March 14, 2017

Time Run: The Celestial Chain, London (England)

We scored 78% in this Time Run

Time Run touts itself as an immersive cinematic experience that takes escape rooms to the next level. This was definitely a unique experience and quite an extravagant production. The set up was completely immersive as you wait outside the premises in some industrial area where the entrance seemed to be the back of an old shipping area. You only go in once your time has come (there is no lobby to wait in) and once inside, you're in the story. The actor was quite good and never broke character. He didn't even ask for my name for the booking, he just took us in at our time and boom, right into the theme.

As a "Time Runner" you jump to rooms in different eras every 12 minutes so it's more "do as much as you can in 12 minutes/room" rather than escaping which is quite novel. The goal in The Celestial Chain was to find as many artifacts in each era.

Given we were with some people new to escape rooms, the items that we had to search for were tough to find. Remember the slow start you sometimes have in the first half of the escape room, only to make it up in the last 30 minutes and escape? Well imagine you only have 12mins in a room so it's really stressful! You aren't meant to get everything but rushing out can make you feel somewhat unfulfilled. Some rooms were pretty dark and one in particular had a lot of redundant long puzzles that wasted a lot of time.

The riddles were tough and some would be impossible for me to do (i.e. musical ear needed). There was one part in which a trigger didn't go off properly and it was actually a little confusing in terms of knowing if we succeeded in a task or not.

The production value of Time Run was extremely high. There were quite a few cinematic movies that played throughout the experience and some members didn't like that given we only had 15 minutes a room and, listening to a two minute video was costly.

At the end, we got a scorecard and scored 72% which was higher than the average of 60%. This was nice aspect as they explain which puzzles we were good at (physical tasks) and which we were weaker at (communication between rooms).

Cool scorecard
We also were there in the opening month in Dec 2016 so there might have been some tweaks to the gameplay. I think it's worthwhile to play as it's quite an experience and knowing what to expect would make it even more enjoyable.

Pros: Amazing set decor and production. Felt like you were on a movie set. Actor was awesome and nice detailed scorecard at the end

Cons: Rushing out rooms too quickly, some long tedious puzzles
  • Set/room design: Hollywood baby!
  • Technology/automation: Gen-2 (high tech)
  • Difficulty: Difficult, but you aren't meant to do everything
  • Price: £30-£42/person 
  • Number of players: 3-6, private room (we recommend 6)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ½
See their website here: http://www.time-run.com

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