#47: The Escapement (Margate) – The Pit

An outstanding room with great puzzles, atmosphere, theming and game master makes The Pit an unmissable game. I’m delighted to give it one of my rare five star ratings. You should travel to play this game.

Rating:★★★★★ (Outstanding)
Location:Margate
Team:Rhubarb Rhubarb
Date:21 April 2019
Hints taken:Unknown
Time:58m25
URL:The Escapement

Front & Briefing

We phoned The Pit about 25 minutes before the time slot was due to start and were very pleasantly surprised they were able to fit us in! Upon arrival the GM was understandably still resetting the room but we had a lovely chat with the venue’s owner in the meantime about our various favourite rooms. They seem like a venue that are extremely proud of their rooms, which is always a good sign!

The GM then greeted us in character as the representative of a mining company that had lost a previous team down The Pit and were sending us to investigate. The character he played was particularly enjoyable and definitely unique amongst the few other escape rooms that include acted-out GMs!

Theme

The game is set in an underground mined cave and even the entrance to the room was themed accordingly. Inside, the set’s theming is of an exceptional standard and was an absolute joy to explore and tinker with. Combined with the GM, who remains in character over the walkie-talkie throughout as a guide of sorts, it was a very immersive and exciting experience. There were plenty of “wow” moments and some nice little touches to finish. It was a very cleverly designed space.

Puzzles

The most entertaining puzzles for me were the more physical ones, and The Escapement have come up with some novel ways of getting the team to work together. More traditional puzzles fitted in well with the theme, and there weren’t any puzzles I felt I’d encountered anywhere else. For the most memorable puzzle in the game, they’d found a way of making it even more thrilling, which I feel summarises the whole experience: the creators and GM pull out all the stops to generate excitement and a sense of urgency.

Hint system

You’re in regular contact with the GM via a walkie-talkie, who remains in character throughout. This was really novel and blurred the line between hints and the story in a really pleasant way. There’s no countdown timer or anything like that in the room; you’re told your time afterwards but the game relies on the pacing created by the puzzles and the GM to get you out.

Finale

I can’t say much without spoiling the ending but like the rest of the game, the ending was a heck of an adrenaline rush, and theatrically brilliant, if a little out of the blue story-wise.

Debriefing

The debriefing here is the most thorough I’ve had, with the GM, now out of character, thoroughly taking you behind the scenes of the game, which I personally found fascinating, and his excitement was contagious here: the team here clearly love their jobs and care about giving teams a good experience. Finally, a photo for social media and another nice chat with the owner.

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