THE BACKGROUND: The hit 90s TV show, The Crystal Maze has come to London with an immersive experience putting guests and their teams in the maze to solve its fiendish puzzles and experience a big hit of nostalgia. The show’s original series ended in 1995 but recently experienced a resurgence on Channel 4. The experience caters to corporate groups offering an unforgettable team-building experience.
THE ARRIVAL: The Crystal Maze is located down an unassuming street in Islington, and is less than five minutes walk from Angel underground station. Teams are urged to arrive on time, where they are ushered into a waiting area, which holds a locker room and a small shop offering soft drinks and gifts. Don’t forget to take the opportunity for team photos here in the official Crystal Maze bomber jackets.
THE EXPERIENCE: Upon entering the maze teams are greeted by one of the experience’s eccentric and entertaining hosts, or ‘Maze Masters’ who guide teams through the maze, speaking to invisible cameras to create the feeling guests are on the TV show. The maze is divided into four sections: the Aztec Zone, Medieval Zone, Industrial Zone and Futuristic Zone where teams undertake physical, skill, mental and mystery challenges. The team captain nominates different team members to undertake each challenge. Successful contestants in each challenge win a crystal, while those who fail can get locked in and have to solve another riddle to escape. It’s brain-bending stuff, some of the challenges are seriously tough, failure will sometimes seem like the only option but it’s a lot of fun losing challenges. Fans of the TV show will remember the Crystal Dome marking the end of the experience, whereby contestants must grab tickets and put them in a slot to win. It’s great to hear the maze master call the famous line: “will you start the fans please”, before taking on the final challenge.
THE VERDICT: A thoroughly enjoyable experience and a great way to get staff working together and thinking laterally, outside of the office environment. Those who have not heard of the show will gain as much enjoyment from it as die-hard fans. Organisation was slick and the attention to detail in terms of set design, challenges and hosting was on a par with some of the world’s best immersive productions and theme parks. Despite the number of people going through the maze at any given time, visitors won’t run into other teams in the maze.
THE DETAILS: The Crystal Maze experience can cater to corporate guests and packages can be tailored to specific requirements. Booking 32 guests or more provides exclusive use of the maze and other spaces within the experience. Sample prices include £125 – £165pp for a corporate events package for 32-120 people with exclusive use of the maze. Evening hire is available on Mondays only for 60-120 people with prices from £120-£160pp. Tel: 0207 2782271; email: email@example.com; see: the-crystal-maze.com
Reviewed by Benjamin Coren (2018)