Mystery Shop Report

ESCAPE IPSWICH

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LOCATION: ORWELL PLACE
TIMING: WEEKDAY AFTERNOON

The January slump can hit everyone – and when you work in a team, the effect is felt by all! To liven up the office and get everyone motivated again, why not indulge in a bit of team building? For this Mystery Shop, we got the Waterfront Life and Student Life teams together for a bit of bonding (or so we hoped!), to tackle an escape room. Did we manage to make it out in time (and stay one happy family in the process?). Here’s our review...

LOCATION

Escape Ipswich is tucked away out of sight, down Foundation Street in the Unicorn building. Its location and reserved exterior provides a sneak preview of what is in store on the inside! Upon entering, you are immediately met with a flight of stairs – giving the impression this activity isn’t overly accessible to all. We didn’t see a lift at any point during out visit, so this somewhat lets it down. However, being so close to the Waterfront and the town centre means it could be a great day out combined with a meal in a local restaurant: something you don’t often get with venues of this type usually located in out-of-town industrial areas. 4/5

SERVICE

First impressions weren’t outstanding – when we arrived just before our booked time, the door was locked, with no answer! We called the number we had been given for them, and waited for a call back as the lady investigated what was going on. We were then informed that the person due to be there had had car trouble and would be with us in 15-20 minutes. We sat in a local coffee shop while we waited; but for anyone on a stricter schedule, this may have caused issues. Once inside, however, the service shown was great – very friendly and informative without being robotic. It near enough made up for the initial events! 3/5

FUN FACTOR

Several of our group had taken part in an escape room before – some were even regulars! But none had attended this particular venue before, so we were given the lowdown on what we needed to do in our room – Contagion – before being shown to it. This location has six different scenarios to choose from, so you can return multiple times and experience something completely new! After being shut in the room – one of the hardest of the six – it was then time to start investigating the clues. A TV screen provides prompts when needed to help you on your way if you seem to be stuck. Needless to say, we can’t share anything in detail, but there were many raised voices AND high fives during our time inside! We managed to work together to crack the room in 41 minutes out of the allotted 60 – just 6 minutes short of beating the room record! With minimal prompts, we were pretty pleased with our efforts. 5/5

VALUE FOR MONEY

An escape room isn’t the cheapest activity if you’re looking at money vs time spent, but it certainly ticks the boxes for team building and using your problem-solving skills. At £20pp (£15pp for under-16s), it’s at the higher end of the budget, but the laughs and ridiculous arguments over someone’s bad maths skills are priceless. Plus, they offer a deal in conjunction with Pizza Express; which allows you to include a meal for £34pp. Refuel your tired brain with some dough balls! 4/5

SUMMARY

As a seasoned escape-roomist (escapist from rooms? Who knows), I was really looking forward to this event and it didn’t disappoint overall, despite the first impressions. We all agreed we would want to return and crack one of the other rooms (mainly to try and beat the record time!), so we will definitely be making a comeback in 2019!

OVERALL - 4/5

WWW.ESCAPE-IPSWICH.CO.UK