The West Midlands is one of the least served areas of the country, with only a handful of escape rooms to serve a population of over 5 million people. There’s surely scope for growth in the area, so it’s great to see Clockwork Escapes opened last weekend in Wolverhampton. Indeed with the immediate customer base in the town itself and easy access from Birmingham, it seems like a great opportunity for both short term and long term growth.
To start with, they’re opening two games: Alleyway and the Nolan Exhibit, and plans are already in the works for a third, Where there’s a will…, and should things be successful I’m told there’s room for further growth at the premises.
The company seems to be setting its sights very firmly on an immersive experience – players are greeted by a Professor Thaddeus Clockwork on arrival, the rooms are built into the architecture of the venue and the different rooms link together into an overarching story line. It’s not 100% clear from the website who Professor Clockwork is though. Builder of a time machine? Multidimensional superhero? Or maybe a Holmes/Moriarty character swapping back and forth between solving and perpetrating crimes…
In Alleyway, Professor Clockwork will send your team into a pitch-black alley, deep in the heart of the city, to track down and identify a murderer. The Police are destined to botch this job, but you have one hour to collect enough evidence to finger the correct suspect. Light is your ally, but the supply is limited, and so you must use what little you have wisely. This is no plasterboard-walled facsimile; the walls are brick, the smells is damp, the clock is ticking and the lights are out. Piece together the killer and you can walk away with your head held high, but take too long and you may not walk away at all…
In their other game, Professor Thaddeus Clockwork delivers players to the Nolan Exhibit, a personal museum of art and relics from history gathered by the eccentric billionaire Alexander Nolan. Your task is to steal the Nolan Diamond, one of the largest and most valuable on the planet. Your window of opportunity is brief, as the museum is currently closed for renovations and the guards can only be distracted for so long. You will have to solve a myriad of different mysteries in a non-linear web of puzzles to gain access to the diamond itself, then to escape before anyone notices it is gone.
Both rooms cost admit 2-6 players and cost £44-90 depending on numbers. If you’re a student, or bringing one along, then you can get a discount – details on their website.
Let’s hope your escape goes like clockwork!