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.
Team 1 – Ster, Stu, Liz, Tim, Juliet
Team 2 – Ni, Simon, Tim, Richard, Anna
Played: 27th May 2017
(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 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.
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!