(Apologies for the delay on this review guys; I did the Operation Mindfall Review a couple of weeks ago, but I had my phone stolen and lost all my notes and images on the Hand Made Mystery quest and had to start all over again! That’s a story for another day though. )
Anyway, I was lucky enough to be gifted a fantastic activity called Operation Mindfall. An immersive outdoor experience allowing you to fulfil your childhood dreams of becoming a spy and saving the world from extermination… I know, sounds a little farfetched but honestly, this 2-hour endeavour is now sitting pretty towards the top of my Sunday Funday leader board.
What Is It?
“Bring your team on an adventure of hilarious clue solving as you escape the world you know and take on live-action team games full of mystery, colourful characters and ludicrously twisted puzzles.”
Think Escape room come treasure hunt for adults. Up to 5 players can form a team and the aim of the game is to stop a terrorist organisation (called Spider Tech) from taking over the world (duh duh duuuh). The clock’s ticking whilst you use augmented reality and GPS technology to hunt down Spider Tech and release the antidote by solving puzzles and clues dotted around the Westminster area. Yep – you’re out on the streets for this.
Now, I don’t want to ruin all the fun and tell you step by step what we got up to on this quest but this is an Operation Mindfall Review. I will give you a little taster of what to expect when you purchase your own Operation Mindfall tickets. Don’t worry if it rains, Hand Made Mysteries have an indoor alternative to this game so you won’t miss out!
We headed to the upstairs area of this pub with not a scooby on what to expect but excited that we were in a pub in the backstreets of Westminster regardless. This is where we met Agent X who briefed us and then gave us a briefcase full of gadgets and gizmos a plenty. These included… A microscope that attaches to your smart phone (snazzy right?), a test tube and antidote making kit, a UV torch, an iPad and other cool little bits and pieces to make you feel like you’re the next James Bond (minus the gun and risk of death of course).
With our briefing completed, our equipment at the ready and our heads in the game, we set off on our first quest. I don’t want to release a load of spoilers but I will say, we definitely needed the full 2 hours to complete this mission! I wrongly thought it might be quite easy, but with an array of questions to answer that I had to fully engage my brain for, it was anything but! We were guessing codes to padlocks via clues and de-coding methods, solving puzzles, riddles and even had to try and fool Spider Tech that we were dead at one point, which made for a fab picture!
For those panicking thinking “Oh dear, I’m not good at puzzles!”, I’m not talking about sudokus or jigsaws because I’m not a 60 year old crazy cat lady (yet) – I mean using things like colour coding, educated guesses and a process of elimination to decipher passwords or to enable you to get the frequencies right on a recording so you can hear encrypted messages etc. Sounds much more fun right?!
Towards the middle of the activity you need to pop into a pub (what a shame) to get an augmented reality clue to solve the next part of the quest and to take refuge from any lurking Spider Tech employees. Our team decided to double check with Agent X on our burner phone to check we wouldn’t forfeit completing the mission by embracing the pitstop and having a swift one. After all, this running around saving the world was thirsty work!
We downed our drinks and knew now that we were on the home stretch. After a few more challenges and one formulated antidote later we really were cutting it fine. Please note: When creating the antidote, be aware that people are going to be sat staring at you fumbling over tiny pipetted bottles and a test tube whilst someone else squints into their phone. We looked like we were high and cooking up something dodgy, laughing and rolling around in the grass and leaves like loons, whilst onlookers moved their children away slyly and junkies slunk closer hoping for a hit off of our high. No in all seriousness though, this part was so much fun. We knew we were running out of time and we really wanted to save the world by releasing the antidote so just flapped like morons which made us laugh more! We ran to the next check point, released the antidote and then had to shut down the Spider Tech servers.
We completed our mission with 6 minutes to spare and headed back to HQ to meet Agent X again who congratulated us on saving the world. After a very quick de-briefing and returning of equipment, the fun was over and it was time to head back to reality, back towards Victoria Station. I did a lot of steps that day and didn’t even notice because I was running around like a kid in a sweetshop! Well, that is until my poor unused and unfit body began aching to buggery the next day. I felt SO good about myself, that I rewarded myself with a ginormous Nando’s and a large glass(es) of wine. It was well deserved.
Operation Mindfall Review – More Info:
You can book your slot on Hand Made Mysteries website which is shown in a diary format and also showcases a clear list of prices dependant on which activity you choose. Operation Mindfall is their newest venture and I will definitely be trying out their other activities as I am eager to see if they are on par with our immersive and exceptional experience. The below image includes the prices of their escape rooms, so draw your eyes to the section that says “street game price” for Operation Mindfall costs.
Remember, only 5 people or less can partake in Operation Mindfall but the lovely staff who work for Hand Made Mysteries will remind you of this if needs be. I exchanged a few emails with some really lovely members of their team and couldn’t fault their customer service.
P.S – No persons under the age of 18 can play, probably because the quest includes a few pubs en route (Yaaass).
(and if you want to include it in a short kids-free city break, you might be interested in some of our recent West End Hotel stays.)
Do I recommend this?
I had an absolutely fantastic time and have been encouraging anyone and everyone I can to look at some of the amazing adventures Hand Made Mysteries have to offer. Whether it’s for a treat, a present, a work ‘do, whatever it may be, I believe that there is something that everyone can enjoy with these experiences.
I whole heartedly recommend this and couldn’t give any more positive feedback if I tried.