Photgraph of Jobby, Sarah, Rachael and Rich pulling scared faces in front of a wall showing clocks and cogs

Getting Out of the Asylum and Shuffling on a Board

Jobby and Sarah go to Leeds for the weekend. Lots of fun was had, though no boardgaming! …

Jump Scares

Sarah and I travelled up to Leeds to stay with her brother and his wife for the Bank Holiday weekend. First on the list of entertainment was doing an escape room. This was going to be a scary escape room so we opted for diving in a pub and having a quick drink first (Dutch courage and all that).

The escape room was run by Tick Tock Unlock (https://www.ticktockunlock.com) and we’ve done their Hatch before. Today we would be escaping from The Asylum, subtitled ‘Don’t Let It Out!’ – can’t be that scary, surely? We waited at the agreed ‘secret location’ where one of their staff met us.* She took us to the the building under the railway arches where the escape room is located. I will try to keep the report spoiler free.

After a quick briefing we were locked in to a small room. It was grimy, dark with some tense atmospherics playing over hidden speakers. A timer had begun counting down and everyone was on edge. The fact I’d accidentally kicked a tin box on the floor hadn’t helped. We set about working out the puzzles.

This game was heavy on the atmosphere and the rooms had been designed brilliantly. There were some jump scares – someone’s hand brushed mine at one point, a girl could be heard crying in the next room, things moved, things howled, the tension built and built. At one point Rachael gripped my hand and wouldn’t let go! In fact, even though I was fairly calm I was a little reluctant to push open a grill without someone next to me!

The game was brilliant and we managed to make it out with 11 minutes to spare. To be honest, we did need a couple of clues which the game master supplies via a knocking sound and a message printed on the screen. Still, I’m considering that a win! The puzzles were very satisfying and (similar to my experience with Exit: The Game) I found everybody was chipping in and helping with solutions. Some of the puzzles were really clever and the room dressing and atmosphere were incredible – definitely recommend this one! Be warned, the subject matter is a bit grisly (one clue is the instructions for performing a transorbital lobotomy!) so don’t take anyone too young or too faint of heart in there!

Photgraph of Jobby, Sarah, Rachael and Rich pulling scared faces in front of a wall showing clocks and cogs
Jobby, Sarah, Rachael and Rich after having being scared witless!

Shuffleboard and Beer

Following our terrifying experience we hit the pubs and bars of Leeds. Leeds has quite a happening atmosphere and even in the afternoon things were going on. Of most interest to this blog, however, was the Brewdog bar which had shuffleboard boards in its basement.

Three photos showing a shuffleboard table, a couple of pucks and a neon sign reading "Shuffleboard for the Olympics"
Amazing how long it is…

We reserved a table and then began semi-drunkenly playing the old arcade machines while we waited. It seems I’m very rusty on Street Fighter II!

Rich had played shuffleboard before so he explained the rules to us. Basically, each team takes turns taking shots by flinging a puck down a dusted board (the dust helps the pucks to travel and definitely is not salt!). There are scoring bands so your puck needs to reach those to score. Scoring is done after each team has taken four shots. Only the team with the puck that reached the furthest scores their pucks and they only score their pucks that are all further than the furthest opponent’s puck. Then the players head down the other end and play another round. First team to 15 points wins.

It was great fun! Mention must go to Sarah who got her puck perfectly into the 4 point zone. She stopped talking to me for a while after I knocked her puck off and left mine in its place. The boys did win but  I think it was definitely the taking part that mattered!

Much fun was had in Leeds. I look forward to heading back and taking on another escape room (I think I’m addicted!) and possibly a little more shuffleboard. )

*That’s got horror film written all over it. A group waits at a location to be taken to an escape room. They are met by a ‘member of staff’ who takes them to an abandoned warehouse where they are really locked into a room full of murderous traps and puzzles. Meanwhile, at the meetup point, the real member of  staff arrives but his customers aren’t there…

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