This review of Golden Cage is based on a visit from January 2016.
Game-Scape? Gam-Escape? Gam-E-Scape? I thought the point of a portmanteau was to blend two words together to make a new one. It doesn’t really count if you have to turn it back into two words to say it. They aren’t the only company to go down this route but that doesn’t make me care for it any more. Let’s move on.
Gamescape is based outside of Liverpool city centre, in the middle of nowhere really, amidst a confusing network of one way streets and dead ends. But there is free on street parking when you eventually give up and decide to walk the rest of the way. Inside there’s a spacious and nicely decorated reception/waiting area. But what wasn’t so nicely decorated were the toilets. I can only assume the slightly scary stickers were designed to discourage you spending too much time in there, in case you were tempted (they were clean and functional, just very odd). Let’s move on.
The site has two games. We were there to play Golden Cage:
You have been transported back over 300 years, where a mystical wizard has locked you in a mysterious, magical room. You have 60 minutes to escape the Wizards clutches and come back to the present day.
Use the clues, solve the puzzles & identify the way to escape or get stuck in a world where you don’t belong.
Wow, time travel and magic? This sounds like an exciting combination. Unfortunately that excitement quickly dissipated on entering the room, where there was nothing that really suggested time travel or magic. Yes, I’m sure they had books and desks in the 18th century but… sigh. Let’s move on.
Possibly in shock from the toilets or in disappointment from the decor (or more likely just tiredness or something), this was possibly the least I’ve ever contributed to an escape, so I’m struggling to remember many of the details. I do remember the hint system was unusual. Cards were slid under the door when the host decided you needed help. At first I thought these were a pre-printed ‘hint A for puzzle 1’ affair, but it soon became clear that each was hand written, with a considerable amount of text in some cases. I’m okay with the idea, but seems like a lot of effort compared to the normal screens. And no, they weren’t looking to tie in with the theme as there were some things in the room that definitely didn’t exist 300 years ago. I also remember finding two very strong magnets which snapped shut on Richard1’s hand which he wasn’t too pleased about. Let’s move on.
In fairness there wasn’t really anything wrong with this room, there just wasn’t anything particularly good about it either. A new player may be entertained by it but there’s no need for experienced players to make a special trip. It’s more ‘so-so silver’ than ‘beautiful gold’ (it’s criminal there isn’t a proper clip of this anywhere on the internet).