Playing Our Escape Game In Shacklewell? Here’s How To Make It A Day

Have you booked an escape game at our room in Shacklewell?

If so, why not turn your trip into a day-long affair?

Based in the London Borough of Hackney, Shacklewell takes its name from a high quality well whose location is now forgotten. The area has never been an administrative unit in it’s own right; and these days north Shacklewell is considered part of Stoke Newington whilst the south is part of Dalston.

But what Shacklewell lacks in official status it more than makes up for in character and style. With quaint streets, historic buildings and some great places to eat, there’s more than enough to do to turn your hour-long escape game into a great day out.

Read on for some tips on how to make the most of your visit.


Getting There

As part of inner London, reaching our escape room in Shacklewell by public transport is as easy as it gets.

The area is served by the London Overground (orange line), with the nearest stop – called Dalston Kingsland – being a comfortable eleven minute walk away.

Alternatively, you can reach us by bus. Catch bus 243 and stop at Princess May Road, or bus 236 and stop at Shacklewell Lane High Street. Both bus stops are approximately a gentle fifteen minute stroll away.


Good Eats

Finding clues and solving puzzles is hungry work. Thankfully, Shacklewell boasts some great places where you can feed your mind, your body and even your soul.

The Shacklewell Arms, the area’s best known pub, has an excellent selection of reasonably-priced food – from delicious burgers served with chunky fries to interesting twists on more traditional pub fare. Dishes you just have to try include the Pheasant and Cider Pie and a Venison, Stout and Prune Pie, both served with lots of fresh mash, vegetables and gravy.

And if you’re a vegetarian (or the health-conscious type), you’ll love the Secret Handshake Café. Based in the historic JR Brewer building, not only does it serve delicious food, it sports fun decor and a ton of atmosphere too.


Stuff To See

Once you’ve filled your belly, it’s time to take in some sights.

Walk down Shacklewell Row to admire St Barnabas Church, a grade II listed church built in the neo-Byzantine style. Then, head over to the Print Club to buy some original prints or even just for a spot of window shopping.

Finish off with a stroll around Hackney Downs – one of London’s best-loved green spaces – or catch a movie at the Picturehouse, a Hackney institution that also houses one of the most popular bars in the area.

Sounds like a pretty cool day out, right?

But first things first. Before you catch the next tube or bus to Shacklewell, why not book your escape game? Click here to get in touch with us today.

Exit Game Spotlight: The Maze

If you think exit games or escape rooms have only become popular in London recently, think again.

Humans have enjoyed the thrill of escaping from confined spaces and the satisfaction of solving complex puzzles for as long as we’ve walked the Earth. In fact, one of the earliest known exit games – the maze – is almost as old as humans themselves.

Read on to find out more about mazes and how they’ve inspired the escape rooms of today.


Origins and History

Some of the earliest known mazes date back as far as the Bronze Age, while others are so old they’re very difficult – if not impossible – to date accurately. As time went by, the maze was adopted by Roman soldiers, who used it as a test of skill whilst riding on horseback. It was also adopted by children as a form of entertainment.

You could say that mazes went mainstream in the 14th and 15th centuries. Popularised by Shakespeare in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, the turf maze became a permanent feature of formal gardens around the UK. Increasingly complex mazes cut out of turf, grass or even built from rocks or other materials also became a common presence on town commons and village greens across Europe.


How Mazes Work

Mazes are essentially one of the world’s oldest puzzles. Your goal is to find your way from the entrance to the exit. But in order to do this, you’ll need to work your way through a complicated network of pathways, many of which are dead ends.

Some mazes will have multiple routes you can take to the exit. The most difficult ones, however, will only have one escape route.

Maze competitions used to be popular attractions, especially on holidays. But, truth be told, they remain popular to this day. Figuring your way out of a maze can be an exciting and intellectually rewarding challenge, albeit not one for the claustrophobic or faint-hearted.


How Escape Rooms Are Different

Much like a maze, an escape room is a puzzle to be solved. There’s also a similar goal: getting out of the room before the time’s up.

But while solving a maze tends to be physical (you do have to walk around the maze to find your way out, after all), solving an escape room is all about using your little grey cells. You’ll also have to work with your friends as a team, or you might not find the solution until it’s too late!

Do you think you have what it takes to solve an exit game puzzle? Get in touch to book your escape room adventure today.


4 Reasons An Escape Game Is Great For Team Building

Are you stuck for the right game to use as a team building exercise in London?

If so, you should really try an escape room.

An escape room is more than just a fun and unusual way to spend an afternoon. It’s also a great way to strengthen your team’s bond. There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush of an escape to boost camaraderie and make you work together to achieve a common goal. Before you know it, your team will be closer than ever, making them all the more effective when that next challenging project comes up at work.

Still looking for a reason to use an escape game as a team building exercise? We’ll give you four of them.

