Published on July 12th, 2018 | by Dean Love


A-Maizing Escaping

We’re always on the look out for places doing things a little bit differently here at Escape Review, and the new game at National Forest Adventure Farm in Burton-on-Trent certainly fits that bill. It’s an escape room, but it’s a giant maze made of maize as well.

The venue have run a maize maze every summer for the past 14 years, so have plenty of experience there, but in the past they seem to have “just” involved navigating a maze and maybe collecting things or noting things down along the way. This year they are taking their inspiration from escape games, so within the usual 10 acre maze with 3 miles of paths are ten stations where you will solve physical and mental challenges to get a code for the exit door.

It’s a certainly a different take: as you can imagine, you’re not going to have the entire maze to yourself, rather plenty of teams will be playing at once (you buy a ticket for the day, and play whenever you like – no set times or time limit). This means they’re reliant on puzzles that can reset themselves and stand-up to multiple groups. It’s a limitation, but one that can lead to some interesting and compelling gaming (we recently played Boda Borg and GoQuest in Ireland, which work off similar limitation, and will be writing about them soon). Some of the photos attached here give an idea of what to expect, although I’m not sure their secret agent has quite figured out the “rope laser beams”…

Speaking of secret agents, it’s a James Bond-ish theme subtitled The Agent Academy. Co-designer Ivor Robinson said:

“It’s been 65 years since the first James Bond novel – Casino Royal by Ian Fleming – was published in 1953. It seemed fitting to find Bond a new agent so he could finally retire after 65 years. The Agent Academy is a great family fun activity that will need teamwork as you put your skills to the test with physical and mental challenges.”

It’s built as a family activity but there’s also a separate mini-maze for kids. Tickets are 12.50 per person for admission to the farm, which includes the maze and other things. It runs from 14 July 2018 to 3 September 2018. We are off to try in just over a week, when the nice weather has all gone away!

About the Author

Dean is a professional writer who has worked for The Mail On Sunday, The Digital Fix, MicroMart and others.

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