Spending a Friday night trapped inside a room with your work colleagues may not be at the top of your list of fun things to do.
But throw several competitive and curious journalists in there and it just may climb up that list.
The Lancaster Guardian news team took on Lancaster Escape – a new game described by its owners like “the Crystal Maze on acid”.
Dressed as clowns, ringmasters and circus performers (costumes given to us by the team), we entered one of the three rooms, called Fun At The Fair.
We were led to our fate up two flights of stairs into a large, dimly-lit room. Our entrapment started when owner Pete McGarry briefed us and quickly left.
And the game began.
We had one room, one hour, one way out.
Looking at one another with somewhat confused expressions we set to work on the first clue.
It took a few minutes to get into the swing of things, after all it was our first experience of an escape room.
We solved the clues one by one, often more through luck than judgment, and our strengths and weaknesses – a phobia of clowns to name one – were laid bare.
A maze, shooting targets and hidden treasures awaited us. Our capability to work well under pressure came in handy.
We were the first team to try out the room and got out in 53 minutes.
Don’t worry if you do get stuck, you can radio the team (who are watching you) for help.
Of course, we don’t want to spoil the surprise too much so you’ll have to visit to discover and solve the clues.
Cities across the UK have taken on the popular escape room craze.
Lancaster’s North Road escape venture, located at the former Bridal Collection store, is a family-run business and employs six members of staff.
Each game offers visitors a different story and theme.
A cafe is located at the entrance which is open to the public as well as game-goers.
We would like to thank Pete and the team for allowing us to test our skills in a fun, scary and challenging way.
Can you beat us?