Hands up if you used to watch Crystal Maze on TV back in the early-mid 90s!? – or if you’re too young for that, maybe the revival in 2016/17?
Either way, here’s a recap… The popular British game show saw a team of contestants running around a maze completing a series of themed challenges in order to win crystals. The number of crystals they won equated to the amount of time they then had inside of the Maze’s centrepiece, the Crystal Dome, where the team had to collect enough gold tokens in order to win a prize.
I can’t count the number of times as I kid that I dreamed of taking on the Maze myself. Who would have thought that my dream would finally come true over 20 years later!?
That’s right, the Crystal Maze has come to London, and anyone can take part!
The London Crystal Maze Live Experience
Earlier this month, I was invited down to the launch of the new Crystal Maze Live Experience on Shaftsbury Avenue with a team of other awesome bloggers from Love Pop-Ups London.
The Live Experience is realistic and interactive team game perfect for groups of friends, families or even as a work team bonding exercise.
You can form a team of up to 8, or part of a team and combine forces with others, to take on the Maze and its numerous challenges.
Your team is then joined by a rather eccentric (and bizarrely dressed) Maze Master who guides you around and adds to the silliness and fun of the whole experience.
The Crystal Maze Challenges
The maze has 4 different adventure zones – Aztec, Industrial, Futuristic and Medieval – which are all elaborately decorated in their corresponding theme, both in the challenge rooms and in the maze itself.
Each of the zones, which you’ll find yourself comically running between accompanied by cheesy 90s theme music, has a series of challenges which fall into the categories physical, mental, skill and mystery.
I won’t spoil the surprise by revealing too much about the challenges, but they can involve anything from riding a giant buckaroo-ing space ship to shooting a bow and arrow to decoding a series of cryptic riddles.
As a team you get 4 challenges in each of the 4 zones, meaning every team member will take part in 2, while the rest of the crew helps out and shouts words of encouragement from the windows.
The Crystal Dome
Once all 16 challenges are complete, you then head to the iconic Crystal Dome where your crystals are added up and your time is set.
As a team we collected 7 crystals, which meant 35 seconds inside of the dome manically grabbing at gold tokens flying around our heads. We exited the dome with 103 points, a respectable total (100+ equals a win), but nowhere near close to the weekly high score of 400+. Each week the overall highest scorers win a prize.
I absolutely loved taking on the Crystal Maze! The whole experience was very realistic and completely immersive throughout – I felt like I was taking part in the actual TV show. Our Maze Master really added to the fun of the experience, with his mixture of enthusiasm and sarcasm having the whole team in fits of giggles the entire time – even when we were drastically failing at a few of the games!
Some of the challenges were certainly more physically demanding than I imaged – no need for the gym the next day but a good quick workout nonetheless.
Tickets for the Crystal Maze aren’t the cheapest so it might not be a casual Tuesday evening activity, but for a birthday, hen-do, work team building exercise or a special treat for a Crystal Maze fan, it’s certainly worth the money.
Tips for taking on the London Crystal Maze Live Experience
- Wear clothes that you can move around in and comfortable footwear – you’ll be running in between zones and the physical challenges can be quite demanding (a 3-minute challenge had my legs seriously aching the next day).
- Don’t get drunk beforehand – you’re not allowed into the maze under the influence of alcohol, but there’s a bar in the venue so go as nuts as you want afterwards!
- Get together a full team of 8 – although you can go as a smaller group, you might be paired up with other people to create a team. Personally, I think it’s way more fun with a group of your own friends or colleagues.
- Play to everyone’s skills – work out at the start who may be best suited for the different types of challenges. Do you have a fitness freak who will nail the physical challenges, or a brainiac who will find the mental challenges a breeze? Having a varied set of skills in your team and playing to them will give you a better chance of getting as many crystals as possible.
- Get involved! – the over-the-top Maze Master may be a little intimidating at first (well ours certainly was) but if you’re not afraid to get involved with the general silliness and throw yourself into the challenges head-on, you’re guaranteed to have a great time!
Take part in the Crystal Dome
Address: 22-32 Shaftsbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EJ
Time: The full experience takes 80 minutes per group.
Age: Over 13s only.
Price: £54.99 for midweek and £66.99 at weekends.