Read on.


1. You’ll Get To Know Each Other Better

Spending time with your team in an unusual environment – while still focused on a common goal – will encourage you to interact in ways you wouldn’t at the office. This will help you get to know each other as people, and not just as employees.

As a plus, you’ll also uncover some of your team members’ hidden talents. Different people are good at solving different puzzles. As you scramble to unlock the room and make your exit, everyone’s strengths will become much clearer.


2. You’ll Have To Work Together

They say there’s no I in team. And when it comes to breaking out of an escape room, this couldn’t be more true.

If you want to win the game, you’ll need to solve a whole series of puzzles, challenges and mysteries. There’s just no way one person can do this all by themselves and still finish on time. You’ll need to share the workload and pull the same rope.  


3. You’ll Have To Communicate

When it comes to teamwork, good communication skills are essential. Trying to get out of an escape room within an hour will make this all the more apparent.

You can’t find clues, solve puzzles and escape the room unless you share information and discuss possible solutions together. This will encourage your team members to express themselves clearly and effectively and, more importantly, to listen to each other.


4. You’ll Boost Team Spirit

Who are we kidding?

Winning is fun. Nothing beats the sense of satisfaction that comes with overcoming a challenge and achieving a common goal. Your team will also feel a lot closer, as you now share a common bond.

Best of all? A successful escape is the perfect excuse for a celebration, which will motivate your team to want to win even more.

Are you ready to make your team building event a resounding success? Click here to book your escape game today.

What can you learn about your co workers from an escape game?

An escape game may seem an unlikely idea for a work do at first, but let me explain. Yes you may be shut in the office with them all day, but everyone is in their comfort zone. There’s office politics, gossip and everyone had a defined job role. In an escape game, none of that matters. Everyone is equal and everyone has to work together to escape the room.

Find out your group dynamics

Under pressure and with a task to solve, natural leaders will emerge. They will be the one with the plan or strategy. Not to be confused with bossiness, these leaders will ensure everyone plays a part in the escape.

Are you all team players?

There’s nothing like a challenge and potential glory to bring out everyone’s ego. Team players will ensure everyone is included and has a share in the success.

Who’s the best problem solver?

It’s not always the one who shouts the loudest that has the answers. Those who can think outside the box or with a logical mind are the best at solving puzzles. Make sure you listen to them.

Who are the good communicators?

It’s not the volume of the voice that’s important, it’s what they have to say. Being able to voice your thoughts clearly and concisely is what makes someone a good communicator. Being able to explain how to solve a puzzle or riddle could be the key to your escape.

Who are the best listeners?

Of course, it’s no good telling everyone your ideas if you’re not willing to listen to any one else’s. Listening to each other is an essential part of communication. It allows you to pool all your ideas and find the best way forward.

Who’s the most observant?

Missing clues in the room will ensure your failure. There will be people who see things others miss so make sure you are all listening to each other and communicating your ideas

Who keeps a clear head in a crisis?

One of the most important things in the game is not to panic. Not everyone can stay calm and focus on a problem whilst chaos ensues. But this is an essential skill in an escape game.

Who has the best sense of humor?

These are the people who keep everyone else going when things aren’t going well. Their optimism is infectious and keeps everyone having fun on the task.

So the next time you want to get to know your colleagues a bit better, suggest something different. Visit an escape room and let the fun begin.

Top tips to beat the room

Want some tips on how to successfully complete an escape game? Read on.

Team work

Working together as a team is one of the most important things you can do in an escape game. Everyone has an important part to play, you can’t get out alone.

Don’t waste time

The clock is ticking and you only have an hour to escape. Use your time wisely as every second counts. Spending too much time on one puzzle may mean that you don’t have enough left for the others.

Look for patterns and clues

To escape you need to look for hidden clues and messages and solve the puzzles in the right order. There may be locks to undo, keys to find or even secret codes. Look around you and explore your environment. Open boxes and drawers, look for secret compartments or passageways. Things may be left in the room to mislead or help you, so keep an open mind.

Talk to each other

Keep communicating with your team during the game. If you are all off trying to solve things by yourselves you won’t succeed. If you find something, no matter how insignificant it may seem, tell your team mates. It may be a crucial detail that you will need later.

Don’t be afraid to ask for hints

If you are struggling, ask your host for some guidance. Most exit games provide hints and clues for people who get stuck. They won’t solve it for you, but they can point you in the right direction.

Don’t panic, keep a clear head

With time ticking by, towards the end everyone will start to rush to escape in time. This can be where major clues get missed. Try to stay calm and keep on looking for clues right up to the end.

Don’t give up

It’s common to escape in the last few minutes, many games are impossible to complete any faster. If a puzzle seems impossible, perhaps you’re approaching it from the wrong angle. Take a deep breath and keep going. Freedom may be closer than you think.

