After being cancelled back in 2020 due to the pandemic we managed to schedule a time to visit Turf Wars a new and unique twist on an escape room in Shepton Mallet.
So what is Turf Wars? It’s an hour long experience mixing a number of escape room style puzzles but with a twist, you are part of the Turf Wars story and your mission is to complete the puzzles around the building while evading the hunter.
So you arrive on site to go through the usual safety briefing on our visit this is where the previous group just exited and it was clear we would definitely need our running shoes. Shortly after we had been processed we entered the building where we were introduced to the storyline and how the event would proceed.
You are assigned a guide to provide clues to puzzles as well as to avoid people getting lost in the massive complex. Once we became acquainted the experience really did kick off starting with a mad dash to avoid the hunter.
We ran as a group exploring the vast building looking in all the rooms on our hunt for the first puzzle. After frantically avoiding the hunter we came across the first challenge. It’s worth noting that the puzzle boxes are great pieces of engineering, essentially a self contained puzzle that once solved releases an artefact that you need to collect along with others.
The number and challenge level of the puzzles were appropriate for the type of event. We had a team of 5 and managed to complete all puzzles with just a few hints. These hints were usually around the order of the number sequence needed to release the artefact which we sometimes struggled to get right.
The dynamics of the game mean that your team are unlikely to stay together for long either because you are frantically trying to solve a puzzle while the hunter has cornered another team mate or during the chase one of you gets caught by the hunter. This is another fun dynamic where if you are caught by the hunter you are taken down to the cells where you spend a period of time until you are released or a team member tries to save you. The problem is this cell is regularly patrolled by the hunter making it challenging for a team mate to save you.
The hunter during our event was Dallin ‘The Horseman’ Baron! The sword carrying character who really kept us running to safety over and over. The use of a hunter is what really makes the experience it adds a sense of panic and stress that makes even the simplest puzzle challenging as you always have one eye on the door in case you need to run.
This event is a really enjoyable and unique concept. It’s tense from start to finish as you are running from puzzle to puzzle frantically trying to solve them. It relies heavily on team work, working together to either solve the puzzle or act as a distraction while other team mates make a dash for it.
Overall I would highly rate this event. You will definitely not be disappointed. Check out the Turf Wars website for the next scheduled event or if you’re looking to get the Turf Wars experience while also exploring a Zombie Town and getting Locked in a Box. Check out Halloween at Shepton Mallet Prison this October where you can try your hand at 3 different experiences.