Crystal Maze

The Crystal Maze Experience, Manchester

To say we were nervous was an understatement. Of what exactly, I have no idea. Maybe it was the fear of being locked in or that Mumsy would be stalking the corridors, lying in wait for us.

We walked into Old Granada Studios past the rotting Coronation Street set which is sadly enduring a slow and painful death instead of being putting out of its misery with a bulldozer. The doorway is slightly misleading as it looks pretty plain, I was a bit concerned that this was going to be a sad imitation of the cult TV classic which we all grew up with.

How wrong I was.

I’m not going to ruin anything for you because the whole unpredictability of the experience is what it’s all about. What I will say is that it stays incredibly true to the TV show. The challenges are pretty tricky but on an excellent scale with lasers and ball pools and mine carts. Although I do have to mention at this point that I was the only one in our team of eight who got both his crystals….I thank you. It’s slightly concerning when your “team mates” are groaning as you get the second one saying that you’ll be unbearable. Me? Jealousy is a terrible thing I suppose.

Some of the more physical challenges were really hard and require a good level of fitness, so stay on the good side of your maze master because they choose for you and can give you advice on whether to do a skill in the Aztec or the Future zone.

Speaking of the zones, the sets were incredible, especially the Aztec with a huge Tiki mountain that looms over you as you shoot down a big yellow slide. It has to be decades since I last went on a slide.

The dome at the end doesn’t disappoint either but it’s wise to have a sensible plan. We got 35 seconds in the dome and it was over in no time, so sadly our final result was nothing short of rubbish. Those gold tickets are tricky beggars to get your mitts on.

Overall we were in there for about an hour and a quarter and it was so much fun it took a few pints in the nearest pub to come back down to earth. I would highly recommend the experience although it can be a bit on the pricey side so a few more challenges or something to take home might be a decent touch.