London Escaped: Da Vinci

A newcomer to the East London escape scene offers the opportunity to prove yourself as one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s new apprentices. Did we come out with a Mona Lisa smile?

London Escaped

  • Location: Aldgate (nearest tube Aldgate East)
  • Players: 2 – 10
  • We played: September 2018 as a team of 4

Great things about Da Vinci

  • Thanks to high-quality props created and supplied by a company specialising in escape room design, this room really looks and feels the part. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you’re truly stepping into Leonardo Da Vinci’s studio in 15th-century Italy, this is your chance. Our host enhanced the immersive effect with a little scene-setting speech before we entered the room.
  • A couple of Da Vinci‘s puzzles required real teamwork and application, and were enjoyable to solve. If only it were more than just a couple…
  • As with some other escape rooms, teams are split up and placed in different areas to start. This worked well here as it forced us to communicate about what challenges were in each area and collaborate remotely to make progress.
  • London Escaped has a large waiting area with drinks and various games to play, so if you arrive early you won’t be bored while you wait.

On the other hand…

  • Although our host told us Da Vinci was currently their most challenging room, all four of our team (including two who had only done one escape room before) found it very easy. While an easy room can be fun when there’s still plenty of content to engage with, in this case there just wasn’t enough to solve. Of the puzzles that were there, too many of them were one-step, unchallenging tasks. We’re baffled to see that London Escaped’s website suggests 8 players as the perfect team size for this room – surely in that case half of the team would be left twiddling their thumbs.
  • We didn’t realise we’d completed the last step of this room, and were still looking around for things to solve when the host opened the door to tell us we’d finished. This was a somewhat anti-climactic end to our game.
  • After the game we asked about an element which looked like a puzzle but which we hadn’t had to solve, and were told that we had bypassed it, ‘solving’ it just by moving some things around, which seems a bit of a waste.
  • Da Vinci uses an automated audio clue system for key prompts and hints. Unfortunately we didn’t find it very effective – it sometimes gave us information we didn’t need, and at one point two audio clips were playing over each other.

Who should try this room?

Renaissance enthusiasts, or those who want a very gentle introduction to escape rooms. Experienced escapists might not find much to stimulate them here.

Rating – 5/10

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