One thing on my bucket list has always been to take part in an Escape Room so when I got the chance to try out Grandpa’s Last Will with Lock’d Escape Rooms I jumped at the chance. My interest has always been peaked by escape rooms, but not the kind that have you being chased by a zombie, I’m more interested in games and activities that make me think more intricately, working through clues and added to that the pressure of a time limit I was always sold on the idea.
Now how exactly do you review an Escape Room without giving away any secrets, this is the thought that has plagued me since attending. I want to tell you about every little moment as it was such a great experience but I wouldn’t want to stop you from going and experiencing it yourself. Nestled in the old Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey, just around the corner from where I grew up, I arrived for a pre challenge briefing with Lucy, Charli and her daughter Tapanga. You can have a maximum capacity of 5 people per room and a minimum of 2, and challengers under the age of 16 are welcome as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
Armed with just a bottle of water and a walkie talkie, should you wish to ask for clues during the room which we of course we were convinced we would never use despite being told that on average people ask for 3 clues, we were taken into Grandpa’s Study. A wealthy entrepreneur, scientist and world traveller Neil Morgan has died and luckily, he’s left his multi-million pound mansion, business empire and life savings to us. The problem is, we only had 60 minutes to find his will before the alarm alerts the police and they come and arrest us for trespassing. With the door locking behind us and the timer set to 60 minutes our escape room experience began.
We soon got to work searching the room, going through the drawers to the desk, opening books on the bookcase, searching through the umbrella stand, quickly finding a key and some bits and pieces that looked like clues. After sailing through a number of obstacles we hit a block and our cocky personas suddenly began to fall away as we had two unlocked safes, a magnet, a pile of photographs and no idea of what to do next. Suddenly the radio crackled to life and we were asked if we wanted a clue, we were so certain we would sail through, but we were thoroughly stuck and all agreed that we needed all the help we could get.
With the clue in mind we quickly worked out the next step and once again was well on our way to finishing the room but once again we hit a roadblock and had to ask for a second clue. Keeping an eye on the timer we realised we had been in the room for 30 minutes, half of our allotted time gone, but with two clues to assist us we made our way through the final clues to find the final key to open up the wardrobe in the corner of the room, the final locked piece. Jubilant we pulled the door open to only find that we had not aced the room in half the time but that we had found a further addition to the room through the back of the wardrobe.
A small part of me was disappointed that we weren’t able to bask in our win just yet, but a larger part of me was excited by the fact that the experience wasn’t over and that we had more clues to work through. It was exhilarating and kept your mind working but was also slightly frustrating when you realise you’re not as smart as you like to think. We made our way through the hallway we had found ourselves in and unlocked another door to make it into Grandpa’s final hidden room.
Running back to the start we quickly check on our time and with barely any time remaining we figured we would never make it through in time but we wanted to get as far as possible and see how close we could get to the finish line. With some sort of magical final push we actually managed to race through the final room and found Grandpa’s will with just a mere 4 minutes left, and with that we were millionaires… Oh wait that was just the premise of the room, we may not have actually had anything left to us but we were victorious and you wouldn’t have found four prouder people in that moment.
If you are considering taking part in an Escape Room I would definitely recommend it and if you are anywhere near Bermondsey then Lockd is worth the trip. They currently have two other themed rooms, Museum Warehouse, where you have to stop the theft of a unique collection of fine art masterpieces, and Perpetuum Mobile, where you have an hour to stop the world being plunged into darkness by finding the answer in the mysterious crystals left in a professors lab who has disappeared. Both are listed as the next level up of difficulty from \Grandpa’s Last Will, and they currently working on a brand new room that will be magic based and I for one can’t wait to see what they have in store.