There's been a boom in escape-the-room games since the renaissance of the Crystal Maze, not least in Brighton and Hove.
Pier Pressure one of the latest companies to set up shop in the city has brought a unique offering, by creating games related to the Brighton's history.
Our team of five tried out 'Pavilion Perplex', but there’s also a Modrophenia room and a nineties rave game in the pipeline…
The premise of the game is to save the Royal Pavilion from demolition – a real threat this palace faced in the 1850s when Queen Victoria was on the throne – by finding a petition within its walls.
The entire game is filled with historical accuracies which make the game not only fun, but an education.
There’s brilliant attention to detail, from the Regency-style decoration and artefacts, right down to the average salary of those who would have worked in the palace at the time, and the names and portraits of the Prince Regent’s previous beaus.
The point of the games is you are locked in a room for an hour, and have to solve a series of connected puzzles in order to escape the room before your time runs out. So the pressure is on.
The key to this game is communication and working as a team. Some challenges require a sharp mind and others are more physically dexterous, so everyone can bring something to the table.
Without giving too much away, there’s a lot to take in when you enter the room, lots of cupboards to search and strange markings on the walls, and there will be things you notice that will come in handy later.
There’s also a bell to ring when you need a little help or a push in the right direction – so you’re not entirely alone.
Time moves really quickly in the Pavilion room, and it’s all hands on deck! There will always be something for everyone in the team to be working on, and occasionally you will need to split up in order to beat the clock.
Our own team, the Indy Five, managed to escape the room with 45 seconds to spare!
The game was a real team bonding experience, and we all felt exhilarated after cracking the code and escaping the room just in time.
The venue opened at Easter, and owner Phil Harris told us why he decided to set up escape-the-room games.
He said: “We have been passionate fans of Escape Rooms for years and love the variety of quirky themes on offer. However, we noticed a gap in the market for a game which encapsulated our city's character and identity.
“Being proud local residents with a keen interest in the area’s history, it seemed like the perfect theme for our Escape Rooms.
"Our games are all quintessentially Brighton through the ages. The Modrophenia room is actually based on a true story from 1964, when a mod died under mysterious circumstances. Teams act as a gang of mods seeking to uncover the truth.
“The Pavilion Perplex room takes teams back to 1850 when Queen Victoria was threatening to demolish the Royal Pavilion and the teams must save the day!
“We also have plans for a third room, based on the Brighton rave scene of the nineties, which will open later in the year."
Escape rooms are for people of all ages; whether family members, a team-building event, birthday or stag or hen dos, there is a theme to cater for all groups at Pier Pressure.
You can bring a team of up to six people to experience the games at Pier Pressure at 33 North Street, Brighton.
To find out more, visit: pierpressure.co.uk