Published on March 8th, 2017 | by Dean Love0
Cliffhanger Rooms, Newby Bridge – Bank Vault Heist
One of the more out-of-the-way locations for an escape room, Cliffhanger Rooms is in the small town of Newby Bridge in the southern part of the Lake District. Remote enough we may never have gotten to it, were it not for my parents conveniently moving to a village ten minutes down the road. So a birthday trip was combined with a parental visit and we made the short drive from Grange-Over-Sands to the next village over.
November probably isn’t the best time for visit the Lake District, but it remains pleasantly picturesque the year round, though a bit too cold for the other outdoor activities that are available on the same site as the games. So as you’d expect there’s a suitable car park and the facility itself has a nice waiting area, with the walls covered with scribblings from teams who have won and lost, which is a neat touch.
The game itself is exactly as it suggests – you’re trying to break into a bank vault and get the loot before the police arrive. The twist is that you might not get all the loot, and have to decide between devoting your time to getting the stuff or getting out. At least that’s the theory anyway. In practice we didn’t get the main vault open until near the end of the game, but were able to get most of the stuff, before getting stumped on the final puzzle and failing to get out. But at no point did we ever feel that was because we’d used our time poorly. Just that the puzzles were damn hard.
And that’s the interesting thing about this game: the puzzles are hard, but fair hard. It’s rare these days that we fail a room and go “yeah, we weren’t good enough”, but Bank Vault Heist definitely gave us that feeling. It’s certainly a challenging room, but with some clever puzzles – albeit a bit too clever for us! We hit a few roadbumps that seemed a bit odd – one involved doing some maths with a bunch of numbers, and neither us nor the host could figure out why we were getting the wrong answer, until we finally figured out one of our numbers was wrong as the reference appeared twice on the chart and we had randomly picked the wrong one.
The setting was also a bit bland – with the exception of the vault itself, the rest of the game was essentially set in an office. Admittedly I’ve never see a bank vault in real life but I sort of expected it to be a little bit more exciting!
Other than that, there’s not much more to say on it. It’s a solid room but a difficult one, which means I can recommend it to anyone in search of a real puzzling challenge. But for beginners it may be a bit too much.
Result – we failed to escape, falling on the last puzzle
Date played: 5 November 2016
Team: Dean, Jess, Katherine
Summary: A tough game, that will provide a refreshing challenge to enthusiasts, but may leave others a bit stumped!