The Time Traveller’s Space Bytes Review: Super computer G.P.S. has travelled back in time to better understand humans and find the missing data that’s causing it to glitch! You and your team of space cadets have been called upon to find this data on a journey through Space & Time. Along the way you will travel to different eras… expect to devour delicious pizza with the Romans, sip spectacular cocktails with movie stars & indulge on a sweet dessert in the Seventies. Buckle up and prepare yourself for an epic adventure!
Date Played: 6th June 2023
Time Taken: 47:45
Number of Players: 4
Location: Mayfair, London
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Puzzles AND FOOD?! Sign me the heck up. Gourmaze is just about one of the most unique things you can do in the capital city. It’s the quintessential good vibes, special occasion, summer activity- and no, I’m not just saying that because I seem to always book and play Gourmaze on my birthday.
The Time Traveller’s Space Bytes starts in a cute little pub in Mayfair – perfect for having a quick drink in before you get started on your mission. Like with many “outdoor puzzle hunts”, clues are delivered via a back and forth on your mobile device. In this case, Whatsapp. Every member of the team gets a link, joins the party, and when you’re all ready you type START to begin your delicious time travelling quest.
Gourmaze: Food Thats Outta This World
The story of the Time Traveller’s Space Bytes is fairly simple and fun. You’re guided by a robot called G.P.S. whose goal is to understand humans and what makes them tick. Unfortunately their data is incomplete, which is where you come in. You and your robot companion over the course of two, maybe three hours (if you eat slowly) must journey through the worlds of TV and film trivia, the musical world, religion, and of course food and drink. All the things that make the world turn round – and they can all be found here in London.
Unfortunately my player 2 and I had since moved out of London up to Edinburgh, and there’s absolutely nothing like this up north. So it was really nice returning to the capital and seeing how everything had changed. Over the course of our walk, we learned new things about our city, saw some seriously cool new streets and perhaps most importantly – discovered some new favourite places to eat and drink. As I write this, I’m back in Edinburgh and already missing the delicious smells and bustling hubub of some of the places our puzzle trail took us. How soon until I can come back to London and go back to all those places? The pizza is calling me!
Pizza is Calling, The Escape Roomer Answers
Gourmaze has been going for some time now and at the time of writing they have three puzzle trails available. One is themed around desserts, the other about Asian food. This one is all about pizza. My favourite! In terms of food it did not disappoint. In this review, we’re not allowed to disclose where the locations are – which is fair – the puzzles are all about actually finding them and saying the secret code to your waiter in order to get your food. We wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. So instead of giving away their locations, I’ll just describe the food instead:
Our first stop, piping hot and extra cheesy pizza in an absolutely gorgeous building. Probably the least likely building I would ever expect to find pizza in. But there it was, waiting to be taken out the oven and served to us.
Our second stop, a cheeky cocktail spot hidden excellently behind a bookcase. For real! If we didn’t know it was there – we wouldn’t have spotted it at all.
Our final stop? Dessert! And to a place I’d actually been fortunate enough to pop into earlier that very same week and already knew exactly what I wanted to order. This final place was in an excellent spot for toasting our success with a drink or two, and for catching a train home after as the sun set over the city.
Bitesized Puzzles for the Hangry Mind
In terms of puzzles, Gourmaze won’t be for the hardcore enthusiast. I’ll be upfront about that for sure. They aren’t the most difficult puzzles – but here, I think that really works. There’s nothing worse than a HANGRY group of puzzlers, so we rather appreciated having a quick win to get food in us. One of the things this trail did do fairly well however was make use of the waiting time once we’d ordered our meal. In more than one case, we were given something physical with our order – a laminated piece of card, or paper we needed to solve. These were designed to be solved whilst we waited, or whilst we ate, and the solution would come in handy for our next stop.
Similarly, these weren’t overly challenging – in all cases we spotted what we needed to do and got on with it. What they lack in difficulty, they make up for in being well placed and fun to play. They used up otherwise quiet down time, and then once we did get back on our feet we found that the exact routes the puzzles took us were almost always unique and exciting lesser-trodden paths.
I really, really enjoy Gourmaze. Whenever people ask me for recommendations for something to do in London that’s a little bit different but still scratches that escape room itch, I think of Gourmaze first. It’s perfect for fans of food (I mean who of us isn’t?) and it’s perfect for puzzle enthusiasts as well. Whether it’s just a more fun way to do date night, or a full-blown corporate shindig, Gourmaze is a lovely way to celebrate.
My only caveat, and it’s really quite a small caveat, is Gourmaze does come with a hefty price tag. This trail is around £49.99 per person. Let’s assume the average pizza is about £14, the average cocktail about £10, and the average dessert around £8 (hey! I did say this was London, didn’t I?). Your total food, bought outside of the game probably only comes to about £32. Lets round it up to £35 when we include the service charge. Of course, you also get a discount at each of the locations for extra drinks and snacks, which we did go for… And perhaps most importantly you also get an excellently good fun puzzle game that takes you between each location. But this means you’re paying about £15 pp for the game, and about £35 pp for the food. I’ll let you be the judge of it – you know your own budget, and who knows how much food will cost by the time you’re reading this, what with the spiralling cost of living crisis. But for me, and considering I saved this for a special occasion (my birthday), it felt worth it! By comparison, the closest competitors are probably Hidden City (at around £25 pp but no food), or Street Hunt (£16.50 pp and also no food). For a more affordable Gourmaze alternative, The Sweet Escape is (at the time of writing) £27.99 pp, and the Talisman Treats £39.99 pp.
In any case, back to the review at hand. The Time Traveller’s Space Bytes was a fun, light-hearted and unique play on traditional outdoor puzzle trails. Gone are the days you have to plan your own food breaks into your day out – Gourmaze does it for you. I really can’t stress how much I enjoyed it. It’s not going to impress the hardcore puzzle enthusiast, but who among us isn’t a pizza enthusiast, and it absolutely ticks the box for them!
We were not charged for our experience but this does not affect our review.