My 10th escape room in London and we now have the leader of the pack. clueQuest London invited my team to complete all four of their missions and I, skeptically at first, accepted 2 of the 4. But, after whizzing through Operation BlackSheep and PLAN52, we were hungry for more and gleefully completed their two hardest rooms Revenge of the Sheep and cQ ORIGENES. Every room was brilliant and the company is by far the most advanced and exceptional escape room operation I’ve visited so far in my quest for London’s best escape room.
Firstly, the rooms: all four flow effortlessly from one to another, with a clear and effective storyline that varies within the same theme. Mr Q (a mouse) needs a team of spies to help overthrow arch nemesis’ Professor BlackSheep (a sheep) and his dastardly plans. These rooms prove there’s nothing wrong with a simple storyline so long as it’s integrated into the gameplay and the execution is brilliant, and it is.
Each room is technically assembled beautifully, with high production values and sturdy workmanship that make the physical play aspects of the room fun. On the other side of the coin, clueQuest has nailed the escape room game play and the game design is the best I’ve seen yet. Two rooms were linear (Operation BlackSheep and Revenge of the Sheep) and two non-linear (PLAN52 and cQ ORIGENES) and both had pace, variety and thrilling puzzles. The combination of basic but rewarding hide-and-seek with very clever codes and cool gadgets is fantastic. No room disappoints and it comes down to personal preference as to which you enjoy the most. My favourite rooms are linear as I feel they have the best pace and are most rewarding, but two of my team members loved the non-linear nature of rooms and found them more exciting.
Better still, clueQuest caters to advanced and beginner gamers. Our team smashed through Operation BlackSheep with 11 minutes on the clock and then PLAN52 with 8 minutes remaining. Looking for a harder challenge, we got it first with Revenge of the Sheep where we escaped with only 37 seconds remaining, and then the ultimate challenge of cQ ORIGENES where we escaped with just 4 seconds on the clock. Both these rooms have a success rate of 15-20% so it’s no wonder we were paper thin on time, but they sure proved thrilling.
clueQuest has also nailed the overall experience of an escape room. Their home base in King’s Cross is spacious, well-planned and have lovely added touches. We were given a magnet of our group photo that serves as a wonderful memento we all now have on our fridges. The staff are also committed and passionate escape room enthusiasts which make game play all the more enjoyable.
The only critique I have of my experience of clueQuest was the game master of our final room, cQ ORIGENES. Because we proved very quick and efficient progressing through the room, when we got stumped at a particular moment in the game the game master chose not to help us which eventuated in us running around for 10-15 minutes without progress. Being a game master is an art and they have the challenge of striking the right balance of help vs silence. My preference is for minimal interference, but on occasion a subtle hint to point me in the right direction can keep the room flowing without tensions running high. We never would have needed the copious 5 radios in the final 3 minutes if he just gave us that first radio in a timely fashion. The other 3 game masters we had were brilliant and some of the best we’ve seen in any escape room.
clueQuest is a no brainer and comes highly recommended for your first or next escape room. They now take the top of the leader board.
clueQuest’s 4 escape rooms cost £30 per person peak or £25 per person off-peak with a maximum team of 6. We had a team of 4 which worked well and is recommended.
Room design: 9/10
Game design: 9/10
Creativity of puzzles: 9/10
Story integration: 9/10
Difficulty level: beginner/intermediate/advanced (the four rooms cater to all difficulty levels)
For more information or to book, visit: www.cluequest.co.uk. clueQuest have 4 escape rooms and one VR room in King’s Cross at 169-171 Caledonian Road, London, N1 0SL, which is a 12 minute walk from King’s Cross station.
London Escape Room Guide team members: Maryann, Ariel, Natalie, Rachel.