Remember the 90’s? Didn’t everything just seem more fun? The colours, the catchy dance tunes and cheesy pop, the crazy TV shows… So many of these have stuck in our national consciousness long after they left our screens, which is why experiences such as The Crystal Maze which allows you to become a contestant on the hit show have become such an overwhelming success! First beginning in North London and then Manchester these immersive experiences are probably the best around at the moment and have developed a well-earned reputation, so much so that the London location has recently moved right to the West End and expanded so more people can join in the fun. I have tried both London locations now and there’s a level of secrecy around the experience so without giving away too much here’s some of what you can expect:
What actually is it?
Basically it’s exactly as it is on the tv show, your team will visit each of the four famous locations (Aztec, Futuristic, Medieval and Industrial) and be nominated by your team captain to do one of the four type of tasks (Mental, Mystery, Physical and Skill) in order to grab as many crystals as you can. Each crystal is equal to 5 seconds in the crystal dome where you have to grab as much gold as you can to try and get onto the leader board. It is even more fun than it sounds!
It Will Get Hot
Not only are you under theatrical lights for a lot of this but you are also running around from task to task and some of them can be pretty physical so it can get toasty in there! You will be supplied with the iconic Crystal Maze jackets but only when you get to the Crystal Dome so you can get the full experience without overheating.
It’s Pretty Physical
Whilst you don’t need to be particularly fit you can expect to run, jump and/or crawl between areas and in some of the challenges. If you want to cut down on your physical activity ask your team captain not to choose you for any of the physical tasks and let your maze master know of any limitations, they will make sure they adapt to you.
You’ll be crawling, climbing and sliding so jeans or shorts and flat shoes are a must!
The best way to enjoy the experience is just to throw yourself into it and don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself!
Cameras are a No-No
All cameras, phones, go-pros etc must be put in a locker at the start and can not be accessed at any point during the experience.
There is a Bar
The bar at the end is the perfect way to celebrate your win or commiserate your loss…They do pretty good looking burgers too!
They Have Amazing Merch
You don’t get to keep a crystal even if you managed to grab one during the experience but you can buy one at the end, which you can pick up alongside one of the iconic jackets and t-shirts.
Team Work Makes the Dream Work
The absolute joy of this is working with your team. Grabbing a group of friends and working together really makes this something special!
No Man is Left Behind
This was a big worry of mine before I started the experience; what if I got locked in, no one wants to trade a crystal for me and I miss out on the whole thing! Thankfully this is one of the ways the creative team have twisted the rules from the TV show. You will never be locked in a room, instead you will be given a ‘punishment’ in the section your in (usually a puzzle of some kind to complete) while the rest of your crew continues to do tasks. If you don’t complete it by the time your crew are done in that area you will lose a crystal but you will be allowed to join your team into the next area and continue the game.
Catching Money in the Crystal Dome isn’t as Easy as it Looks!
Seriously! When watching it on TV it is so easy to get frustrated with why the contestants can’t grab the gold but in reality, it’s surprisingly difficult!
You’ll Need to Pick a Captain and a Team Name
Pick someone who you trust and knows you all fairly well so they know what rooms will play to your strength, and go with a team name which will make you giggle! We were the mighty Pandacorns when I played in the original North London location and during our West End debut we were the Pop Up Crystal Ladies!
It’s the Most Fun You Can Have with your Clothes on!
Honestly, when it comes down to it I think this is one of the most fun things I have ever done in my time in London on both occasions! Pick the right people, throw yourself into it and have the time of your life!
So what’s changed?
Thankfully not much, the previous incarnation in Angel was so great that, to be honest, it didn’t need much changing. The good news is that these challenges are all new so if you’ve done it before then you are in luck. The competing teams’ element has also been removed, which is no loss as before this was only introduced at the very end when you enter the Crystal Dome, but they do have leaderboards if you like to get competitive.
Tickets start from £54.99 and can be purchased from the Crystal Maze Experience website. Would you enter the Crystal Maze?