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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Review | The Crystal Maze


[GIFTED] Our visit was complimentary 

There are two types of people who visit The Crystal Maze - those who used to watch it and those who have absolutely no clue what's going on. Luckily our team had both in when we were kindly invited down to try the new games on offer. The Crystal Maze for me has that nostalgia factor - of endless repeats on Sky and moments where you'd be screaming at the TV for something you thought was obvious. Turns out it's not that easy when you're actually doing it yourself.


If you don't know the show, it's a mix of physical, skill, mental and mystery games which you select. I did have a slight advantage of having been before and realising that whilst I might do barre and  circuits once a week, doesn't mean I'm sufficiently prepped for a physical challenge. But as you don't know the ins and outs of the games you're about to play, it's a pot luck situation. One year I went with a colleague whose game boiled down to word association - she was a copywriter so I think you can guess whether she won that crystal...

When it comes to the games you're allocated a set amount of time to solve or complete what's in front of you - with the help of your teammates from afar. If you nail it, you get your shiny crystal which equals more time in the dome at the end. If you don't solve it and you run out of time, you get locked in. Thankfully I've never gotten to that point to know how long for!


Did we win crystals? Yes. Did we get a score to be proud of? Absolutely not. But there were moment I was almost in tears laughing and moments I wish I could have filmed. We'd had a pretty stressful day at work prior to our session and we had an absolute blast trying (and in most cases failing) to win. Plus we we got to have an insightful chat with the art directors and designers of the games after we'd played, who explained how they change up the rooms so you'll never get bored of what's on offer.


Given the fact it rains 90% of the time in Manchester, it's probably one of the most unique things you can do in the city that actually isn't that expensive and doubles up as exercise (the excuses I'll use to get out of going to the gym...). Thank you to the team at Crystal Maze for the press evening and for having us over for what was a way above average way to spend a Wednesday night.

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