Hidden inside Presuming Ed’s Coffee House, is one of Brighton’s oldest bank vaults. Break into the vault of world renowned arms dealer, Charles Fawkley.
Completion Time: 30 minutes
Date Played: 22nd August 2020
Party Size: 4
Tucked away in a wonderful little cafe in the centre of Brighton, you’ll find one of the city’s oldest bank vaults. Breaking into it? Well I don’t mind if I do! Enter: Escape the Vault. Escape the Vault is an absolutely charming , built-with-love 40 minute escape room. Well … Is it an escape room? Your actual goal is to break INTO the vault, and escape with the codes to renown bad man Charles Fawkley’s bank account. Who doesn’t love a good baddy?
This experience is utterly brilliant from start to finish. The very moment you turn the corner and see the cafe that now sits on the spot Presuming Ed, you know you’re in for something exciting. It’s a quirky coffee house decked out from head to toe in paintings, refurbished arcade machines as tables, and serves some of the most delicious coffee I’ve drunk this year. There’s a VR Room upstairs, a bar at night, and food all day long. I think I … Love it? Most of my reviews don’t focus on the venue itself, but this one deserves an extra special mention!
On arrival, you’re off to the vault … A very quick briefing and you’re off! There’s no time to waste – after all this a ROBBERY! To help, you have a ‘man on the outside’: Terrence. He’s waiting outside in a getaway car and he’s going to be your eyes and ears for the operation. In a rather realistic fashion, this is your clue system – stuck, and you text Terrence. The best part? It’s completely automated. Terrence is a (rather clever) automated bot that will interact with you and even send you videos throughout the experience to add to the immersivity.
You, the bank robbers, get to wear very cool bandannas throughout your heist … I mean, you wouldn’t want your face caught on camera, would you? Pre-lockdown, teams would be encouraged to wear balaclavas (there’s a few very cool looking photos on the walls of other teams in those!); post-lockdown, in an effort to be as safe as possible, single use bandannas are given instead. Latex gloves are also required but again – I love it! There’s no chance of leaving a fingerprint behind oh and it makes you, the player, feel very comfortable in the room.
In terms of gameplay, this one is a mix of being linear and non-linear. The biggest difference between this escape room and others is the initial part of needing to ‘break in’. I’ll embarrassingly admit we had a VERY late start due to failing at the first hurdle of even breaking into the vault. But once we finally cracked it, the rest of the game just flew by.
The room itself is heavy on locks – whether number locks or ones with a key, they’ve all got very ingenious ways of finding those numbers. It makes a lot of sense for a bank heist and fits in wonderfully with the setting!
Finally, I wanted to round off this room by talking about the company more. Not only was it honestly just such a fun experience, it’s also vastly the cheapest escape room on the market I’ve experienced. Whats more, £1 from your ticket price goes towards a charity of your choice which is very important. For that reason I’m putting this escape room up there in my favourites list. Yep that’s right, it’s a 5 star from me because some experiences deserve to be shouted about from the highest rooftops!
If you’re a fan of Escape the Vault, there’s also some good news around the corner. The brilliant team behind Escape the Vault have a brand new game coming very soon which we were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of! I won’t spoil the theme, or even the name of it just yet (you’ll have to go subscribe to Escape the Vault’s newsletter!), but just know we CANNOT WAIT!
Escape the Vault is located in Brighton, UK and can be played for £12.50 per person by booking on the Escape the Vault website.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and covers escape room news and reviews across the UK’s South.