Escape puzzle challenge takes Capital by storm

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IT’s a team-building challenge billed as a cross between TV game show The Krypton Factor and an illusion befitting the great Harry Houdini.

A craze called Escape is taking the Capital by storm – less than a month after opening the doors on its puzzling set-up.

It sees five people locked in a room where they must use every scrap of ingenuity to earn their freedom by solving puzzles against the clock.

With clues scattered around the room, each solution points the way to another challenge.

The only game of its kind north of Birmingham, it promises to test problem-solving and teamworking skills to the limit.

The mind-bending challenges are the brainchild of the man behind Escape, Daniel Hill, 33, a trainee maths teacher and self-confessed game-show junkie from ­Gorebridge.

He said: “It’s a mix of The Crystal Maze, Krypton Factor and The Saw. It is all about locking people up and playing a game. Everything is logic-based. It’s about breaking codes and making associations, and about how people interact.

“It’s unique – there is nothing like this anywhere else in Scotland.”

Daniel decided to develop the game in Edinburgh after a friend told him of a similar concept in Munich.

He said: “When I looked it up, there were only five or six in the UK, and none further north than Birmingham. I saw there was a gap in the market.”

The game opened less than a month ago, on May 16, and has already attracted 40 groups, including families, friends and curious gamers, as well as businesses keen to hone the team-building skills of staff.

A group of students from the University of York took part in the challenge after reading rave reviews on TripAdvisor.

Among them was Asha Fullonton, 21, who said: “It’s something a bit different, and it’s a good way of finding out how you cope with pressure, especially with that clock ticking down.”

The best time for solving Escape so far stands at 56 minutes, with between 30 and 40 per cent managing to complete it in the allotted 60 minutes.

And for those keen on an even tougher challenge, there is a separate game called Prison Break in which teams must crack a more complex code.

Teams start off quite literally in the dark, and the first challenge is to find out how to switch on the lights – a puzzle that has eluded some groups for up to 15 minutes.

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