Phantom Peak – Festival of Innovation (Review)

The frost of Wintermas had melted away as the City Adventurers headed to Phantom Peak to see the towns celebrations for their first Festival of Innovation. We had heard our adventure would be part treasure hunt, part immersive theatre, part escape room.

At Phantom Peak
At Phantom Peak

What happens in Phantom Peak?

This was our first time in Phantom Peak and we did not know what to expect. All the action takes place in a purpose-built steam punk town.

When you arrive you are lead through a tunnel and emerge into the town square. The western town is very well built. Think Disney in terms of immersion. There is a saloon serving drinks and a snack bar where most people headed first, but we started by exploring the town. A range of shops and businesses stood empty, ready for the game to begin.

After a while of exploring, we stopped for lunch before the game began. Everyone else seemed to be eating and/or drinking and I was worried there would be time constraints and we would not be able to stop. I need not have worried. Think of it like doing back-to-back escape rooms. After each mission there is time to unwind and stop for a burger, or a drink. Next time we will know to pace ourselves.

Solving Missions

At a certain time, the Mayor took to the stage and welcomed us to the town. We were given instruction to use our phones to select a mission and the game began.

Depending on your answers on the app, you are sent to a particular location or person to be introduced to your mission. A large group of us arrived and heard the back story of what needed to be investigated. Then we were sent off to solve the mystery.

Solving the mystery is like being on a giant treasure hunt. You need to get answers from different people and places scattered around the town. There is a certain amount of puzzle solving involved, so the comparison with treasure hunts and escape room is justified.

There were a number of returning players at the event and they seemed to know how things worked. So, other groups that started the same time as us seemed to know where to go and what to do. We, on the other hand, as newbies went off in the wrong direction to start with and had to return to the beginning and start again! Yes, it took us a while to work out what was going on and our first mission took us longer than expected.

At one point we were directed to find the answer by asking a particular person but could not find them. We stopped by the Mayors office and asked for help. He helpfully told us we could not visit them but could call if we used certain equipment…..this led us to discover there was an outside area to the town with even more places to visit and people to meet.

Although you start as large groups, the groups quickly break up into much smaller groups. Even if you are on the same mission, people move at different paces, people get lost and people extract information at different rates. So any fear that you will be following the herd as a large group quickly disperses,

Also you may need help from fellow players. There was one particular clue that required us to listen to an audio that we could not decipher. A group that arrived after us waited for us to extract the information and we had to admit defeat and ask for their help.

Talking of help, the action and narrative is carried along by the cast. We have been to interactive mystery events before, but not on this scale. The actors perform an amazing job. Staying in character and keeping to the storyline, whatever story line they happen to be following at the time. Not an easy task. One minute they are helping you find the way to a particular building or person as you follow one mission……And the next they are answering questions about a homicidal clown on a completely different mission. Keeping track of the different threads is quite an achievement.

Did we have a good time? We had a wonderful time and completed three missions – The Last Laugh, Some Body To Love and Nothing But The Truth.

This town has to be visited to be believed. Can’t wait to go back with a group for their next season.


Want to join us on an adventure? Become a City Adventurer!

The UK based Social Club for people who love visiting shows, exploring new places, discovering new things and solving mysteries.
Life is a journey so experience it’s adventure with like minded people. Live the life you’ve always dreamed of. City Adventurers Membership includes invitations to adventures and travel mainly in the UK

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