There are always new ideas and crazes in London that everyone rushes down for to get involved in. The escape room craze has been around for a little while now, but I’d always just assumed I’d be far too hopeless to even attempt to escape from a locked room using nothing but my brain (because let’s face it, there’s not a whole lot going on in there the majority of the time). So when I was invited to test out Lock’d escape rooms I knew my time had come to prove to myself that I could do it. And so I gathered my group of friends and we put on our thinking caps to try and beat the hour on the clock.
‘Lock’d is a live-action puzzle game unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You walk into a mysterious room. The door shuts behind you. And you’re trapped. Racing against the clock, you have one hour to do a task that will set you and your team free. During your trip, Lock’d will intrigue, entertain and delight you with complex puzzles, vivid stories and fascinating challenges.’
You can find Lock’d in Bermondsey, located in the old biscuit factory. This wasn’t somewhere I’d ever stumbled on in my time in London and so it was all very new and exciting.
The first challenge came to getting in the building. We were so eager to get ourselves into that room that we struggled with the code on the door and didn’t read the instructions. This wasn’t the best sign for us, how could we try and get ourselves out if we couldn’t even manage the most simple of doors! Anyway. We finally got in and followed the directions to where we needed to be.
Here we met Mara, who was so welcoming. She sat us down and explained a little bit about how the room worked before warning us that we should usually use the facilities, you don’t want to be locked in and needing a wee. That would just make everything about 50x more difficult. It was a super hot day and so she offered us some water and we waited patiently for another group to arrive (they were taking on a different room to us) so that we could all be briefed together.
She ran through the rules, regulations and health and safety with us and gave us some background to the company and herself which was a lovely touch.
Mara then led us to where we’d be spending the next hour or so, we were taking part in an escape room called Grandpa’s Last Will. When we got to the room she gave us a little backstory which outlined the aims of what we had to do to get out. I don’t want to give too much away as that’ll just ruin the fun for when you decide to take on the room. But basically we had to work as a team to solve clues and riddles and search for keys and codes in order to work our way to finding out exactly where the will was. Which when was placed into a panel by the door meant that the door sprung into action and that we were released back into the real world!
The room was very cool and every piece in it had been carefully thought through and placed in there as a part of a story and to set the scene. There were a few red herrings which were tricky to distinguish but this all added to the excitement and frustration of trying to work out how to get out within an hour! There were various puzzles and riddles which were very clever and had been made by the creator of Lock’d himself, who comes up with all of the concepts and ideas and then gets to work, making them all run smoothly and also to make sure the level of difficulty is perfect for all of the people who attempt them.
We did work well as a team, but also got thrown off of the scent a few times. That didn’t matter though as Mara was watching us from the cameras at reception and we were able to ask her a few clues via walkie talkie, these are obviously optional though so if you’re feeling competitive then you don’t need to ask! We managed to complete the task and find the will with 3 minutes to spare, it was an exhilarating whirlwind at the end when we finally found our stride and knew what we had to do, and we left feeling very proud of ourselves and a little bit shocked that we weren’t as hopeless as we were first expecting.
The great thing about these rooms is that no matter if you’re 9 or 99, or if you’re in a group of anywhere between 2 – 6 people (or more if you do separate rooms at the same time), you’ll still be able to enjoy the experience and every brain can bring different skills to the table. So whether you’re planning an escape room for a group of friends, a family day out, a hen or stag do, or even a proposal (which has happened!) it’s the perfect way to spend time with your loved ones and to try and crack the room. Lock’d also do a number of corporate events, what better way to get to know your colleagues than to be forced to spend an hour with them and no way out unless you work together to get the job done.
There are a total of 3 rooms at Lock’d. Grandpa’s last will, science room called Perpetuum Mobile and another called museum warehouse, there’s also a new room that is being worked on which is going to be based on magic (it sounds amazing, can’t wait to check it out!).
So if you’re looking for a fun way to spend an hour or so then I’d definitely recommend getting yourself to Bermondsey and challenging yourself at Lock’d. It’ll bring you closer/may possibly cause a giant rift but you’ll feel a sense of achievement afterwards and be able to see the different ways your friends’ minds work.
Thanks so much for having us!