REVIEW: ALASTAIR MOON'S HOUSE - LOCK'D

BERMONDSEY, SOUTH LONDON

Alastair Moon's House Escape Room Review

Alastair Moon’s House* is the most recent and advanced immersive room at South London escape venue Lock’d that promised a heartbreaking and beautiful story with plenty of magical mystery. 

Mr Moon had all a man could dream of; a beautiful wife, soon to be a father and a wonderful London mansion which he afforded through his art of magic. He was truly blessed with success, fame, fortune and family. Until the accident… 
For the faint hearted, it’s suggested turning back now as once entering, there may be no guarantee of return. And those of us with the will to go on are wished luck unravelling the tale of Mr Moon…

Involving three years of continuous research and development, we were excited to witness the progression of Lock’d's most recent room having previously played two other games at this venue. On entering the space we were invited to watch a well-produced cinematic introduction, which transpired to be amongst the stronger visual openings of any room we’ve seen. We also noted the film included subtitles, an aspect that is often overlooked in watchable intros and an inclusion we applaud.

The attention to detail in the opening area of this room was an evidential step-up from the venue's predecessor escape games. With its immersive decorative space and canny puzzles being more mentally challenging and rewarding to complete. It also included some refreshingly unconventional tasks that players will relish in. The only niggle was our teams ability to identify some of the puzzles working mechanics, which would have benefited from being appropriately housed in order to preserve its otherwise immersive illusion. 

Upon progressing in the space sadly the initial high standard waived - both in its decorative aspect and the quality and challenge of its puzzles. Whilst the space acceptably depicted the house of Alastair Moon it lacked the continuity of its earlier benchmark, feeling desultory by comparison.

London Escape Room Reviews

The puzzles here also floundered from the rooms' strong start with tasks on offer now time consumedly monotonous. We felt minor tweaks to one particularly lengthy puzzle could have adverted it away from the laborious chore it sadly became, feeling relieved by its eventual completion rather than suitably rewarded. 

Another issue was the rooms use of fully automated tech. Whilst admittedly this would impress had its intended use be faultlessly executed, during our game we were often able to trigger resolves having felt we had not quite completed the tasks to operate them. This lead to confusion and disorientation in what props should have been utilised at certain points - and of those, that continued to remain part of our game play going forward.

We don’t want to be too harsh as Lock’d's considerations of next-gen IoT mechanics is something to be applauded. An aspect that once flawlessly achieved will catapult them to the forefront of futuristically evolved, state-of-the-art escape room venues. 

We ended our escape having successfully completing the final task - although once again somewhat haphazardly! So rather than us taking full notice of the finale as it played out, it instead led to us discussing how our preceding actions (or lack of!) could have possibly completed the final task. Ultimately, because this had now happened on a few occasions, it led to us exiting the space a little disconcerted after the promisingly strong opening. 

Until the technological aspects here are honed to execute efficiently, we are inclined to thinking perhaps a good old fashioned slight-of-hand aka manual trigger by the GM would work to maintain the magic throughout its full sixty minutes. Further consideration of its sorcerous theme put into operation with more potent puzzles would conjure less of a hocus-pocus experience that parallels its magnificently, mystical start. 

NEW-REVIEW-SCORE-3-STAR-FIN-2019

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