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Review: Adventure at Escape Rooms Ibiza

Sleuth your way out

Ever wanted to enter into a game you are playing on your phone or online; ever fancied yourself as a detective, solving clues and puzzles to unlock mysteries? If you have answered yes to either or both, then escape games could be just what you are looking for. Most people like mystery in one form or another and this is what the owner Peter believes will make the rooms a great success. He's just opened Escape Rooms Ibiza with games in English and Spanish and he's done his research well. We went along to try it out at the venue's central Ibiza location.

Online gaming and computer games have really driven how these rooms have developed; the virtual reality worlds lend themselves well to being reproduced in real life form. This new trend has grown and developed a lot since it first started; it uses all kinds of themes from classic literature, movies and of course the games world. Now, you can find escape rooms in major cities in Europe, the US and Asia and last year there were a reported 2,800 of them worldwide.

Hidden objects

At Escape Rooms Ibiza, groups of between two to six people play each game. Each group is briefed on their challenge and then locked in a room. There, they are to look out for clues, puzzles, hidden objects and anything that can help them to get out of the room in a 60-minute window. If you get stuck, they give you clues to help you achieve your one-hour exit goal. You use your intuition and your intelligence to solve the mysteries in the room and everyone works together to pool their intuiting resources.

The games are for groups and all are designed to be family friendly, so you can take the kids with you, which we did. We chose the Alice in Wonderland theme as the kids we were with were between 10 and 11 years old - there are more grown-up themes too. It's ideal for friends, families and couples plus it has become very popular for corporate team building. Small disclosure before we go further: we can't tell you exactly what's in the room because that would ruin the surprise - you need to try it yourselves.

Solving the riddle

We entered the room; the lock was turned and we were transported to a room that vividly brought to life scenes, like the famous Mad Hatter's Tea Party from the classic tale. We were quite clueless (despite the clues) in the first few minutes, but then we started to find our feet. What we encountered was a nail-biting and fun mystery that we were all fully engaged in - no time for downtime. We really liked solving riddles and being amateur sleuths in this simulated fantasy world. The small shrieks of delight as we decoded a clue to open the box to get to the next clue were great and really egg you on to keep going.

There were a few times when we were really stuck and lost. No worry: you are being monitored all the time so if you are going nowhere fast, you'll get a hint on what to do next. This bit for me was one of the main reasons why it suits lots of people who might not think it's for them. If you feel you wouldn't be able to do it, don't worry, you are never left high and dry; you should always come out having had a great experience. Another thing is that this is really about being in a team and it's fun because you are always on the move, constantly thinking and using parts of your brain you might not have visited for a while.

Zombies, scientists and Sherlock

So how did we do? We got out in literally the last minute with seconds to go. We did it by a hare's whisker, but we did it. The kids loved it, we loved it and we are all desperate to return. I'm quite fancying the Zombie Apocalypse room or the Mad Scientist as the next challenge. A good friend of Ibiza Spotlight came along with his crew at the same time as us and did the Zombie and Sherlock Holmes rooms; all came out raving about them. These guys are good to ask because they've tried escape rooms all over Europe and said these were right up there with the best.

Peter and his wife Carmen, wanted to start a business that could go through summer and winter - we think they've done it. Now go and find out for yourself... Escape Rooms Ibiza

WORDS: Julian Heathcote

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