The Drop – Aldgate High Street, London

Reviewer: Richard Maguire

Creator: Swamp Motel

After three successful online escape rooms, Swamp Motel now turn their hand to a real life experience. Taking place in an office block in the city, The Drop is a thrilling piece of immersive theatre.

It’s hard to write a review and yet give nothing away of The Drop’s clever secrets. With meticulous design throughout the game’s 60-minute running time, groups of between two and four people are required to solve puzzles stationed around the building using only their wits and, occasionally, their phones. While it’s not a race against the clock, codes still must be cracked quickly and any help is limited.

Swamp Motel’s previous online shows, Plymouth Point, The Mermaid’s Tongue and The Kindling Hour were different from other online experiences because they incorporated cut scenes into the story, almost like a video game. But instead of zombies, the trilogy centred on London in the present day. The narrative was sometimes far-fetched, but it made good use of a commercial city propped up by sinister means. The Drop’s story is very different but the landscape of swanky corporate reception rooms, where teams await their turn to go up to the third floor, is similar.

For players of such survival horrors as the Resident Evil franchise, some of the puzzles are a little easy, but one is extremely tricky, and one turn of events will come as a complete shock. But work together and each mini-mission will become clear, and the fine details ensure that everything feels excitingly authentic.

Some video games let you explore worlds that seems endless while others keep you on the rails, and The Drop is like the latter with only one way forward, and so like theatre you can’t really change the story, which is frustrating at times. And it’s definitely not for those who suffer from claustrophobia.

The Drop is a fun-packed hour, and full of surprises. But with ticket prices beginning at £40 per person, this adventure comes at a price.

Runs until 31 December 2021

The Reviews Hub Score

Excitingly authentic

The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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