Escape Hunt is best known for their creative indoor Escape Games which see teams of up to 6 people locked in a room with the simple instruction of breaking out before time is up.
These games are becoming more and more popular across the world, with more rooms popping up every day.
I love Escape Games and relish testing myself in rooms across Europe. My friends and I have a pretty good track record of escaping with time to spare, with our current best set at 42 minutes. However, this weekend, for the first time, I attempted the next level in Escape Game challenges. Armed with a case of equipment and clues, I took to the streets of Leeds with two others to complete tasks, crack codes and mix potions so that we could ‘save the world’.
The recently launched game, which Escape Hunt has called ‘Operation Mindfall’, sets teams of 2-4 people on a 2-hour mission across Leeds to ‘prevent the spread of a deadly virus with the power to control minds’. Teams are tasked with taking on the role of undercover detectives and completing challenges such as listening to sounds to break riddles, finding codes to open locks and searching for statues to identify specific words.
The game begins in the Escape Hunt headquarters in The Light where team names are selected, instructions are given by a ‘Game Master’ and kit cases are distributed. In addition to the kit cases, each team is given a preloaded ipad, which is where the game is hosted. The ipad also enables the City-wide game to include augmented reality, which adds a truly unique aspect to this afternoon activity.
We set off, as a team of 3, determined to complete all the tasks set and get back to HQ before time was up. We started out strong, completing the first challenge in minutes. We then hit the streets and located our next challenge which involved searching the surroundings and finding a code so that the subsequent challenge could be revealed. Again, we completed this with ease. However, as we moved through the tasks, and traversed the streets of Leeds with our case (which was a challenge in itself as it was awkward and heavy), ipad and sound system, our hearts were racing as we struggled to complete some and lost precious time over others.
We enjoyed testing ourselves on the mathematic puzzles but thought the challenge involving mobile phones was too subjective, especially as the specified website was not unique. We also really enjoyed the tasks which involved looking for codes on buildings and statues as we felt these were challenging but also gave us the opportunity to get to know our City better.
Overall, we had a really great afternoon testing our minds and bodies. We enjoyed the puzzles and thought in addition to being a great way to get active, it also helped us get to know Leeds better than we have before. We would recommend Operation Mindfall to those wanting an unusual afternoon activity for the whole family or friendship group. We also thought it could make for a really exciting team building activity for work colleagues. Highly recommended!
For tickets, or for more information on how to book, visit here.
Photograph of the Operation Mindfall kit. (Photographs of the challenges were not permitted.)
Gemma, a PhD student at Leeds Beckett University, has been writing for over 6 years, and loves to share what’s going on in and around Leeds. She is also an international athlete, artist and creator of Leeds Food Guide. You can find her on Instagram at: @GLB_racewalk, @GLB_creations or @LeedsFoodGuide