Crystal Maze style games without the jumpsuits

Image: The Crystal Maze, Channel 4

Image: The Crystal Maze, Channel 4

The latest series of The Crystal Maze on Channel 4 has caused quite a stir with over 2 million tuning in for its return. Wanna get in on the action? Yes, you can go to the London live experience or enter the TV show - why the heck not - but there are also so many games like Crystal Maze outside of the jumpsuit donning kingdom.

Whether you don’t fancy a nose dive into the unflattering fate of a jumpsuit or you’re looking for another fix after you play The Crystal Maze: we have a list of Crystal Maze style games that rock. Some we have played, some we have made, but all of these gems will help you turn those ‘busy life’ lemons into ‘let it go’ lemonade.

Enjoy the tick tock chase at Time Run in London

Time Run is an escape room that has rave reviews. Here you get to unleash your inner Indiana Jones as you travel through an abandoned space station on Mars, a derelict Roman tomb or a Cold War Soviet bunker. Ironically after two-years in Hemsley Place, Time Run’s time is running out on their lease and they will officially close their doors on 21 August.  As one of our illustrious escape game hosts Kevin Stuart Flee put it after his Time Run experience:

“Time run was killer, really fun space to play in. Nothing overly complicated and just good fun.”

On Tripdadvisor, Fay from Australia said:

“It was like starring in our own action adventure movie. The sets, in-character game masters, videos are all beautifully made (the quality of disneyland). There are lots of puzzles of a good variety which would have kept a larger more experienced group busy, but you don't need to complete them all. We particularly appreciated the one's that required teamwork and let us interact with the lovely set.”

Over 50,000 runners have taken on the challenge, so get your bums over there before Time Run's time runs out.  

Get your science geek on at The Lab in Birmingham

This brummie experience proves you don’t have to be a Londoner to enjoy Crystal Maze style games. The Lab by Escape Live in Birmingham is a scientific research facility under threat of a toxic gas leak. Get your friends together to solve the clues and isolate the affected areas and revel in your epic skills as you escape to safety… that’s assuming you make it out in 60 minutes.

We haven’t managed to play this one yet, but it has top ratings on Tripadvisor. Like this one from Daniel in Birmingham who felt his childhood dreams had be realised:

“I've loved escape rooms and solving puzzles and problems ever since I was a child. I was thoroughly engrossed with The Crystal Maze when it first came on in 1990 with Richard O'Brien and always wished I could take part in something similar… Based on a science theme, memories of my A-Level and degree level days flooded back with the laboratory-based puzzles and codes to crack. Chris our games host really put us at ease and provided clues at the right time i.e. not too early, but not too late when we may have got really frustrated… We managed to escape safely from the lab with 6 minutes to spare!”

Get nostalgic at our Wonky Workshop in North London

If you like solving puzzles and love the twisted vibe of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory then you'll love Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop. Our newest game located at The Depot in North London. On arrival our real-life wooden soldier host Wynne will guide you into a wind-up world of vintage toys and demented dolls where you will meet our resident ventriloquist dummy Oki. The pressure is on to solve the mysteries, tinkle with the rigged toys and complete Poppa Plock’s penultimate creation.

Louise from London took her friends along. On Tripadvisor she said:

“I've done many Escape Rooms and look for challenges which offer something different. This one did not disappoint - it was fun, engaging, and had some inventive challenges. Wynne was a great host and kept the 'creepy workshop' atmosphere going, he never came out of character once! ... The pub that hosts the escape room is great too, a really cool venue with tasty food and nice beer. All in all a great experience!”

Boss it with Hugo Myatt at Bewilder Box in Brighton

If you remember 80’s TV gameshow Knightmare, then you are in for a treat at Bewilder Box where you get some on screen time with the star Hugo Myatt. If you love Sci Fi and want to impress your mates with your problem solving skills then you’ll be in your element. The premise is simple: as a team of up to 7 people you must work together to complete a series of puzzles, clues and challenges within an allotted 60 minute time period. Succeed and you will bask in the glory of your victory… fail and you will be rewarded with a commiseratory pat on the back. The good news is either way you get to hang out in pub garden at the venue, The Hobgoblin in Brighton.

We were lucky to be one of the first teams to venture into Bewilder Box and definitely recommend giving this one a whirl. As Hockmeister from London recently put it on Tripadvisor:

“Really well thought through puzzles, great set and engaging puzzle masters. Would totally recommend for any range of situations where you're looking for wholesome, engaging, achievement making entertainment. And it's above a pub so beer is also available. Win win.”

Shriek and giggle with Lady Chastity in London or Brighton

Our very first game gets to the heart of Handmade Mysteries. Rumoured to be like Crystal Maze on acid, Lady Chastity’s Reserve is wonderfully twisted. The rooms are all hidden in historical pubs across London and Brighton, which helps take the eerie vibes up a notch as you enter Lady Chastity’s boudoir, torches in hand only with her ghost and skeletal allure to guide you. You and your friends will experience an hour of hilarious and innuendo drenched clue solving as you attempt to win Chastity's fabled aphrodisiac wine. Win and wet your whistle, or fail and wet your pants.

Ms Chastity also helped us win a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence recently with over 500 5 stars. Like this one from Rachel after her experience at The Black Lion in Brighton:

“Loads of fun and would definitely come again. Gabriel was a great, fun, and interesting host. He never broke character and dealt well with our nervous banter haha. 200% recommended.”

Over at our South London venue, The Four Thieves, Dan said:

“Been to a few of these escape room type things now and this is probably the best and definitely the most fun of the lot. Great host. Curious location. And being in a pub definitely makes it fun and a relaxed team bonding environment. Fully intend to go and try the other Handmade Mysteries offerings. I'd recommend this to anyone.”

Finally, at our buzzing East London location at People’s Park Tavern, Jam-Jarad said:

“Its bonkers and brilliant and not your typical escape the room experience, we were guided by the flamboyant and eccentric Gabriel, who got everyone in the spirit and was just hilarious throughout. The actual puzzles were intriguing and challenging. It is a really well thought out, terrifically executed and unique experience.”

Your hunt for Crystal Maze Style games is over

What are you waiting for? Stop scrolling and start booking one of these crystal maze type games. So, you can stop watching The Crystal Maze with green envy and start proving you can be epic and work it like a 90’s game show ninja. Even if you don’t have a dodgy jumpsuit to prance around in. Unless you want to of course, there is one thing all escape games have in common - dressing up is always encouraged.

If you make your way around this lot and still have a craving for more you can check out escape room directories like playexitgames.com. Ever wondered what it is about puzzles that get you buzzing? Well, then check out our recent article on puzzle room psychology.