“Will you start the fans, please”. This sentence has been one I’ve waited a good 20 years to hear and the moment finally came at the weekend and it gave me the biggest smile I’ve ever had and made me feel like a young teen.
From the outside, unless you were paying the upmost attention you probably would walk straight past the entrance to The Crystal Maze Live Experience. It’s in a building that doesn’t stand out and has minimal signage up. When you enter reception nothing really says “you are going to have the best time”. It’s simple, hardly any signage and two very welcoming people behind a counter. You check in and head up a lot of stairs. The walls are covered with random unrelated pictures as well as the odd throwback picture. You get told to head to the bar. As you enter the bar area you pass through the locker room and then come into a very simple looking bar area. It’s a sort of bar area that doesn’t stand out and one your probably won’t remember. We were a group of two so we had to join another group and this is where you will be introduced to each other. Our group had 6 people in total, but groups can be up to 8 people. After a 10 minute wait we were introduced to Sam our host who got us ready. He took us up even more stairs and in to a dark room to watch a safety briefing and sign waivers. I won’t lie, everything shouted it’s not going to be good. There was minimal effort on this safety briefing room on terms of there being anything other than a tv. You then get taken round to another room.
This is where the experience really begins. You stand in this small,black room and the tv comes on and it starts showing clips from the original tv series. It’s like a montage and it’s a happy one. Your maze master appears and gives you the run down. He really makes you all feel part of a team and made sure you celebrated both winning a Crystal and not getting a Crystal. He made us feel relaxed and it felt like our group had known each other for years. Our maze master was Prince Phillip the 21st and he was sarcastic, hilarious and helpful. After this introduction it was time to enter the maze. Now this is where the review goes slightly spoiler free. Like in the the TV show, there are 4 zones, Medieval, Aztec, Industrial and Futuristic. There are four types of games available, Physicall, Skiil, Mystery and Mental. Each area inside this maze is very well themed and very immersive. You feel like you are actually in The Crystal Maze. The games we did were all themed to each area and varied in challenge. The way you move form each zone is similar to the show and it was just genuinely amazing. Our group managed to collect 9 crystals which meant 45 seconds in the dome.
The dome was amazing! It brought back so many wonderful memories of watching the show and wishing I could have done it. The only difference is that there are no silver tokens. Instead, you must collect as many gold tokens as possible and make it onto their leader board. Our group collected 223 tokens, which was in the top 5 of the day, which was awesome. You also get to wear the bomber jackets while in the dome so it really does feel like you are in the TV show.
Overall The Crystal Maze Live Experience is amazing. It is so much fun and really makes you feel like you are in the game. The staff and the whole team you meet throughout are so welcoming and happy. One thing you will notice when you visit is that it does get very warm in the experience. A great extra is that they will give each group a map after their experience with the rooms your group did checked off so if you wanted to come back, you can bring your map back and hand it to staff so then you wont repeat the rooms you did on your first visit. The experience is availble in two locations, Manchester and London and more information and to book tickets, you can visit The Crystal Maze website.