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Top 5 Escape Room Games in Edinburgh

26 September 2016

The Escape Room phenomenon has taken Edinburgh by storm, and quite rightly so - these fun real-life puzzles are a great day out and the perfect way to bond with friends and family. But with so many to choose from, how do you decide which one is for you? Edinburgh based blogger and writer Christine Nye tells us about some of her favourites... 

Have you ever had to repair a space station before being obliterated by a meteorite? No? Well, then you are missing out on the new game phenomenon of ‘locked in’ rooms. Typically a team of players are locked in themed rooms and have one hour to escape by finding hidden clues and solving puzzles. It’s a bit like being immersed in a Dan Brown Da Vinci Code type world where you pretend to be Tom Hanks for an hour. Well sort of, anyway.

The whole escape room idea is a cross-over into real life from the video-gaming ‘escape the room’ genre. The first room surfaced in Kyoto and the concept has spread from Asia to North America and the UK, where it is gaining popularity as an alternative night out. What started as a simple scenario of working out how to open a safe which contained a key has now evolved into immersive adventure games. Each room takes up to 6 months to develop with ever more elaborate themes and inventive puzzles; the best rooms have trap doors and secret passages. Read on to discover the best we have in Edinburgh... 

Escape Hour Edinburgh

Attempt to steal a diamond and escape the room in The Diamond Heist featuring a laser maze, the only one of its kind in the UK apparently. Escape Hour Edinburgh specialises in team racing where two groups of up to 6 people can compete against each other, proving popular with stag and hen parties. Trip Advisor has awarded them with a Certificate of Excellence for consistently good reviews from visitors. They are working on a new game in a third room called The Time Machine, which is due to launch soon.

3 Cranston Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BE

Can You Escape?

Can You Escape

Their first themed room, Operation Bald Eagle, won Scotland’s best family day out award in 2015. Since then they have followed up with two new games: Operation Odyssey and Operation Deadlock. In Operation Odyssey players have to repair a damaged space station escape pod before a second meteor strikes in one hour. Operation Deadlock is a recruitment test for The Agency, a secretive spy school; two teams of up to five compete to be selected as the best wannabe secret agents.

5 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AE

Exit Plan Edinburgh

Exit Plan Logo

Teams work together to find clues, hints, crack codes and activate objects. In the Tesla Cube room, players have to stop a mad scientist from selling his discovery to evil weapons developers, by escaping with the tesla cube before it is too late! Exit Plan’s other game is Svengali’s Lair, a hostage in a booby-trapped room scenario. The team starts the game hand-cuffed and must try and defuse a bomb before it goes off. A third game launches this month: Framed is a whodunit in which players have been framed for murder and must channel their inner-Columbos to solve the case before the police arrive.

3 Queen St, Edinburgh EH2 1JE

Escape Edinburgh

Escape Edinburgh

The originators of the first escape game in Scotland, Escape Edinburgh have two sites in the New Town and Haymarket areas of the city. In the former utilize your “very particular set of skills”, à la Bryan Mills, in The Taken Room; a hostage themed game. Players can also Explore The Darker Side of Edinburgh or play The Da Vinci Room where you must escape and steal an artefact.

The Haymarket venue has two rooms where you can either experience alien abduction in the Area 51 game or steal gambling chips in Escape Casino. Escape Edinburgh are launching two new rooms soon: Contagion and The Sherlock Room. You have been warned!

1 St Colme St, Edinburgh EH3 6AA

54 Dalry Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2BA

Locked-in Edinburgh

Locked In Edinburgh

Housed in Summerhall, Edinburgh’s old veterinary school, Locked-in is an escape game based in an authentic setting. Players enter The Animal Hospital game via a “Blake’s 7” style tunnel and explore the secrets and history of this unique venue. Summerhall is also home to Pickering’s Gin who have collaborated with Locked-in Edinburgh to create Locked-in the Distillery. The team must uncover a disgruntled employee plotting to sabotage the distillery thereby saving themselves and more importantly the gin! What better way then, to round off the evening with a drink at the Royal Dick, the Small Animal Hospital of the vet school, now a bar with quirky medical décor and the rescued Pickering’s gin.

1 Summerhall Place, Edinburgh EH9 1PL

Christine Nye is a freelance digital content writer at torehill.com and a Huffington Post UK blogger under the pen-name Christine Babington Smith. She has over 11 years’ experience in content marketing and social media, starting with her role as London-based Marketing Director for pioneering youth portal uboot.com. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as @torehill and Linkedin as Christine Nye. 

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