The Mad Hatter is in trouble. Save him from the Queen of Hearts without losing your heads. Step into Wonderland, where the Hatter has been accused of stealing the Queen’s Tarts. With Alice nowhere to be seen, it’s time for you to fill her shoes.
Completion Time: 41:46
Date Played: October 2019
Party Size: 3
Recommended For: Everybody
Things are getting curiouser and curiouser in Wonderland- I mean, Puzzleland. That’s why my team of 2 and I hopped on over to Escape Hunt Reading to play Alice in Puzzleland back in October 2019 (yes, a late post. I’ll do better in 2021 I promise).
Whilst Alice in Puzzleland is available to play at multiple sites across the UK, we chose the closest to London: Reading. During our experience there, we were led by the Cheshire Cat (played by the awesome Games Master Hamish) through the rabbit hole and into the magical world of Wonderland.
The story goes, you play a kind of “Alice” type character and are summoned to Wonderland by a letter from the Mad Hatter. He is in grave trouble – accused by the Queen of Hearts for stealing the jam tarts, it’s up to you to find out what really happened. Since you’re not trying to escape, it’s a bit of a mystery style escape room. You must instead break into the Hatter’s house, find out what happened, and of course put it right and save the Hatter’s life before the time is up.
The room has two main areas to it, all of which are visible from the moment you walk in. There’s Wonderland – grass on the floor, a mysterious signpost, and a table laid for tea. Then, there’s a house, the door for which is locked. Tantalisingly you may peer through the window, but until you’ve solved the outdoor puzzles there’s no entry. The whole thing is very Alice in Wonderland though! There’s references left right and centre and the outdoorsy, whimsical setting is very well themed for the pre-existing literary universe.
In terms of those puzzles, there’s quite a bit to do in just one hour! The game takes both a linear and non-linear format (if such a thing is possible!), with multiple puzzles people could be working on, but that set largely gatekeeping the next ‘series’ of puzzles. A team of 3 with a mix of experience was about perfect for a room like this! Nothing too hard, but nothing too easy either, and plenty that involved collaboration.
As expected, they’re all ‘on brand’ with the Alice in Wonderland universe. Imagine things growing bigger, smaller, topsy turvy and upside down. There’s “eat me” / “drink me” puzzles, and plenty that involve mixing or even painting to produce the correct result. Absolutely not a lock in site, this particular game relies a little more on paying attention to the narrative and intuition.
Overall, we enjoyed it. Out of the 3 of us, it was 1 of our party’s favourite game at Escape Hunt. It wasn’t mine, but that might be down to not being super engaged by the theme of Alice. I vaguely understood the characters, but having read the book (or watched the film) would have helped a lot. Sure, the puzzles aren’t reliant on it but the context and Easter Eggs are!
I should also mention that this very same day my team played Blackbeard’s Treasure which, in the end, was my favourite of the two! What can I say, I love a good pirate themed escape room! But if your team are Alice in Wonderland fans, I’m certain they’d absolutely adore this room just as much.
Alice in Puzzleland can be booked for £25 + per player on Escape Hunt’s website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief and covers escape rooms/immersive theatre in London, play at home games, and video games.