Can Exposed Crack the Code?
Crack The Code is a real life escape game inspired by a string of hugely popular escape rooms in London, Paris, Athens and New York. This concept has quickly become a top entertainment phenomenon and you can now find it right on your doorstep in the heart of the Steel City – as local as Carver Street in fact.
So, how does it work? It’s 1973 and the cold war is raging on. Leonid Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party has ordered all agents to ensure the power is swung back towards The East. A top-secret file has been intercepted naming all the senior C.I.A double agents operating in the Politbureau. K.G.B officer, Yaakov Malenkov will meet his handler and pass the file on later today; resulting in the death of hundreds of agents operating behind the Iron Curtain. It’s your job to crack the codes in Malenkov’s office, retrieve the file and make your escape. You have 3,600 seconds and the clock is ticking. Easy peasey, yeah?
A few of us from the Exposed office thought we were up to the challenge. After arriving, we were given a quick debrief including the background story and instructions. Following an unassuming corridor and office, we were then led into a room from a different world. Think dusty briefcases, hidden entrances, padlocks and Holmes-style spy glasses. The door was locked; the clock began ticking. Turning the room upside down, avidly searching for any sign of clues, we soon developed a master plan and started piecing the puzzle together. Once one code was discovered, one briefcase opened and a key found, another dilemma followed in order to open the next contraption. Searching the walls top to bottom for more encryptions with Morse code, UV lights and puzzling ciphers at the ready, we soon found ourselves struggling and asking for clues. With an armful of help, at one hour and fifteen minutes we finally found the final key and exited the room. A fail, but a cathartic fail none the less. ‘Don’t be too hard on yourselves, you weren’t too far off,’ encouraged organiser Chris – others have been known to complete the challenge within fifty minutes. It can be done!
‘Can your team succeed where others fail?’ is Crack the Code’s main question. Clearly the Exposed team would not bode well as international spies. We’re also hopeless at using keys, apparently. Yes, this was one of the main elements we struggled with. Brain power is definitely necessary – the clues are tricky and, after struggling with just three of us, we advise to give it a go in a slightly larger group. Nonetheless, although leaving with tired, thoroughly exercised noggins, eventually cracking the code left us with a sense of exhilarating relief. Perfect as a teambuilding activity for staff, co-workers and schools, team work is the real key here – you’ll need to work together to have any real chance of escaping the room before the clock runs out. If you fancy an activity that varies from the norm of your usual weekend, Crack the Code is definitely worth a pop.
Will you beat Exposed and crack the challenging puzzles before the clock stops ticking? Tell us how you fare @ExposedMagSheff.
For more details, see www.crackthecodesheffield.co.uk
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Words: Laura Garner.
Photos: Marc Barker