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29 October 2014
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Escape From Scorpion Island
Contestant in action

Escape From Scorpion Island returns for series two of the most nail-biting game show on earth!

Interview with games producer Keith Cotton

What was the hardest game to design and build?

Whatever we designed had to push the children to their absolute limits! So we quickly realised that we had to make the challenges even harder than we first had planned, because the adventurers were truly remarkable - the guts, determination and physical endurance was off the scale.


The challenge which took the most time and effort to plan was probably "Rollin' Thunder". This involved adventurers clinging on to a huge revolving spindle that rolled towards the sea at great speed.


The spindle's track was fixed to the side of a huge 80ft long pirate ship, anchored far out to sea in crocodile-infested waters!


It was a real mix of engineering, art props, a huge rigging job and hours and hours of testing.


All these elements came together and the end result looks incredible so it was all worth it in the end!


What was the scariest game!?

A hugely scary game was "The Last Gasp" wherein adventurers had to collect skull game pieces by holding their breath and diving underwater, under barrels and into tiny air pockets.


At one stage the teams were working as pairs with one of the adventurers blindfolded and working off voice commands and touch! Genuinely scary stuff. But again the children were amazing.


And no matter how scary or daring the game was we felt confident they were completely safe.


Health and safety was paramount at every stage of the process and we had a fantastic games safety expert on hand at all times.


Did you have a go on any of them?

Yes! It's only fair that I'm prepared to put myself through whatever we're throwing at the adventurers.


There's nothing like trying out the game yourself to figure out how it could be even better... and even scarier. It's definitely a perk of the job because it's a lot of fun too!


I've done everything from sprinting off the edge of a huge waterfall (harnessed of course), being chased by a huge 3-metre high rolling boulder and even tandem skydived out of a plane at 14,000 feet! [The adventurers get to do this in the first episode]


Which is your favourite game?

So many to choose from, they are all my favourites! But if I was forced to choose one it would have to be "Fearfall".


Adventurers abseiled backwards down a huge waterfall torrent and grabbed coconuts before being winched back up on a pulley by a teammate to hang 20 feet above the water.


They would then drop these coconuts into a hanging dropbox.


When enough coconuts were deposited by the winning team the dropbox opened and released thousands of coloured balls. A great finale to a great game that looked incredible.


There was only a few seconds in the winners and the losers, which can make a good challenge a great one.



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