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‘STARTS THE FANS PLEASE’
A saying most 90s kids will automatically recognise. I know I spent many Saturday nights watching contestants jumping around a giant Crystal Dome hungrily grabbing gold foil tokens. Little did I know that one day I would get the chance to take on the Dome myself (a massive thank you to Love Pop Ups London for inviting me to be part of their team).
In April 2019, The Crystal Maze Experience opened in London’s Piccadilly Circus (The Trocadero) after a very successful launch of their other site in Manchester in 2017. With escape room tourism and the ever-growing excitement around immersive events, Little Lion Entertainment (the masterminds behind Crystal Maze Live) are certainly supplying to the demand in London.
For those who are not aware of the iconic show, in the Crystal Maze, teams of up to eight dash through the Maze’s Medieval, Aztec, Industrial and Futuristic adventure zones guided by an eccentric Maze Master. The aim is to win as many crystals as possible by completing various challenges; skill, physical, mental and mystery. Each crystal won means more time in the iconic dome, where the goal is to catch enough golden tickets to bag yourself a spot on the coveted leader board!
After being greeted our eccentric Maze Master Aggy, an all too familiar theme tune was blasted through the speakers and our team of seven were running into our first zone. In complete honesty, my first impression was how incredibly representative the site is of the original TV show, it is clear that no cost or time has been spared when setting up the site. The Aztec Zone is outstandingly impressive in particular.
Depending on your group size, most people will take on two different games inside the maze, during these mazes you will be placed inside a room to complete a challenge in under two minutes. My first challenge was ‘Bakers Dozen‘ in the Medieval Zone and let’s just say it was a bad time to realise I had no idea how to fire a bow and arrow. Despite complete humiliation and being crystal-less, it was still really enjoyable, it is surprising how quickly you get immersed and feel the pressure upon entering the challenge room.
‘Worldwide Strategy’ in the Industrial Zone was the second challenge I took on, in this two-minute countdown I had to decipher the correct button combinations in order to save the world. I am happy to say I was much more successful in this challenge and managed to score a crystal for the team.
The grand finish is, of course, the opportunity to enter The Crystal Dome, at this point the crystals you have earned throughout the challenges are exchanged for time inside the dome. When inside the dome your team will aimlessly jump around grabbing foil gold tokens in order to earn their place on the leader board. Our team managed an impressive score of 103.
Looking for more things to do in the West End?
Your game will last approximately 80 minutes and while personally you only take on two games, the rest of the time you are still fully engaged, whether that be joking around with your Games Master or with over-enthusiastic shouts of encouragement to your teammates who are currently taking on their challenges. The Crystal Maze experience really does take ‘immersive experience’ to the next level and is offering something very exciting in London.
Also, with 32 different challenges inside the dome, I do believe it is an experience that can be taken on multiple times without it feeling repetitive. I know for sure I am planning on going again.
Tickets start at £49.99 per person, therefore it is certainly not one of the more affordable experiences in London but I do believe it is worth the higher price tag, as so much thought and effort have gone into the production and execution. If you are planning a hen or stag party in London, a special birthday or even a work team building experience The Crystal Maze live is definitely something to be considered.
Book your tickets here:
The Crystal Maze Live – West End
Please note all tickets must be booked in advance and the game is only open to players over 13 years old.
Disclaimer: I was invited to The Crystal Maze Experience with Love Pop Ups London, however, as always all experiences and 90s nostalgia are all my own.