London needs Sherlock. Instead, it has you. Sherlock is absent. As a rash of break-ins ripple across the capital, one thing is clear: his brilliance is required. Mycroft Holmes has put out the call. The Network seeks recruits: volunteers with sharp eyes, keen wits and a hunger for adventure. Can you step into the shoes of the legendary detective? Good luck: The Game Is Now.
Rating: Elementary 🔎
Completion Time: 52 minutes
Date Played: 12th September 2020
Party Size: 4
Definition of elementary: of, relating to, or dealing with the simplest elements or principles of something.
Okay so to write my review I had to think of a one-word ‘Rating’ to give this escape room. I couldn’t resist the great detective’s own catchphrase “elementary”! But I must preface, The Game is Now was far from simple!
In our briefing we were told we’d travel around London very fast. They weren’t wrong! What starts as a very unassuming opticians shop quickly becomes an exciting briefing at 221B Baker Street (the iconic residence of Sherlock Holmes). We then rushed off to a series of fantastic locations from the TV series such as St. Barts Hospital, Mycroft’s office, and a brilliant (if a little creepy!) museum of medical instruments.
Each one of these rooms I’ve just mentioned was as large as any regular escape room. Furthermore, the attention to detail was practically perfect, giving a real sense of immersion. Despite never leaving the building, I really did feel like I was exploring a whole new location from the TV show each time. Wonderful!
At this point I should maybe mention that I am in fact a big fan of Sherlock. This affects my review of course! It’s not just the BBC adaptation, I’ve got Holmes-mania bad! I’ve got all the books, and gobble up every TV adaptation as fast as they come out. I’ve even hosted Holmes themed parties. How on earth it’s taken me this long to visit The Game Is Now is in fact, beyond me.
If you are also a fan, The Game is Now will give particular joy of brand recognition. For the first time in my life I could stand in Sherlock’s room in 221B and look really, really closely at the books on the shelf. Suddenly, the screen flickers and Mycroft himself is talking … To me! Wooo… All the good kind of chills!
The game isn’t without an elephant in the room though (not literally, though that would be cool huh)… I’m talking about pricing! I think it’s fairly understood that The Game is Now is possibly one of the more expensive escape rooms in London? I don’t have the stats to hand, but for our team of 4 it came in around £38 per person (*Saturday evening). On top of that, you have to pay an extra £10 if you want to purchase your digital photo. And then there is the (extra brilliant and actually definitely worth it) upsell of “The Mind Palace” – a bar at the end of your experience to relax and talk puzzles with your team. I only really mention the price in this review because the full experience could end up costing around £60 per person, depending on a few factors!
But that’s the big question: “Mairi, is it worth it?”
Here’s my answer: Yes!
Especially if you’re a fan of the show. But non-fans will get a particular kick too. At the core, it’s more than just an escape room, it’s an immersive experience from start to finish. You can’t put a price on sneaking up to an unassuming opticians for an eye test, speaking to your favourite actors, then travelling to immaculate sets from the show where you quite literally get to become Sherlock. It’s high tech like no other escape room I’ve experience and deserves all the praise it’s been awarded so far!
My team and I genuinely had one of the best times ever. For that, I have to give it a flawless mark. Sure, I could spend a long time picking apart each puzzle, talking about customer service, decorations, locations etc. But at the end of the day I’m in the business of FUN and that’s what I’m looking for. Was I immersed? Did we leave the experience smiling? Yes, yes and double yes.
The Game is Now is located in Shepherds Bush, London, W12. Tickets start at £30 per person. The Game is Now can be booked on their website: www.thegameisnow.com
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.