Don’t forget your mission.

Every new game will send you on a new adventure. The rooms can be full of distractions, red herrings and misinformation. Listen to the instructions from your host and keep your mission in mind as you go through the game.

Have fun

As with any adventure, it’s all about the journey not the destination. Laughing and having fun with friends? That’s true escapism. Enjoy. 

How a locked room game can improve your life skills

If you’ve never tried a locked room game before you may be wondering what it has to do with life skills. Sometimes called escape games, a locked room game is a fun game where you and 2 to 4 friends are locked in a room and have to find clues and solve puzzles to escape.

The skills that you will practise to escape the room can be transferred to real life situations.  These essential skills can help you to move on at work and improve your relationship with others. So, what are life skills anyway?

Communication skills

This isn’t just about speaking. Communication skills involve putting your ideas forward clearly and concisely so others can understand. They also include listening to others, really understanding what they are saying, and being able to discuss different points of view and ideas. Improving your communication skills can improve your relationships with friends, family and co-workers.

In a locked room game, you will be working as a team. You will need to listen to everyone’s ideas as well as be assertive enough to suggest your own. As a group you need to decide on the best way to solve the room.

Problem solving

The ability to work out problems whilst keeping a clear head is essential in many work places as well as in day to day life.

In a locked room game you will be solving puzzles against the clock. You will need to think logically and stay calm. If you start to panic you will lose precious time, and every second counts.

Working with others

In the escape room, working as a team is essential to your success. Everyone has something to contribute and they need to be listened to in case you miss something vital.

You may not always be friends with the people you work with. But being able to put this aside and work as a team towards a common goal will ensure that you do well at work.

Staying focused

In the room, your main mission is to escape. You will have smaller challenges to solve along the way and you need to be fully focused on each one to succeed. If you get distracted, or try to jump to the end before all the puzzles are completed, you won’t escape.

Being able to focus on a task and see it through to completion is an essential work place skill.

Decision making

Dithering when there is a decision to make can cost you dearly in the escape room. Having confidence in your own choices and seeing them through is an important life skill to have.

Practised regularly, any skill can be improved. Life skills are no different. Not only can they change the way you deal with people and situations, they can also change how others see you. If you want to try out your skills in a locked room game, London has many different venues to choose from. Every one of them has a different story and an exciting new challenge to try.

Can escape games help to reduce stress?

Stress is a common factor in daily life with an increasing number of people feeling regularly stressed out by work and life events. Low level stress can go on for so long that it may feel normal. So how can an escape room help? An escape room game, sometimes called an exit game, is a total immersion game where you find clues and solve puzzles in order to escape the room.

Whilst being locked in a room may not seem like the ideal stress reliever, this game of mental agility can increase your resilience to stress, and reduce your stress hormones by having fun.

If you are suffering from stress it is, of course, essential that you take time to relax, eat all the right foods, don’t drink too much alcohol and get enough sleep. If a friend or family member is unusually moody or becoming withdrawn they may be suffering from stress.

It is a common problem. But whilst some people seem to struggle with having too much to do or having too many demands on their time, others seem to thrive on it. The reason behind this is they have a stronger resilience to stress.

If you are within your comfort zone, and have a good level of stress resilience, a manageable level of stress can make you feel more alert, focussed and energetic.

Whilst personality can be a factor, there are ways that you can increase your resilience to stress, leading you to cope better with the demands of your day to day life.

Take a break

When people take a break from work they often spend their time thinking or talking about work. In an exit game you will be totally immersed in the story and mystery of the game. If your overactive mind needs something different to focus on, an hour in an escape room is ideal.

Improve your relationships

The quality of your relationships with others is critical to how well you cope with problems. Spending time face to face with friends or family helps to strengthen bonds and feelings of unity. In an escape room you will be working together to solve puzzles and find clues, whilst improving your communication and listening skills.

Raise your confidence

Exit games aren’t easy. They are designed to be challenging, and every small win within the room will give you a great sense of achievement and boost your confidence as a team. The ability to rise to challenges with a ‘can do’ attitude will not only help you win the game it will help you win at life’s challenges too.

Laughter really is the best medicine

It’s true. These games are fun. Having fun and laughing reduces the level of stress hormones in your body and relaxes your pent up nervous system. An escape room game is a great way to unwind with friends and have a great time.

How locked room games can improve your memory

A locked room game is a fun and exciting activity where a group of players are locked in a room together. They have to solve puzzles and find clues to escape before their time runs out. So how can a locked room game improve your memory?

Everyone can improve their memory and cognitive skills by working on them regularly. Just as regular exercise helps your body stay healthy, keeping your brain active has many benefits. Puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku are popular ways of exercising your brain through problem solving. They use both your long term memory, for retrieving words and following clues, as well as your short term working memory for mental arithmetic and problem solving.

