Reviewed by Tricia Shaw
Back in the summer the family had a really enjoyable afternoon escaping from The Secret Hut. So we jumped at the chance to go back and have a go at Don’t Get Locked In’s other room “The Rock”. The scenario for this one is that you have been arrested whilst on holiday in San Francisco and without explanation you are taken to Alcatraz, the high security prison from which no-one leaves alive!
There is a minimum age for the room of 13 so leaving my younger son and husband at home, I set off with my daughter and her 3 friends for her 15th birthday outing. We headed towards Wing using Google maps and the postcode LU7 0LB which took us easily to the Acorn Farm Business Centre. There was plenty of space to park in the free carpark which is very close to the entrance and we then followed the sign which pointed us down a narrow path between the buildings. We were met by Cathy who is the lovely lady who runs this family business.
Whilst I was somewhat apprehensive (knowing that we started off being handcuffed together), the girls were all so excited. They became even more excitable when they were given orange jumpsuits to wear and real police handcuffs!
Having chosen our team name (Teeleaf), dressed up in our jumpsuits, used the toilet and had a complimentary drink of water, we watched the intro video and the kudos challenge was explained. I had envisaged all five of us being handcuffed together but I was handcuffed to my daughter and her friends were handcuffed as a three. Photo-shoot over, rules and safety instructions given, we headed into our cell and were locked in. We had just one hour to solve the clues and escape.
It was great to see the girls working as a team; everyone wanted to have a go to find the clues and solve them but no-one took over. At the start it seemed as though there was nothing there and although we found a couple of bits, we just could not work out the way out so we had to ask for a clue on the iPad. From here on it was searching hard and looking carefully around for the clues (as well as a few extra clues on the iPad). It is nerve-wracking to see the seconds counting down to lock-in and you really need to keep your nerve if you’re not going to use any of the kudos clues!
The Kudos challenge allows you a number of clues to help you escape: 0-3 clues puts you in Gold, 4-7 is Silver and 8-11 is Bronze. We escaped with 12 mins and 53 seconds to spare topping the leader board for Silver. The debrief afterwards provided us with answers to things we had missed or that had taken us a while to work out.
The best advice I could give anyone attempting this escape room is to just stop and think about what you have and what you can see; pretty much everything serves a purpose. The clues are really well thought out and it is possible to escape the cell and then the main room if you work as a team.
So having done both rooms which would I recommend? Both! The Secret Hut is probably the best one to start with if you have never done an escape room and it is of course suitable for younger members of the family. The Rock is definitely more challenging but still really great fun. (N.B. an adult must be present in the room). My son can’t wait to turn 13 and have his chance to escape from Alcatraz with his Dad!
I highly recommend Don’t Get Locked In to anyone who enjoys solving puzzles. It is great for team building and would be ideal for a party with a difference. At £20 per adult, £18 for over 55s and young adults (13-17) and £14 for children (8-12) it is not cheap but it is certainly worth doing. See the link to their offers page for more details of current special offers.
Another brilliant day out!
For more information or to make a booking visit www.dontgetlockedin.com.
Don’t Get Locked In, Acorn Farm Business Centre, Unit 5, Cublington Rd, Wing, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 0LB