“Are you ready to be locked up?” is a line you’d expect to hear from the latest 50 Shades of Grey film, not at 11:30am on a Saturday morning in the middle of Manchester. This wasn’t the Red Room we’d accidentally wandered into and Adam and co weren’t about to play Christian Grey, this was Lucardo Manchester, the latest in escape room fun.
Being a fan of the Crystal Maze and thinking myself of somewhat of a could be Sherlock Holmes (Charl-ock, get it?) the hunting for clues and mystery concept of escape rooms have been on my hit list and as such,when I was tasked with organising a day of team building with my work crew it seemed like the perfect excuse to finally book one.
If you’re not quite familiar with the premise of an “escape room”, don’t have the investigator bug like I do or find the very thought of them claustrophobic, I’m here to put your mind at ease. Located on Ancoates Street, not far from the Northern Quarter in Manchester, Lucardo is home to five uniquely themed areas: a murder mystery, a jewellery heist or a WWII bunker, all styled as immersive, real life action escape games each with their own puzzles, riddles that require some strategic thinking and team work to “escape” within the 60 minute time limit.
The Contamination Room is one of five unique areas and is cited of one of the most difficult in Europe. Entering into Professor Thomson’s laboratory, with the aim to locate a missing vial of deadly poison, it’s a race against the clock to crack the codes before Thomson returns. Numerical, word and simple key based padlocks are a plenty as well plenty of puzzles to get you thinking and forces your group to work together to get to the bottom of boggling brain busters. Don’t worry, you’re not completely alone. Adam and co are on hand throughout the hour to give you one or two nudges in the right direction (& they’re most welcomed!)
After entering codes until our fingers were practically numb, our group dashed out of the trashed laboratory with no cranny left un turned, clutching the vial with only seconds to spare, thus saving the nation from a poisoned water supply at the hand of the nutty professor. You’re welcome y’all.
The hour goes by in the blink of an eye and its an exhilarating and surprisingly fun 60 minutes to give your brain a work out and only went to prove my theory that I’d make a great detective completely right*.
- (although I’m sure Adam would beg to differ!)