We were invited along on the launch day of a brand new mystery game at Blickling Church, Norfolk. Run by the crew at History Mystery Games who specialise in escape games which are linked to real historical events, this particular game called "The Queenmaker" is based on Anne Boleyn and is based in the church where she worshipped as a child, situated next door to the family home Blickling Hall.
The church was easy to find, just follow the directions to Blickling Hall and you can't miss it! There is limited roadside parking but you are able to use the paid parking at Blickling Hall which costs just £5.
You are just a few minutes walk from the church which is visible from the main road.
This is a world's first as its the only escape game that is held in a working church, it continues to be open to visitors during your game so bare this in mind, we didn't have anyone come into the church whilst we were there.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the "Verger" he would act as our guide during the game and gave us information when we crossed his palm with gold! Mollie took hold of the purse (uh oh! Daddy watch out she'll be after your wallet soon!)
We have never played one of these games before, neither had our friends who we took with us, but we are keen on Treasure Trails and Geocaching so we thought we would have a good problem solving basis.
Without giving away too much information, the game involved solving cryptic clues, finding codes and keys to open locked boxes and following instructions, with each success Anne or Henry moved forward towards the alter. Locks included traditional key padlocks, number/letter codes and a couple of "directional" padlocks, there was one of these to lock the cabinet where you can keep your personal possessions whilst your play.
(Just make sure you remember the instructions to get your things back at the end!)
To be honest we started off a little erratic! All of us rushing about in different directions and randomly trying different things, but Chris and Juan decided to take control and pull us back into team and things run a lot smoother! Team work is definitely beneficial when playing one of these types of games.
At various points in the game we came across letters for the Verger which when handed to him he would read and give us further information or tell us we had successfully solved a clue and Anne or Henry could move closer to the alter. Sometimes these instructed us to pay the Verger some of our gold and silver coins.
Emily kept her eye on the clock, we only had 1 hour to complete the game and the time ticked by rapidly!
The setting of the game added to its intrigue and we heard that some of the profits from the games goes towards the upkeep of the church, which is a great way to raise money.
So did Anne and Henry marry at the alter?
Sadly not with us playing, we reached our time limit and hadn't quite completed the tasks. We were so close, just another 10 minutes and I think we would have had success.
We could have paid the Verger some more of our coins to buy time but in our panic to get done all logic of this went out the window.
The "Queenmaker" History Mystery Game was great fun, having never done one of these before it was a new experience for all of us and we are keen to look into similar games in the future, these guys run two games in the Guildhall Norwich which look great fun too.
The "Queenmaker" runs on weekends only and you can book online.
Prices start from £55 for 3 people and you can have a maximum of 10 players.
Recommended for ages 10yrs+ but Emily and our friends little boy were younger than this and understood the game well.
We thought that this was a great game, fun for the family and friends and would work great for Stag/Hen parties, team building activities for work colleagues, or perhaps a birthday party for older children.
After we had finished we took the short walk over to the local pub where we enjoyed lunch outside in the sun filled gardens.
To find out more about the History Mystery Games then checkout their website or find them on Facebook.