Locked in a room, Milton Keynes

Locked in a room – Parallax

From Lockedinaroom.co.uk

The time-travelling super genius, Professor Pottenger has been kidnapped by unknown assailants! The assailant’s hideout has been located but questions still remain… Where is Pottenger? Who kidnapped him? Who do they work for? Enter their hideout and obtain the vital intelligence needed to unearth this peculiar mystery, before it’s too late!

Team – Ster, Ni, Simon, Stu

Played – 17/12/17

(Reviewed by Ster)

Locked in a room

This was our first visit to Locked In a Room MK as we’ve played the previous two rooms at their venue in London. It was much the same as the London venue, only slightly smaller! There was the same block type seating where all the teams gathered for the initial briefing and then we were led into a long dark corridor to stand in front of our rooms while we received the second, themed, briefing.

While the large team briefings don’t really lend themselves to a personal approach, they are a lot better than many uninterested introductions I’ve encountered in other venues. Our host was enthusiastic, friendly and keen for us all to get going while at the same time making sure that everyone was aware of what to expect.

After our escape was when our host really shone though, she greeted us with a great deal of enthusiasm at the door and took the time to have a friendly chat with us about what had gone well or not so well and we even got a chance to compare the Milton Keynes venue with the one in London. If Locked in a Room had another game left for us to play it would be a tough decision trying to decide which venue to play it at!

The room

This is Locked In a Room’s most difficult room but I think that having already played both Timelock and Invisibility Gene we had a bit of an advantage as we had a pretty good idea of the type of puzzles to expect. Throughout the game there was only one puzzle that left some members of the team standing around with nothing to do, which can happen quite a lot in some linear games I’ve played. But the two members of the team completing the puzzle were having such a great time with it that I felt a bit guilty about feeling momentarily bored!

We had tried to find something else to work on while we were waiting, but at that point we needed the solution to their puzzle to move forwards. We did manage to make it almost a three person job, which left only one member of our team waiting, and it was a great puzzle, the ridiculousness of it adding a lot to its entertainment value! The other puzzles in the room were engaging and challenging enough that we had to pause and think about them but not so challenging that we ever got stuck.

We blitzed through the room without much of a pause, all the puzzles led on to each other and, between the four of us, we could always work out where to go next. Our host had a look at the end and confirmed that we had done everything we should have done and in the right order so I think that it was exactly the right amount of challenge for our team, definitely my favourite out of the three rooms we’ve played at Locked In a Room, even without the gadgets that we found in Invisibility Gene! And we managed to set a new record, which is always fun.

Stu – Something to keep in mind with the Locked in a Room games is that the rooms all look very similar. The reason behind this is that they are all based around the same main storyline but with each room having their own mini storyline. Just like previous rooms this one included a variety of challenges and methods however this one seemed just that little more advanced. The room itself was good however I have to say the build up to the game starting was slightly disappointing. The facilities in the Milton Keynes location have a very small welcome area which we were all crammed into before being taken up into the main waiting room. I think it’s great that there are places like Locked in a Room that can offer large numbers of teams rooms at the same time but this does take away the personal touch a team can have with the host.

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Escape time – 35:04

Score

While the puzzles in the different games at Locked in a Room are all fairly similar, there is enough variety to ensure that they are separate experiences. I do think that having played both other rooms made the last one easier though, by this point we had a pretty good idea of how the experience was going to go, I think that it would definitely be harder if this was your first game at Locked in a Room. That said, it was a very enjoyable game. Our team really relished the challenge of a more difficult room and, while there were a few red herrings lying around, there wasn’t really a point where we were ever completely stuck.

Difficulty

3/5

Overall

3.5/5

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Locked in a room, London

Locked in a Room – Timelock

From lockedinaroom.co.uk

You are respected scientists individually working on secret government funded projects in laboratories located in an abandoned warehouse around the Docklands of London. One of the scientists, Professor Samuel Pottenger, has just been dragged kicking and screaming along the corridor by unknown armed assailants. Pottenger is known to you as a very level headed man of immense intelligence and absolutely not one prone to an emotional outburst… Discover his secret.

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Team 1 – Ster, Stu, Liz, Tim, Juliet

Team 2 – Ni, Simon, Tim, Richard, Anna

Played – 27/5/17

(Reviewed by Ster)

Locked in a room

Locked in a room has a large premises allowing for multiple copies of the same room. On this occasion there were about 10 teams playing in total which led to a slightly crowded waiting area but made the second briefing much more interesting. The first briefing happens in a white room with plenty of block seating, a general rules of the room type briefing. For the second briefing everyone lines up with their teams and is then let into a dark, themed corridor to wait in front of their individual room.

At this point we get an in character briefing about the theme of the 2 rooms. Having played here with only 2 other teams when playing Invisibility Gene, I can safely say that this style of briefing works really well with a large amount of teams. The darkness of the corridor creates a great atmosphere (I honestly can’t describe what it looks like as I could barely see it!) and everyone waiting together by their rooms adds a competitive element that I imagine could get quite rowdy if everyone knew each other! Which I assume is what these rooms are aimed at, large groups all wanting to race each other as well as the clock.

