We are absolutely delighted to welcome a brand new escape room writer to The Escape Roomer, it’s Nick Battell!
Nick is not new to the escape room world, as he’s been the UK’s no.1 expert on all things Kent for the past three years over at Kent Escape Room Reviews. When the UK went into a lockdown in 2020 and 2021, Nick took a break from writing about escape rooms and turned his hand to game design with brilliant at-home adventures such as Invicta, Lost at Sea, Mainstage Mayhem, and a series of regular puzzles on the Escape Room UK Facebook Group.
Whilst Kent Escape Room Reviews may be closing, it’s fantastic reviews aren’t going anywhere – keep an eye out for them popping up here on The Escape Roomer over the next few months! 🎉
Without further adieu, here’s Nick to introduce himself!
Hey you guys! I’m Nick, a 37 year old, single dad based in Maidstone, Kent, UK (this is my dating profile, right?!) with an enthusiasm for escape rooms like no other. The last few years have been a mixture of enjoyments, sweat, tears and reinvention; which ultimately lead me here to this fantastically talented group of individuals. I’m a HUGE advocate for sharing positivity and inclusivity, so when the opportunity came, its was a given that I really needed to jump onboard!
As mentioned, I have been reviewing for a number of years and pride myself on providing creative, yet honest posts – but you’ll never find me focussing on the negatives, ever! When playing physical escape rooms, I’m a sucker for immersion – if you can provide me with music, sound, lighting effects and realism the second I walk through the door, you’ll have me hooked! By no means would I say I’m an expert puzzle solver either; put me in a room and I will probably take the role of searcher and king communicator (although I have been round the block a while, so I’ll also end up being the one looking for commonly known puzzles and just smashing them first!)
What was your first ever escape room?
I was invited along with a group of friends to share in their birthday celebrations. The room was called Get Out at the now sadly closed Time2Escape in Strood, Kent. It was themed around a Victorian manor house, where you’d been invited for dinner but soon discover that you are on the menu.
The room was slightly on the creepy side and, not being a massive horror fan at the time, found myself basically starring at the door, torch in hand, waiting for someone to burst through it! Although we had been told that there were no actors, I was terrified when the door actually did burst open! (I screamed, only to find that the GM had noticed that a lock had become stuck and he had just popped in to fix it!)
Short of that minor pee my pants moment, the room was absolutely fantastic, and whilst it didn’t have the tech that we may expect from a modern room, I knew from that point that the adrenaline fix I gained from that, was going to become and addiction!
…And how about your favourite?
This is possibly the trickiest thing to answer. Kent is an absolute beacon when it comes to outstanding escape experiences, and I’m pleased to say I have never played a “meh” game! It might be kind of possible to create a top
five seven(!), but even then putting them into positions is hard – Dollhouse at Panic Room Gravesend, Temple Quest at Clue Cracker, Inbound at Escape Hub, The Game at Mythologic, Air Raid at Escape Plan Live and Return to Neverland at Eltham would all feature within my top list!
All are very different, but the one thing that they all have in common is that they have accessible game play, great flow and top quality immersion. Its hard to choose between any of them!
What’s your idea of a perfect day out in Kent?
First and foremost, my son comes first, so a child friendly escape room is top of the list. He is actually a fantastic puzzle solver; he hasn’t been tarnished by the thousands of puzzles I’ve played so hasn’t become and overthinker like me! Actually make that two escape rooms.
Then, whilst my ever expanding middle-aged spread may make you think overwise, I love a long countryside walk. Although I live in the middle of a very busy town, we are surrounded by beautiful scenery so I’d grab some friends, borrow their dog and give our legs a long stretch. But, only if we end the walk with some well cooked pub grub, a cold pint of lager and a roaring log fire!
What are you most excited for, now that escape rooms are reopening?
Friends! Whilst lockdown proves a massive turning point for me in my personal life and escape room life, the one thing that I longed for, was to get together with friends and experience the joy of being locked in a room and working together to escape – but you’d probably end up seeing us doing a silly dance in the room at some point!
If you were given a blank cheque to create your dream escape room, what would it be like?
As a designer, I already have the plan drafted for the room, the theme and the puzzles all ready to go on my laptop! Whilst I really don’t want to give away the secret of what may be, I can tell you that it is a based on a hugely popular movie franchise, about a boy who is in a house on his own (I bet you cant guess!)
If anyone has a US based empty mansion house, a few tins of paint swinging from strings on the staircase and a remote control car with a video recorder attached to it, (coupled of course with the blank cheque book), be sure to call me!
Read Nick’s reviews and articles here.