Fox in a Box London: Prison Break | Review

Fox in a Box London: Prison Break | Review | The evidence is clear and the jury decision was unanimous, you’ve been found guilty on all accounts. You and your associates are hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. As of this sentence we’ll be detaining you immediately in preparation for your transfer to Fox’s maximum security prison, a state of the art facility with the latest in modern technology and monitoring. There will be no chance for appeal and absolutely no hope of escape – now come along quietly.

Completion Time: 50 minutes
Date Played: 28th November 2021
Party Size: 4
Difficulty: Medium

Fun fact: Fox in a Box London has a really special place in The Escape Roomer history. Back in March 2021, it was during a remote avatar version of their escape room Virtual Bunker that I first met Al & Ash, and Rebecca! Fast forward to maybe a hundred or more escape rooms later and several road trips, I wouldn’t have changed that day for the world.

The strangest thing about that is I was originally booked in to play on a completely different day with different people but that got cancelled… And the only other slot I was able to make was that one. Talk about fate!

It’s with this in mind that I took the trip on a sunny Sunday afternoon to play… *gasp* A real life escape room at the very same site. Since lockdown ‘ended’ in the UK, Fox in a Box has been very high on my to-play list and I couldn’t wait to get booked in. Joining me on this trip was Marissa. After a lot of success puling off an audacious heist in Heist Plan, the logical next step was to escape from prison… After, you know, getting caught.

Welcome to the Squid Fox Games

For a special, Halloween event, Fox in a Box London transformed all of their escape rooms into the Fox Games – a Squid Game spin on playing an escape room. Before going in, I was very intrigued about exactly what this would be and how it would work. Because this altered our gameplay a little, thus affects the review, I’ll explain:

  • We arrived at our venue and were greeted by masked foxes who said almost nothing to us
  • We were made to sign a waiver that included terms like “the game can only be stopped if the majority agree”
  • The music from the show was playing in the lobby
  • We were given a Squid Game number. This was our team number.
  • As we walked to our room, we went in single file through corridors themed almost exactly from the show
  • As we played the game, we would hear “Red Light, Green Light” over the tannoy. On “Red Light” we all had to freeze in place, and one of the guards would come in to inspect us – thankfully nobody moved but I’d hate to know what happened if we had!

The Squid- I mean, Fox Games have now concluded, so any subsequent bookings will be the regular ol’ Fox in a Box. However, as a one-off pop-up we thought it was really creative! A fun way to play into a huge trend and elevate a regular escape room experience into something really quite creepy. The team were very creative in pulling this together, and I kinda hope they run this event again… Perhaps when Squid Game 2 comes out, eh? I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Photo (c) Fox in a Box

About Fox in a Box’s Prison Break

As a room, Prison Break is really well paced and we enjoyed it a lot. At the time of writing, an almost-identical version of this room can also be played at many other Fox in a Box locations including Vienna, Munich, Los Angeles… To name a few. But hey, when it works, it works! I’m glad London has a version too.

The game starts with you, the prisoners, being led into the prison cell via the warden’s office and being forced to wear prison t-shirts. You’re then split into two groups and separated into two cells. This part we guessed from the promotional images before we went into the room, but it was no less novel when we got there.

The cells are separated just far enough that you can see your fellow prison-mates but you can’t quite reach them – but you can roll things along the floor to one another (to varying degrees of success). Your first task is to escape from your individual cells and reunite the whole team together – then you get to slip back into that warden’s office and escape!

The whole thing is themed as you would expect – it’s a prison cell! It’s sparse, and it’s hard to be impressed with how a prison escape room looks because, well, it’s a prison. But we found that everything fit well and worked exactly as it should.

Image (c) Fox in a Box

Wishing we had a nail file…

In terms of puzzles, the room was fairly straightforward with a mix of ciphers, plenty of searching, and some observation and communication puzzles. Due to the nature of the room, you’ll often find that you have half the puzzle and your opposite cell has the other half, with plenty of passing objects back and forth whilst we figured out their meaning.

There was one ‘puzzle’in the game that I was absolutely thrilled by. In fact, I can’t stop thinking about how amusing it was even now – which just goes to show it’s something I’ve never seen in any room before. For a prison room, the whole thing felt oddly realistic with a lot of hands-on practicality, some minor destructibility, and using certain objects in surprising ways. At one point I held an object in my hand, looked the camera dead in the eye and said “I’m going to do this now please stop me if it’s wrong”... But nope, it was correct.

This wasn’t the only delightful moment in the game, as there were quite a few puzzles which sparked a lot of joy in the whole team. This was balanced by a couple of red herrings, but nothing that threw us too far out of the immersion.

How to Ask for Clues?

Another thing we really enjoyed in Prison Break was the method of receiving clues. At the start, each team is given three free clues. After this, clues must be ‘purchased’ by completing a small challenge.

Unfortunately, we didn’t use all of our clues and so never got round to purchasing any – but our two hosts (one of whom was the same Abdullah from our previous Fox in a Box escapade) showed us round the challenges after the game. Ranging from small puzzles to defusing a bomb, these were some impressive portable mini-challenges!

The Verdict

We enjoyed Prison Break A LOT. With Fox in a Box, you know what you’re getting – it’s going to be a pretty consistently high standard escape room, no matter where you are in the world. Fox in a Box London is made all the better by a fantastic team of hosts and really creative pop-ups like the Fox Games, and some frankly brilliant social media campaigns. As such, it’s always a joy to play anything that the company has put it’s fox paws on, and I’m already counting down the days until we can book another experience with them!

Prison Break can be booked by heading to Fox in a Box’s website here.

Ratings

** Please note, these ratings are based on our specific experience, including the special Fox Games additions.

Author

  • Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and covers escape room news and reviews across the UK's South.

Fox in a Box London: Prison Break | Review
  • Theming
  • Decor
  • Immersion
  • Puzzles
  • Innovation
  • Fun Factor
4.4

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