Escape for Real: Beyond Zero review

Published by Escape Goats on

You are in the house of the Professor who is working on the problem of parallel worlds. You have been called in by the police. The Professor has disappeared and seems to be on the run from some mysterious agents. The house is so full of secrets, puzzles and devices that the police have no idea what has happened to him. It’s time for you to take control and find out. Hurry! The mysterious operatives are already after you, and they are not from our world…
60 minutes
2-6 players
4/5 difficulty
£15-25 per person depending on team size and time of day
Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK
escapeforreal.co.uk
Played by Jenny, Paul and Bharath
October 2020
Escaped with 16 minutes remaining

Theming

The bio before the room is so basic that the theme of the room doesn’t seem to be that important. The key element seems to be to find the whereabouts of the missing Professor and help him fix the parallel worlds. You enter a door that has police tape on stating ‘do not enter’ and go into a small room with book wallpaper and very minimal objects lying around. Nothing really ties in to a professor for me. As the room is so sparse there’s not much to explore.

The story evolves through the gameplay and after solving several puzzles we find ourselves in a secret room. This room is themed slightly better but is still very basic. There’s scientific equipment lying around and we work on fixing the machine to correct the parallel worlds. Once fixed, we have a very anticlimactic escape.

What stuck to be a disappointment is that in the intro the host stresses that there’s a siren that will go off in the room during the game. When that happens you have to hide, if spotted it’s game over. This added element built up the excitement before the game, but in all honesty it ruined it for me as the reality of the siren didn’t live up to the hype.

5/10

Jenny

From the small reception area, which had been designed to look like a front garden, we were given a long explanation of the story and our mission. It wasn’t very captivating and I tuned out after a while. We began by removing the crime scene tape from the front door and entering the ‘house’. We step foot into a minimalist office containing a desk, chair, jacket, map of the world, themed wallpaper and not a lot else. Almost everything has a purpose, eliminating red herrings but reducing immersion. The room may look basic, but it hides some techy secrets. Not everything is as simple as they look! There’s also an additional room to discover with a contrasting décor of clinical white walls.

6/10

Paul

[score only]

7/10

 Bharath

Puzzles

This room is completely linear and puzzles have to be solved in order. The challenges are basic, the main task at hand is really to search for items. As you know from other reviews, we are poor at this. The only clue we got in the game was to inform us we are missing an object which we’ve not found yet. The puzzles didn’t seem difficult, nor was there any real skill required to complete them. Luckily there were not many padlocks as they tried to be more advanced with automated locks etc. A newbie may get more enjoyment out of the games but for an experienced team I think you’d sail through Beyond Zero.

5/10

Jenny

The logic puzzles are hands-on and involve quite a lot of tech. They use electronics and magnets as well as traditional locks to offer a variety of ways to progress. The uncluttered rooms mean there’s not much searching involved. But don’t be fooled, there may be an object or two sneakily hidden away! The only clue we needed (asked via walkie-talkie) was because we had missed a crucial item. There were a couple of tech issues that caused our host to come on the radio. One was for a nonworking countdown clock in the second room and the other for lights that didn’t match the colour specified in the audio recording.

6/10

Paul

[score only]

7/10

 Bharath

Enjoyment

For me, this is a standard escape room. There’s no wow factor at all. The theming is limited and the gameplay wasn’t that exciting either. The promise of the siren could have boosted the fun element of the game but as mentioned before the reality of the threat didn’t live up to it. They could have really changed the game if this had been used better. As most of you will know linear games always restrict the enjoyment as you find yourself stood around whilst each puzzle is solved.

5/10

Jenny

The sparse rooms weren’t the most exciting, but they were filled with interactive tasks which were fun to play. Before starting, we were told that when we heard a siren we’d have 10 seconds to hide or would lose. This added to the excitement and got us on edge, but unfortunately the reality was very anticlimactic. Overall I enjoyed playing Beyond Zero and the gameplay was perfectly fine, but it was distinctly average, albeit with a techy slant.

7/10

Paul

[score only]

7/10

 Bharath

Value

If you pay the lower price of £15, this room is worth the money. However the top end seems too high compared to other games you can play in Central London for the same price. When we got to the venue, we couldn’t find the way in. It’s poorly signposted and it seemed strange that the entrance was the room itself. The host did their job but I didn’t feel the enthusiasm from them which may have limited my enjoyment. This room is fairly new so I’m sure they can work on these issues.

5/10

Jenny

Beyond Zero costs £21 each for a team of 3 or £20 for a team of 4 in peak time. It may not wow a seasoned escaper, but it has a decent set of puzzles for a reasonable price. I feel it would suit newbies more, but the difficulty level is relatively high for a first timer. Escape for Real are located in an unusual place, an out of the way business centre in Newport Pagnell. Getting there by car is easiest and there’s a free car park outside. Finding where to go will be your first challenge. We saw doors for their two rooms, but no reception area. It turns out each room has its own small reception area so don’t be afraid to open the door like we were!

7/10

Paul

[score only]

7/10

 Bharath

Overall scores

  • Theming - 6/10
    6/10
  • Puzzles - 6/10
    6/10
  • Enjoyment - 6.33/10
    6.3/10
  • Value - 6.33/10
    6.3/10
6.2/10