This week, we were invited to take part in our first ever Escape Room as a family; courtesy of Pier Pressure, Brighton.
Sharon has done Escape Rooms in the past and loved them, and I’ve always wanted to do one, so we always thought we’d have to go as a couple or as part of an adult group. Never did we think our son would be welcome too!
Opening in 2018, Pier Pressure is still relatively new for the city. But, over the past 4 years, they’ve been busy; not only creating new rooms but new sites! Since opening, Pier Pressure now boasts not one, but two sites across Brighton. One in Gloucester Road and one in Upper North Street.
For our visit, we visited their site on Gloucester Road.
Located in the North Laines, Pier Pressure in Gloucester Road is the smaller site of the two sites Pier Pressure have on offer. But, what it lacks in size it makes up for by offering rooms for younger players. In comparison to their Upper North Street site, the Gloucester Road site offer rooms for ages 8+. The other site offers rooms for 12+ and 14+.
This makes their Gloucester Road site perfect for families with younger children!
Located on site are two rooms; Smugglers Secret and Tea Party – an Alice in Wonderland themed room – which is COMING SOON!
But don’t let that put you off visiting, there’s lots more to explore at their Gloucester Road site.
As well as their Escape Rooms, they also have Paradox Place: A House of Illusions and Wonder.
Once you sign in at reception and go through a Health & Safety talk, you’re welcomed by your host who walks you to your room.
As someone who’s never done an escape room, I didn’t really know what to expect other than the possibility of an immersive experience, but this was something else. Considering its size, the room is like a Tardis, with every corner decorated accordingly. Looking around I was captivated by all the different objects – I was already trying to work out what things meant. Once you’re ready, your host then takes you through a short story and your time limit. You’re then invited to begin exploring.
Without spoiling too much, Smugglers Secret is a Pirate-themed room – Parrot and all.
Before you start…
The recommended group size for Smugglers Secret is between 2-4. It is also suggested that the room will take approximately an hour to complete. There were 5 of us completing the room, including T, so we had a slight advantage!
Enter a mysterious world of secrets. Local miller, John Olliver, is not what he seems. Where is he getting all that gold? He’s definitely been up to no good. His cottage looks rustic and full of interesting nooks and crannies but what is it hiding? Can you discover what the miller has stashed away? Is he even a miller? Could he, in fact, be a smuggler?
This is Pier Pressure’s first game with two different difficulty options available. The family version is recommended for children aged 8+. The Pro version is suitable for those aged 14+ or more experienced escapers.
For our visit, we decided to choose the family version.
A gift that keeps on giving!
Once you get started, you’re invited to complete a variety of different puzzles – some trickier than others. Although a lot of them are strategy based, meaning you will need a couple of elements before completion, some require other senses such as your hearing to complete. For younger players there were moments of darkness and suspense, which may unnerve them a little, but to reassure you nothing jumps out at you. You’re completely alone to your own devices.
It’s difficult to go into too much detail without spoiling the story or the puzzles. But, what is most exciting about the experience, is that despite being in a relatively small room the room is the gift that keeps on giving. For example, just when you think you’ve touched, removed, twisted, pulled everything that can be touched, removed, twisted and pulled, another door will fly open or a panel will light up!
That being said, if you do get stuck, your host is on hand to give you a hint.
In what felt like no time at all, the room was complete – finishing it in an impressive 44 minutes and 50 seconds. What was most surprising, aside from how quickly the experience went, was that half way through the experience our host had upgraded us to the Pro Version!
Not only am I going to take that as a compliment, but it was appreciated knowing that our host gave us the most out of our experience. They could have easily just let us complete the family version and leave. Instead, they saw how quickly we were completing certain puzzles so took the opportunity to expand and adapt our experience.
Fun for the WHOLE family!
We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at Pier Pressure, so much so that we were actually quite sad when we found out we’d completed it. We were just into the swing of completing the puzzles! That being said, because we’d enjoyed ourselves so much, we will no doubt book ourselves for another visit. Either at one of their other rooms or in time for when Tea Party opens!
I cannot recommend giving Pier Pressure a visit enough – we had such a good time. Staff are so welcoming and friendly, and what’s more is that they’re all clearly into gaming and role play. Even when you’re in the waiting area the reception has shelves upon shelves of new games. We may have left with a new game in our bag!
For the boy, he had a brilliant time. Although there were moments when he didn’t quite understand what the objective was, he was still having a good time. Most of the time, he was happy helping us and getting involved in pushing buttons and flicking switches. There really is something for everyone.
We were offered complimentary tickets to Pier Pressure, Brighton in exchange for an honest review. All thought, opinions and imagery are our own.
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