Ninth Life: The Viewing review
|Reignite your joy of discovery in one of the UK’s biggest immersive adventures, as you delve through portals to play with bizarre characters and challenges. This experience will take you and your team on a unique journey through over 9 rooms of spectacular adventure that pushes the boundaries of immersive theatre and escape room fun. Make your appointment with Morgan Turnkey estate agents for rooms with so much more than a view.|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|£27.50 per person, including £2.50 booking fee|
|Catford, London, UK|
|Played by Jenny, Paul and Bharath|
|We failed to solve 1 puzzle|
|This room is no longer available to play|
8/10The theming of immersive experiences is hard to score as there are so many elements to the stories and imagery around you. Ninth Life managed to keep the plot and theming going despite the numerous times you go off on tangents. The scenery at the venue Ninth Life pub is amazing! So many cool props and paraphernalia around the room and that’s before you’ve even checked in for your game at Morgan Turnkey’s desk where we met our hosts. They were excellent and kept in character as estate agents from start to finish. Our experience was to view a property for sale. This sounds like a poor story, but there’s a secret mission where you’re asked to find co-worker Billy who has gone missing. Whilst the plot was delivered excellently, it wasn’t clearly explained that our mission was to collect keys in each room which will play a big role in the finale challenge. That being said the experience was great. You travel through various worlds and meet other cast members who help guide you to Billy. Each of the 9 rooms are themed differently, designed well and have strong characters, although none are linked to the estate agent theme. But they cleverly set the rooms up so that you’ll encounter the host estate agents along the way to keep the original theming present in the game.
8/10You’re at Morgan Turnkey estate agents looking to view a property, but this is *far* more interesting than it sounds! You’ll venture through 9 rooms, each with very different theming, where you’ll encounter things (often bizarre) like a giant talking creature, a forest and a game show! Your mission is to find Billy, an employee who went missing. The theming is excellent and of a high quality. It’s detailed, it’s varied and it’s unexpected. There were loads of actors (I think 6 in total) who were all brilliant, passionately performing their roles. This was a proper production, the likes of which you wouldn’t expect from an experience in a pub. It was very interactive as the actors got us involved throughout. The point of the puzzles in the context of the story wasn’t very clear though.
2/10This game is all about the experience. Whilst there are different mini challenges throughout the journey, the escape room puzzles are fairly non-existent. The main issue I had is that we were not clearly told that we had to look for keys in each room. We instead respected the game too much and resisted exploring the sets when we were left unattended. On the fourth room we realised the plan and then started to play the game. There’s no real logic needed for the puzzles. Most are search based, with one game taking a while as it required teamwork and skill. The only issue with this challenge is only 2 people really got to play it!
4/10This is where the experience disappoints. It’s around 80% immersive theatre and 20% escape room. There’s not that many puzzles as most of your time is spent on the theatrics. Some of the tasks were pretty easy and during the most difficult one, we got pushed on before we had the chance to solve it. This was done in character, but it shows the puzzles are just a sideshow and don’t really matter. Solving a puzzle gave you a key, allowing you to progress to the next room. However for the puzzle we didn’t get to complete, we were able to move on without it as the next door wasn’t locked. This confused us as we weren’t sure whether we needed to go through it or not to be able to solve that puzzle. There was some variation in the challenges offered, but there was little here to excite an escape room regular.
8/10Taking out the lack of puzzles and escape room play, the overall experience can’t be faulted. The characters were excellent, the rooms were excellently designed and the immersive story was brilliant. We all had a laugh in this room, enjoyed a gin and some of the team got a great prize! My advice on this game is to get into the roles, act your part and you’ll have a great time. Some people may not like that you can be grouped together with another team. We were lucky that the group we were paired up with were fun and joined in with all the immersive plays. This may not be for escape room enthusiasts but for immersive theatre fans you’ll love it!
9/10Despite the lack of puzzle action, I still really enjoyed this. It’s a superbly surreal experience that’s full of surprises. It’s located above a really quirky pub that runs lots of cool and unusual events. On the day we visited, there were neon dancers, a post office pirate, a magician and DJs until the early hours. Included in the game are a couple of weak tasting shots, plus a free drink at the pub afterwards. I also won soap and a box of cereal in the game show! If there’s 4 or less in your team, you may have to share with other people. This could improve or spoil your experience, depending who you’re paired with. Thankfully we got a nice friendly couple who we ended up spending the whole night drinking with!
7/10For the setting in the pub, the quality of the cast and the room designs, I can’t fault the price. The lack of puzzles lowered my score as the room did seem to sell the escape room element which was not really there. However you get a free gin, you can win prizes and you’ll have a lot of fun playing this game.
9/10If you want a standard escape room, The Viewing probably isn’t the one for you. But if you’re up for something a bit different, with a dollop of puzzling combined with a plateful of creative immersive theatre that veers on the bizarre side, then you won’t be disappointed. It’s a well polished operation with oodles of well decorated rooms and many skilled actors. Considering the expansiveness and number of people involved, along with the free drinks offered and potential prizes to be won, I think this is very reasonably priced at £27.50 per person.
Theming - 8/10
Puzzles - 4.3/10
Enjoyment - 8.3/10
Value - 7.7/10