The country is grinding to a halt because of Coronavirus but Escape Rooms remain open. We didn’t know how much longer for so to support the industry in this time of uncertainty and to get an escape room fix before potential closure, we took a drive up the A46 to Kelham in Newarke for a night of back to back games at Letsxscape. It’s a place that has been on the list for sometime and finally, we got round to a visit.
In the early 1940’s a group of ‘roughneck yankee’ oil miners secretly made their way to England setting up camp at Kelham Hall, Newark on Trent.
They were tasked with drilling for oil in the surrounding area and producing the highly sought after ‘high octane’ fuel for allied planes and war ships. These gallant men were single handedly helping us dominate the skies of Britain and keeping enemy forces at bay.
Over 100 wells were drilled in less than 12 months with over 3000 barrels of oil being produced daily to help the war effort. Churchill called it “one of the wars best kept secrets”.
Our US friends left as quickly as they came, closing down sites where necessary or handing them over to English engineers when their contract ended.
Initial investigations show our american miners actually found oil right in the heart of Kelham Hall! It appears though, this was their last drill rig spudded and for some reason they closed it up in a hurry?!
Over 70 years later recent refurbishment at Kelham Hall by the new owners, have uncovered one such drill site right in the heart of the historic house! They are now dealing with a highly volatile RIG having been left to decay for decades and are calling in engineers to deal with the situation.
They need your help. Early monitoring suggests a massive explosion is imminent, large enough to demolish the stately home entirely and likely to occur in just over 60 minutes!
They are looking for groups of would be engineers, highly skilled in communications, teamwork and with physical and mental prowess under pressure. Your team must enter the facility, workout how to shut the RIG down and get out before the time is up.
The rig brings a plethora of puzzles in its design. Just how we like it, most of these have a more practical bent and were really pleasing to complete. We found that the gameplay in the room flowed really well and that signposting was excellent. The room did contain a few red herrings but none in here that really halted your progress. One exception is probably the use of UV but we worked it out…..eventually! The puzzles in the game were logical and resulted in us always feeling we were making progress. Although I would argue that many of the puzzles in the game were not unique to others we have played they are all very well executed. For seasoned players, there are some puzzles which will certainly peak your interest as unique but other puzzles, even though you have some idea as to how it works, will still please. Aha moments abound and the game builds up to a very satisfactory finale.
We played this game as a pair and found that the games design meant we could be involved in a lot that was going on. There were very few occasions where we didn’t know what the other was doing and this resulted in a really pleasurable experience. With the game being very linear in style, it also provides a really coherent story which you are reminded of as you proceed through the game. In keeping with the idea of exploring a disused oil rig, the clue system comes in the form of walkie talkies and the games clock, a big imposing countdown, is a constant reminder of the disaster that awaits if you do not shut down the rig in time. Full of great puzzles in an authentic environment, The Rig provides a top quality escape room hour.
For those that have never been to Kelham Hall, it is an old, listed building on the outskirts of Newarke. It’s certainly the last place you would expect to find an escape room. In fact, what they have done with the build of The Rig is nothing short of miraculous! The build quality is high and the decor is perfect down to the last screw. In fact, it feels so real that you forget you aren’t inside a 1940s drill site. Walking out of the room afterwards really brings you back to the reality that you are actually still in Kelham and not saving the town of Newarke and Kelham hall from a very big problem. Every puzzle in the game fits with the decor too. It shows just how much care and thought that has been put into the games design.
Letsxcape has two real gems on their site. The quality of the rooms really shines through and for the design, decor and game play puts them up there with more commonly heard names in the Nottinghamshire area. If you are planning an escape holiday, this needs to be a stop along the way. We highly recommend a trip to play The Rig
Escaped: 46:45 having taken two clues.