No Escape: The Dentist review
|This dentist hides a terrible secret. You arrive for your appointment only to find yourself trapped! Quickly you notice the clock ticking down with an hour to escape before he “finishes” your appointment… and you.|
|Difficulty level not stated|
|£25-35 per person depending on team size|
|Soho, London, UK|
|Played by Jenny, Paul and 1 other|
|Escaped with 14 minutes remaining|
This room surprised me so much, I wasn’t expecting a well themed room being situated above a Londis! The waiting area when you arrived reminded me of a dental surgery, it only lacked the drilling sounds and fish tank! The story was poorly delivered by the stand in host but the website synopsis gave me what I needed for this room (not how it should be). Once inside the room, you are straight away faced with the demonic dentist chair. Even though there was no dentist in the room, it still felt daunting and terrifying.
All the puzzles linked to the theme of the crazed dentist with a strong use of dental paraphernalia and utensils. The second room is where the main story is uncovered and a ‘darker’ theme is met. For me, this room is close to great but I feel it needed sound effects and perhaps an actor in the room at some point.
This was the worst first impression to an escape room I’ve ever had. We had to enter via a Londis supermarket, then go up a tatty narrow staircase past a massage parlour, reaching a tiny simply decorated waiting area which combined as the CCTV control room, allowing us to get glimpses of other people playing rooms. With my sights set very low, I entered our room expecting the worst, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was tech-free and a little worn but it was themed well and felt pretty realistic with lots of dentist paraphernalia like x-rays, teeth, chair, tools etc. This is not a scary experience but there is one potential jump scare. The puzzles made good use of the dentistry equipment to keep the gaming side on-theme.
There was a nice mixture of puzzles in this room which linked to the theme well. There were the typical search challenges but also some great logic puzzles. I liked how so much of the game linked to the medical side, from looking at X-rays to the use of dental utensils. On advancement of the game we got to travel to other rooms which made the game feel larger in size than I was expecting. Teamwork is required for this room which also helped to enhance the gameplay. The puzzles weren’t high-tech but did require them to be solved in order. Luckily this room didn’t feel full of padlocks.
The game itself was also much better than expected. It has a traditional format of locks, codes and keys instead of tech and gimmicks which is the norm these days. It was actually quite refreshing to play a simple room without all the bells and whistles. It’s full of logic and observation puzzles which awarded me with various a-ha moments. This is a linear game, but it has a few puzzles that could be worked on at any one time. This meant we had to figure out which was the one we needed to solve next and we’d sometimes get items before we were able to use them, which made it trickier.
There was one red herring which I wasted quite a bit of time on trying to solve. It seemed like a puzzle that was no longer being used. They told us there’s an 80-85% fail rate for this room, but it didn’t seem quite that difficult. They allow up to 5 clues and we only needed 2 prods in the right direction.
Having low expectations of this room I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed the experience. Whilst the host was poor in his briefing, the game made up for the flaw. We played with three people which seemed the right amount for this room and we all had things to do. Being a dental themed room we all got nervous around the chair and in the dark spaces. It stated this was a scary room but there was only one jump moment. All being said this was a great room full of challenges, teamwork and good theming.
This has taught me not to judge a book by its cover. The Dentist was fun to play with lots of enjoyable and testing logic puzzles that kept us all involved, all packaged in a nicely themed space. Whenever we got stuck, our host helped nudge us in the right direction to avoid us from getting frustrated. We didn’t get the warmest of welcomes from the two staff members when we arrived, but they were admittedly busy at the time with another team. They were far more friendlier after our game though, chatting and joking with us.
At £30 each to play this seemed very expensive, particularly when it’s above a Londis. The waiting area was OK but not of the standard other rooms of a similar price has. The stand in host was also very poor at the briefing which devalued the room for me. That being said, the room was fun and you get a good experience. I just feel that there are much better rooms in London at a lower price.
I know it’s in central London, but £30 each for a team of 4 is pretty expensive for a relatively simple low tech room that is not in the nicest of locations. You can get more advanced rooms in a less cramped environment for a similar price elsewhere in London. Having said that, it was a challenging room which I enjoyed playing. They are willing to squeeze up to 8 people into this room, but I wouldn’t recommend any more than 4 as it would be very cosy and there wouldn’t be enough challenges to keep everyone occupied.
Theming - 7/10
Puzzles - 7/10
Enjoyment - 8/10
Value - 5/10