Back in June, a group of us went to Manchester to do the Crystal Maze experience at the Old Granada Studios – and it was pretty epic! I thought I’d write a review of our day and give some tips because the ticket prices have been drastically reduced now that they’ve decided it’s staying open for longer. Ticket prices start at £30, which I don’t think is at all bad, if like me it was a childhood dream to take part!
On arrival, we were put in a holding room waiting for our game to begin. We chose our team captain, a second in command, and gave ourselves a team name. It might not be a bad idea to come up with a team name in advance if you know your teammates, or at least think of some suggestions if you’re being put in a group with people you don’t know… you don’t get too long to think about it! It was also very hot, so I would certainly advise for you to wear lightweight clothing. There were lockers to use though, so bear that in mind.
We were taken into a small room for an intro, which is where we met our “Maze Master”, a Spice Girl none the less! She reeled off her script with aplomb and started to enthuse us all for what challenges lay ahead. There are over 50 different Maze Masters who all entertain and guide you around in their own unique way, but you don’t get to choose who you have.
Anyone who has watched the TV programme will know there are 4 zones – Medieval, Industrial, Aztec and Futuristic. For me, it felt like I was actually taking part in the TV show I remembered back when I was a kid. The set was exactly how I remembered it and the games were so much fun! Everyone on our team got to play 2 games each, but they don’t give any guarantee as to how many you’ll play – A lot of it is decided on how quickly you can get through it. We were racing between each room, and deciding who was going to play which type of game on the hop. All of the games we played were well thought out – and there were so many rooms that we ran past, I think if we were to go on another occasion, we wouldn’t need to play the same games again.
My advice is for you to get really stuck into it! Enjoy it, get involved, and don’t get too frustrated if you don’t win your game… If you’re an observer, you can offer advice through the ‘windows’ and help your teammate get through their game – Just try not to talk over each other! It’s really hard to hear clear instructions when everyone is shouting and you’re under a time limit too.
Each crystal you collect by winning your game you exchange for 5 seconds in the crystal dome. This is where you get to put on the Crystal Maze jackets!
It’s such fun trying to catch the silver and gold tickets! I’m such a shorty I found it hard to reach the box to deposit my tickets into, but it didn’t distract from the fun – I simply handed them to another teammate to do it for me. The time whizzes past though, so be warned! At the end, your tickets are counted and by the time you’ve walked back round to the front you’ll see your team score on the leaderboard.
As is often the case at this type of place, you can buy some merchandise from the shop, and photographs to remember your day by. My friend kindly bought one of the photographs for me, and I bought a crystal to keep. The prices weren’t too bad, but I’m pleased to say that there was no pressure to buy at all.
It was such fun – ideal for a team bonding day, I’d suggest. We had a great time, I felt like I’d lived out a childhood dream, and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely.