A new underground casino has recently been discovered. We have successfully disabled the security cameras for one hour. Your mission? Steal as much as you can, use the hidden tools within to assist you but wager your time wisely and escape before security shows. Will money be rolling your way? or will greed consume you first? What’s a challenge without a little risk…?
Completion Time: 55 minutes
Date Played: 22nd May 2021
Party Size: 4
Recommended For: People who want to run out of a room with wads of cash in their arms
Here it is, everyone: The long awaited first escape since lockdown!!
*distant fireworks and fanfare sounding*
I have to admit I was super nervous going into Casino Heist in case I’d forgotten how to escape! But the moment you’re inside a room and the door closes behind you it all just comes flooding back and clicks into place. “Right, everyone start pushing buttons and opening drawers! Go go go!“
I also played this with a brand new team of amazing people I’d never met before and it was wonderful to just click with a group of people and ace a room together so quickly. We’re already looking at booking another together!
While I was writing this review I realised that the version of Casino Heist I played is “Casino Heist – Break the Rules” which is, I believe, different from both the previous room at the Shepherd’s Bush location of the same name “Casino Heist” and the similarly named rooms across the UK. I did reach out to Escape London to check, but unfortunately they didn’t comment! However messages from a few friends who have played the regular “Casino Heist” confirmed it is ineed a different game. If you’re unsure, I’d definitely recommend phoning them before making a booking!
Simple setup, simple premise: Break into a secret, underground casino and steal as much cash as you can within an hour! And I’m talking real hard cash… Oh how wonderful it is to be holding so many stacks of £50s you can barely carry them out the room!
With the security cameras disabled, you truly are on the clock with this one. You have exactly one hour before the police are called to the venue so your job is twofold:
- Steal as much money as you can from the vault in the casino
- Escape from the room before the time limit is up
The unique twist about this room is that you can ‘win’ without solving all the puzzles available to you. In fact, you can more or less skip the entire last portion of the room and escape with £0 if you’re running short on time. But, I’m getting ahead of myself!
The first noteworthy thing about Casino Heist is the fact it’s a 3-room escape room, which I absolutely love. Escape London do this really well with hidden extra spaces and doors. These three rooms take you through a very logical and progressive flow in the casino environment.
First, you arrive at a rather regular looking bar, complete with bottles of alcohol, an adorable jukebox, and pretty much everything you’d expect from a bar. But, like all good speakeasies, it’s hiding a hidden illicit casino behind it… If only you know how to break in! Your first task is to figure out a way into the casino itself. The first room is a little cramped and I’d be surprised if 6 people could fit in – but it took us no time to ‘escape’.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll enter the casino room. This room was brilliantly themed! There are several casino machines, dominoes, even a roulette table. At first I was a little nervous I didn’t know the rules of poker, but it turns out I didn’t need to in order to solve this room. No expense spared when it comes to looking like an actual underground casino parlour – I love it! But there’s not much time to stop and savour the decor as there’s work to be done if you’re going to break into the hidden safe room.
This brings me to the final ‘room’ in the series which is, as expected, the safe room. Here’s where the cash is stored. This room by comparison is quite sparse and everything you’ll find plays an important role. By this point in the game, the time is ticking and you’ve got to quickly find a way to crack the codes on a number of safes in order to get that sweet sweet cash.
All the puzzles in Casino Heist can be broken down into “Break into a room” puzzles or “Break into a safe” puzzles, and they both had a very distinct vibe to them. In the first half of the game, you’re breaking into places by using what is around you. Players can expect a huge range of puzzles in a more or less non-linear format that would be great for a team of around 4 to keep busy with.
The types of puzzles included plenty of searching around in drawers, underneath things and behind things, some maths puzzles, sliding puzzles, more than one ‘physical’ puzzle requiring a steady hand, and several instances objects needed to be combined! Essentially – everything you’d expect in an escape room (and everything I missed in lockdown!). In particular, one of my favourite puzzles involved the jukebox right at the start – but what can I say, I love music!
*hums rolling stones*
Towards the end of the game, the style of puzzles changes slightly. This time you’re looking for 4 – 6 digit codes to unlock safes! This was where our powers of observation were tested – were we paying attention to a detail in the first room? Noooooo I was not! So there’s a bit of running back and forth! *huff huff huff*
We played as a team of 4 and as I say I think this is the perfect number to play with. We were all busy and there was no crowding around waiting for someone to solve a puzzle. This room encourages pure collaboration!
We whizzed through room 1 relatively quickly, stalled a bit in room 2, and spend the majority of our time collecting ALL THE MONEY in room 3. Us, leave with less than 100%?! Not a chance!
At one point we asked for a single clue on one tiny puzzle that we couldn’t quite crack at the end. The clues are delivered via a walkie-talkie and the GM was quick to help us out and remind us how long we had left to finish. Overall, we escaped at around the 55th minute – woop woop! Not quite the epic escape this team might have achieved, but I’m glad we spent the extra time collecting as much money as possible.
It was also, on a personal note, really nice to make a new friend. This was my first time playing with a brand new team consisting including Georgiana, who runs Discomlogicated. If you’re looking for a great room to take a first time team, you could do a lot worse than Casino Heist.
Casino Heist- Break the Rules can be booked at Escape London (Shadwell) for £24 – £34 pp on their website here.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and writes about news, and reviews covering London and UK south.