Ever watched a game show and thought you could do way better than the contestants? Well, now you can put that to the test!
The Crystal Maze Live Experience replicates the fun of the original 90s version of the Crystal Maze right here in Manchester for all your game show replication needs. With gaudy sets, lively hosts, and plenty of staircases to sprint up and down, it’s just like being transported back to 1990 and into the arms of ex-host Richard O’Brien.
A small team of The Mancunion editors took on the challenge of the Crystal Maze last week, testing out our puzzling, solving, and physical skills.
Based on the original version of the game show, the Live Experience games happen in four different completely immersive locations, themed by time period – there’s the Medieval section, Aztec section, Industrial section, and finally one area set in the future.
You’re assigned a guide who tells you their back story at the start and leads your through the maze. Ours was Ned, a Scout who had gotten stuck in the Maze years ago and who was incredibly enthusiastic and energetic. Played by Kyia Kulczyzki-Binnall, Ned encouraged us to shout our support for our teammates, made us run at top speed through the maze, and was an integral and wonderful part of our time at the Experience.
Between running up and down stairs, through doors and around corners, the team completed 16 challenges from four different categories: Mental, Skill, Mystery and Physical. The aim is to complete challenges in the time limits to collect crystals. The more crystals your team collects, the more time you have in the last challenge, where you are locked in a big dome and have to catch as many gold tokens as possible.
Some highlights were Michał, the Managing Culture Editor, managing to get five hoops on one peg in a Mystery challenge, and Jess, the Editor-in-Chief, struggling to lift an egg through a tree (yes, it was as nonsensical as it sounds!).
The Experience is all about teamwork, especially with the Mental and Mystery challenges, when teammates who are watching can essentially help the person completing the challenge. This benefitted us as I finally got to use the puzzle solving and mental maths skills I picked up from doing an embarrassing number of puzzle books as a child.
One thing we’d recommend is not wearing skirts or platform shoes, as this can make it tricky to go down slides and complete challenges on climbing walls, as we found out a little too late. You’re there for the crystals and the crystals only, not to look good…
Certain less easily impressed team members said that they’d have enjoyed it more if they had had a few drinks beforehand, but since this is prohibited (and for good reason I think), the key to enjoying the Experience is definitely embracing the fun and silliness, and just giving it your all.
It was a great way to spend an afternoon, and I think the teamwork aspect definitely helped our camaraderie as a team. So essentially, you can thank the Crystal Maze Live Experience for the amazing content The Mancunion is going to put out this year, and if your society committee also needs to bond, we’d recommend following suit!
Thanks to the Crystal Maze Live Experience Manchester for gifting us the tickets! You can book your tickets here.