Whilst the benefits of this type of game are well documented, they are usually played by just one person on their own. And whilst logical thinking is needed, there is no pressure, you can take all the time you want to solve it.

Locked room games, or escape games, are different. They challenge your memory and thinking skills in an unfamiliar environment, with a limited time to complete the task.

They are also social team games. You play as a group and collaborate to work out the problems you are faced with. The importance of social activities in improving cognitive skills and memory shouldn’t be underestimated. During the game you will need to discuss the clues, listen to your team mates and be prepared to think differently to succeed.

Unlike solitary games, working with others in an escape game helps to improve your communication skills. In turn, this also helps your memory. Remembering who said what or which clues they found is essential to your success in the game.

The game is designed to be fun, but there is also a time limit. This adds an element of pressure and excitement. Thinking logically and solving riddles and puzzles under pressure challenges your mind much more than other games.

Every game has a creative storyline where you play a different role. You have just one hour to solve all the puzzles in the room and escape.

Regularly exercising your brain is proven to improve your memory and help to guard against memory loss in later life. Social activities can also help to keep your brain active. Why not try a locked room game? London has many of these games which provide an exciting, interactive and fully immersive experience where you can challenge yourself, and your friends whilst having fun.


Why exit games are perfect for gamers

Do you love playing computer games and challenging your friends online? Then you will love an exit game. An exit game is fully immersive experience where you are locked in a room and have to work out how to escape. Have you ever wanted to put your gaming skills to the test in a real life situation? Here’s your chance.

You will be put in a room and given a mission that you need to carry out in order to escape. You have a limited time, usually an hour, and there will be clues and puzzles to solve along the way.

All is not always what is seems in the escape room, they are full of surprises and you need to keep your mind focussed. You can’t afford to miss any clues and every second counts. As the time counts down the pressure starts to build as you try to make it out in time.

Why not challenge your friends to bring their skills to a live exit game. The skills that make you great at playing computer games can also help you to beat the clock and escape. When playing your favourite games you need to stay focused. You need logical thinking and the ability to adapt quickly to new environments and new problems.

During an exit game you need all these skills, as well as excellent communication and listening skills, to solve the room.  You will work as a team as you look for clues and solve puzzles together. Every success in the room will feel like getting to another level in your favourite game. Not everyone escapes in time, the puzzles weren’t designed to be easy. They were designed to challenge your problem solving skills to the maximum.

Instead of staying at home playing games, why not meet up with your friends for a challenge with a difference? Getting together socially with friends and meeting up face to face is something you can miss out on when playing at home.

These games are highly addictive, if you don’t get out in time, you will want to try again. If you do escape, you will want a bigger and better challenge

Why not make a regular event of this with your friends? London has lots of different venues to choose from. Each exit game has a different story and the level of difficulty varies, so you can keep challenging yourself and your friends to harder game rooms.

Things you won’t find in our escape room.

Are you interested in trying an escape room but don’t know what to expect? If you are looking for an escape room London has plenty to try out, but they are all deliberately vague about what happens in the room. It’s all part of the mystery, and they don’t want to give anything away. So, what doesn’t happen during a game?


Honest. You won’t have time to get bored. During the 60 minutes that you spend in the room the clock will be counting down as you hunt for clues and solve puzzles. These games are intense and fully immersive. As you enter the room you will be entering a new story and given a mission to complete. You need to be totally focussed in order to escape on time.

Simple tasks

This isn’t an easy game. Lots of people don’t make it out in time. The puzzles were designed to challenge your mind and make you think. The room can be solved, but only if you engage with the story and solve the puzzles in time. Different games have different difficulty levels so you can pick the right level for you and your team.

Difficult physical challenges

These escape games are all about the mental challenge. Yes there are clues to find but we don’t have small tunnels to crawl through or laser beams to somersault over. So there’s no training needed.

Lone heroes

In this game you will have to work together as a team. You simply can’t do this alone. It’s not designed that way.  Whether there are two or five of you, you will all need to communicate and participate in order to escape.


In some countries like America, games work a bit differently. You simply book a time slot and turn up, playing with anyone who has booked the same slot. Whilst playing this with strangers certainly adds an extra element to the game, in the UK we book rooms for teams who already know each other.

Our games are ideal to be played with groups of friends or family. You can choose your best team players to get locked in with.

Fear factor

Lots of people like a fear or horror element to escape games. Storylines where you are trapped in a basement with a psychopath or in a haunted hospital can be very entertaining.  Some even follow the storyline of famous horror films.

However, these games don’t have a fear element. You won’t find yourself battling zombies or nightmare scenarios.

Escape rooms provide family friendly excitement where you will be happy to bring your teenage children or their grandparents. Yes, the tension builds as the clock counts down, but we prefer the fun factor.