The room that everyone goes to after playing is also a nice touch as it is a themed area to wait and, once everyone is out of their game, the results of each team are announced to the room. There’s also a great backdrop for team photos with lots of props available and lab coats to dress up in.

The Room

The first thing that I noticed about this room was that the noise of the teams around you bleeds through the walls. You would think that this would be really annoying but it actually added to the pressure! Most people have a tendency to shout out answers or ideas while they escape a room and when snippets of these flashes of inspiration floated through the walls I was constantly trying to calculate if that team was ahead us or behind us and by how much. Half of our regular team was in the room adjacent to mine and I could hear them coming across the same puzzles and it added an interesting competitive element that I’ve never experienced in an escape room before.

The puzzles didn’t seem to be too difficult, which isn’t to say that we found them easy! My team fumbled through part 1 of the room and made very slow progress, while our second team moved at a faster pace, though both teams found part 2 more enjoyable. There just seemed to be more to do in the second half of the game and the puzzles were more engaging. The puzzles in part 2 seemed to be a little more intuitive while my group spent a fair amount of time during part 1 standing around shrugging and arguing about whether or not the lights should be on or off! During part 2 at least one person had a good idea about what we should be doing and we moved steadily through the puzzles with a clearer direction.

Score

There was a large time difference between our two teams, one team escaped with less than 5 minutes to go while the other escaped in just over half an hour. The puzzles weren’t overly complicated but for an inexperienced team they clearly didn’t need to be! I really enjoyed the competitive element of racing other teams and everyone congregating at the end and finding out how everyone else got on was a really nice touch. I think if you’ve got enough people for more than one team to be playing, then Locked In a Room is one of the best room escapes to try!

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Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

3/5

 

Locked in a room, London

Locked in a Room – Invisibility Gene

From Lockedinaroom.co.uk

An infamous colleague, Professor Scabworthy, has been acting even more suspicious recently in the lab. Whilst he is detained for questioning, thoroughly investigate his workshop with your team of investigators to discover and prevent the catastrophe he is attempting to unleash on Canary Wharf…

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Team

Ster, Simon, Stu, Ni

Played – 28/10/17

(Review by Ster)

Locked in a Room

This was our second visit to Locked in a Room but our first with our regular team. Our first visit was a bit of a birthday party, so our usual team members split into pairs and tackled Timelock with 6 other players, one group with a lot more success than the other! But more on that visit in another post.

On this visit, we were one of 3 teams starting at the same time and we all gathered in the white briefing room for a short spiel about what to expect. Thankfully, as all teams had played escape rooms before, the briefing was nice and short. A quick don’t break things, don’t climb on things and don’t dismantle that box on the ceiling which isn’t part of your game and we were done.

As Locked in a Room is built to accommodate 78 simultaneous players, instead of your team being escorted individually to the rooms, everyone heads into a long corridor and stands by their door to receive another quick briefing, this one focused on the theme of the games. It’s a different way to start and very efficient given the amount of people. It takes away a bit of the personal touch that some game hosts can provide, but as a group who tend to just want to get inside and get started, we weren’t going to complain!

The Room

Inside, the room was small and the sounds of the other teams getting into the spirit of their games bled through the walls quite a bit, which added some tension during our last visit when we were surrounded by teams playing the same room, but on this occasion we were the only team playing Invisibility Gene so it was just a bit of background noise that we ignored!

There were a lot of padlocks in the room so we set about locking for codes. The puzzles were pretty linear and we were quite slow to get started. We were stuck on the first puzzle for longer than I think we’d like to admit. When Stu finally worked it out there was a lot of groaning and eye rolling and general cursing of our own stupidity.

After that point the game ran smoothly, we found things to be pretty intuitive and didn’t spend too much time standing around scratching our heads, which is always the mark of an entertaining game. The puzzles weren’t overly complicated and to be honest, I don’t think we found anything to be particularly difficult, but we did all enjoy ourselves and knowing that the solutions weren’t going to be overly contrived meant that we made a conscious effort not to twist ourselves in knots looking for some obscure solution with a very tenuous link to the original answer, which I think sped up our gameplay. Even Simon’s usual call of “write all the things in numerical order” didn’t make an appearance! (I will concede that this has been the solution on a single occasion in an escape room, but I still roll my eyes when he says it.)

It took us 34:54 to escape this room and, while we all felt as if we were making slow progress during, it turned out to be a new record for the room, so not quite as slow as we had thought! We escaped without needing any clues and were apparently the first team to have done so in this configuration, which has inspired the title and creation of this blog!

Simon – I like the room and the surprise. I thought the game was quite linear and the puzzles weren’t ground breaking. Overall it wasn’t a bad game, but it wasn’t very special either.

Stu – I thought the game was really good and would have been challenging for any beginners who are just getting into escape rooms. There were lots of puzzles in this room allowing different types of players to shine at different points.

Ni – I really enjoyed myself in this room, I liked that even though it was quite linear there always seemed to be something for each member of the team to do. Though the puzzles were simple the solutions weren’t always obvious and we had a lot of fun solving them.

Score

Entertaining enough, but there was nothing that marked the room out as particularly special other than the size of the venue. We all enjoyed ourselves (our enjoyment may have increased once we were told we’d broken the record) and we were still discussing a couple of the puzzles as we walked away.

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Difficulty

2.5/5

Overall

3/5