Escape room review: Sherlock, The Game is Now
Escape rooms have hit London’s mainstream: enter an immersive zone with a group of friends, then solve puzzles in a limited time in order to win. Sounds fun, right? One of the latest and most ambitious is the multi-roomed Sherlock: The Game is Now. Sarah Riches went to try it out – and she dragged the entire London Planner team along with her to help.
Sir Arthur Doyle’s 1880s novels about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes have inspired a London museum, countless pubs, Hollywood movies and the BBC TV series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Now, there’s even a London escape room based on Sherlock. Called The Game is Now, it’s inside the West 12 Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush, West London.
The entrance to The Game is Now is disguised as an opticians, so there are walls of glasses, as well as posters with strange small print saying things like ‘if you can read this then you obviously don’t need glasses.’
The 100-minute game began with actors recruiting our team of five as crime-fighting operatives. As part of our induction, we entered Sherlock's Baker Street living room (above), then worked together to solve puzzles in three rooms. Expect a few gruesome clues, plenty of intriguing hidden buttons and drawers, as well as the odd cryptic note, all delivered using pleasingly high-quality production values.
With the help of video and audio clues, we unlocked a cage, found hidden keys and even called a strange man called Sam, who gave us helpful hints. Alas, we’re clearly not cut out for detective work, because we ran out of time and didn’t quite save the day.
We debriefed – and commiserated – over drinks in The Mind Palace, a bar inspired by Doyle that you enter after your 100 minutes are over.
Think you can do better than us? Then play Sherlock: The Game is Now yourself and prove it.
Sherlock: The Game is Now is booking until 31 Aug 2019
Tue-Sun 10am-10pm | £54 per person
West12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 8PP | firstname.lastname@example.org
Prices and times correct at time of publishing
If you’d rather just go to the pub than solve a crime, read our guide to London’s historic pubs
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