The Crystal Maze in Manchester has reached the grand ole’ age of One. It’s growing up so fast. I first experienced the game for my very own birthday last year (aged 27 if you must know).
Never been before? Then you definitely need to check out this guide with handy tips for first timers.
If you weren’t a 90s kid and you haven’t yet caught the millennial reboot with Richard Ayoade, then here’s a quick summary.
Teams dash, and I mean dash, through the Maze with the help of a quirky maze master. You conquer challenges in four zones, Medieval, Aztec, Industrial and Futuristic, to collect crystals. Each crystal means more time in the iconic dome, where you frantically catch golden tickets to win an amazing prize. OK the prize is a spot on the leader board. But still, that’s pretty cool.
I knew what to expect going in so I did wonder how much I would enjoy it a second time around. Would it lose its surprise or fun factor? I can tell you, the answer is NO! There are three main reasons for this:
1. New Host
You will more than likely get a brand new maze master each visit! They are an eccentric bunch who take charge and whisk you around the game. This time we had the pleasure of meeting Marty McLie. Now, I bluddy love Back to the Future, so this reference was a dream to me. He was young, fun and magic, literally… Marty even gave us a helping at hand at times. Sorry we absolutely failed at the Roman Numerals *face palm* He was definitely better than my first maze master! These guys put their heart and soul into their characterisations and I’d love to meet them all.
2. New Games
This was my main concern. Was it going to be the same again and again? I’m pleased to report that we played lots of new games. I couldn’t remember the answers to the one’s I had previously tried anyway. You choose a physical, skill, mental and mystery in each zone so it’s pot luck. This means you will always try something new. The Crystal Maze has some exciting plans this year as they are uncovering a secret tomb within the Aztec pyramid with a brand new challenge. Even more reason to return!
3. New Photo Opportunity
There are two photo opps inside the game, the Aztec Temple and The Crystal Dome, where on average 160,000 photos have been taken! We’re a vain bunch aren’t we? Now before you enter you can dress up in the iconic bomber jackets for a quick snap against a backdrop. It’s a small touch but one I really liked. You can even choose a placard to describe what type of gamer you are. I went for ‘least likely to win a crystal’, which is of course very humble of me. Our team won the most crystals out of all of the groups with 8, which is above the average of 6! Start the cheers please…
Second time around was probably even more enjoyable than the first. The Crystal Maze in Manchester is rated 5* on Trip Advisor and I can see why. It is well worth your time and money. You really do feel like you are in the TV show.
Have you been before? What did you think? How many crystals did you win?