Heaven and Hell Review: Ever wondered what happens when you die? Does heaven exist? What if you’re sent to hell? As mere mortals we do not have the answers to these questions, but now you have the opportunity to find out. You will enter a state of hibernation. This will last for one hour and give you the chance to explore the afterlife. After your adventure you will need to use a defibrillator to return to life. However the defibrillator only works for one hour! If you do not find it in time, you may be stuck in hell forever! It could also be heaven, but in this case it’s nearly the same thing…
Date Played: June 2023
Time Taken: 46:52
Number of Players: 3
Content Warning: Death
When Al and Ash of Escaping the Closet recommend a game to me – I know I’m in for a treat!
This was exactly what happened when I mentioned in passing that I was travelling to Cambridge to play a few escape rooms.
“Oh, you’ve got to try Heaven and Hell while you’re there!”
Oh yes. You can be absolutely sure that this was the first room we booked – and in fact, the very room we planned the trip around!
Visiting Cambridge was also a super fun trip because I was playing with one of my co-writers, Georgie! Since moving up to Edinburgh I don’t get down South as much, and so we wanted to make the most out of a brief visit for my birthday and play as many escape rooms as we could possibly cram in on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. After a brief stop for lunch, the third in our trip was the ever-exciting and mysterious Heaven and Hell.
Cambridge Escape Rooms is tucked away off a busy road near a bus stop a short ride from the station. Buses run regularly so you can be fairly safe in both getting there by bus and getting back on bus as well. The lobby space is welcoming, and there’s physical puzzles you can play with whilst you wait – and the usual shelves of play at home puzzle games if you’d like to buy one and take one home with you.
As Above, So Below
A question enthusiasts love to discuss is “which escape rooms have the most exciting ending?“. But with Heaven and Hell I’d like to submit it for the discussion category of “escape rooms with the most exciting BEGINNING“. You see, Heaven and Hell is a game played in the afterlife… Hence the name. So in order to enter the escape room you’re going have to die. Yep, I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you. I just hope you’re ready to meet your maker.
Getting the pesky concept of “dying” out of the way, what followed was an exciting journey through the after life and indeed – to Heaven, and Hell. Our central goal throughout our trip was to come back to life. And of course, as expected, we had just one hour to complete this goal within else risk being trapped on the other side forever.
*dun dun dunnn*
Heaven and Hell wasn’t always available at Cambridge Escape Rooms. In fact, the room was originally created by E-Exit in Budapest. The room has been lovingly recreated here in the UK, but from what I can tell from a quick Google online, Cambridge Escape Rooms has added their own twist on it. Whilst many, if not all of the puzzles are exactly the same, the set design itself seems to have had an overhaul. This is at least based on some photos I found of the Budapest version, and my own memory of being in this room.
Which is interesting, because the set was definitely the thing I loved most about this room. From the fun technology, to the “wow moments” every time we opened up a new door and discovered a new part of the afterlife, lovingly rendered in fluffy white clouds (or indeed the flames from the bowels of hell). Heaven and Hell as an experience was a really pretty one. Always something new to look at and always something fun to discover.
It’s almost impossible to choose between a favourite moment in the room – the hell portion, or the heaven portion, or even the exciting moments that built up to those two. There was something uniquely magical about stepping into the heaven room, all fluffy clouds and white doves. Equally, some of the interactions with the set in the hell portion were hilariously good fun. What can I say? I enjoy being in hot places being prodded by devils with pitchforks*
*there aren’t actually any devils prodding you, don’t worry!
In terms of the puzzles, these were smooth sailing. Well, mostly. We were actually stumped on the very first puzzle for the longest time, which wasted a large amount of time we rushed to catch up on after. But a little nudge from our Games Master and we were off on our way.
We found that we didn’t get too stuck on anything after this point, which is probably why we’ve given this an Easy-Medium rating. Medium for that one puzzle, and Easy for everything else. There was a mixed bag. Some of the puzzles were a little too easy to bypass for my liking, and a few others felt a little contrived, but for each that didn’t totally click with us there were plenty which absolutely did.
Heaven and Hell: The Verdict
The original Heaven and Hell in Budapest is an immensely popular game, and this version of it in the UK has been faithfully recreated in case anyone can’t make the trip out to Central Europe. We really enjoyed our experience at Heaven and Hell, and spent a lot of the trip back into London discussing which was our favourite of the two we played at Cambridge Escape Rooms, this one or The Secret Clubhouse.
In terms of accessibility, there were several moments of big claustrophobia. One of them seemed to be compulsory for every player – although if you let the venue know in advance, they’ll let you skip this part. The others were optional, in that you can pick one member of your team to be the sacrifice and get in the small space. In our team, I was that person – but hey I kinda enjoy the small spaces! There is also a smoke machine in this room which can be disabled if you request it.
I’d recommend this escape room to anyone who can make the trip over to Cambridge. It’s a very unique experience and well worth it!
Heaven and Hell can be booked at Cambridge Escape Rooms. This room is also available at some sites in Madrid and Budapest.