of this room make it good for beginners wanting to see what this ‘escape room’ lark is all about. For enthusiasts, Escape the Vault might not be meaty enough, but if you’re in the area it’s probably worth your time.
Our rating – 7/10