Present, in May 2022, were: The Ant, Teenage Avenger
One of my favourite types of Escape Room is a quest, where the goal isn’t exactly to escape or to solve a world crisis, but one that takes you on a journey, immersing you in a story along the way. I also love games that utilise their surrounding area and local history, so I had double the reason to be eagerly playing Robin of Lockskey at Escapologic Nottingham.
It has a cute concept – the legendary hero (Robin Hood obvs) bequeathed a golden arrow to his eventual ally and friend, the Sheriff of Nottingham, for the protection of the city. The present day Sheriff has been kidnapped and the only way to ensure his safe return is to retrieve the arrow which has been hidden securely for seven centuries in the Sheriff’s office. I was faintly disappointed that the starting space was therefore kind of modern era, but that quickly dissipated as we then had to dive back into the depths of history (almost literally) as the game progresses.
I loved the puzzles in this room, they really felt organic to the story, unravelling the cryptic (but not too challenging) ye olde security system, with the emphasis on practical, tactile tasks. It never felt like we were doing anything artificial, and that helped hugely with immersion. We didn’t need many clues but they were brilliantly deployed by our super-lovely GM Pagan, in several different styles that were appropriate to each stage of the narrative.
The other huge help with immersion was the set. When I say this is a quest, it genuinely does feel like you are on a journey, and the surroundings are amazing. We emerged from the exit door entirely unsure as to how far we had travelled! This is a very physical game in lots of ways, and you do need to be prepared to crawl (bless them for the padded floor), climb and generally do a bit of heaving, partially in dim light. It all adds to the adventure and I adored all the interactions with chunky, authentic-feeling props and the pure escapism of this semi-medieval world.
There is quite a bit that I would hate to spoil in this game – there are definitely sections that are perfect as a surprise, so this is a relatively short review! I can say for certain that adventurous kids and teens would love playing this, although adult help is would be essential in most cases. Couldn’t be described as a scary game, although some parts would be a little intense, especially for those who aren’t great in darker, smaller spaces.
Robin of Lockskey has gone into my fairly short list of games that I would love to play again, just to experience the sheer fun of exploring the environment. We played as a two, so were able to be fully involved at every stage – I think as a four someone might feel a little like a spare part. We took 52 minutes, which felt a perfect ratio of achievement to moneysworth, but I would happily do it all over again. Fantastic game, ticks all my boxes of what an imaginative Escape Room can be.
- Storyline: Hunt the hidden arrow. Tick.
- Theming and Set: Super cool, making great use of the space.
- Searching: A bit, scattered around, but not frustrating.
- Puzzles: Quite easy in many ways, but required sensible practical thinking and some good observation skills.
- Physicality: Yes. There is some guidance on the Escapologic website, but the whole team does have to be mobile and active enough to cope with steep steps, small spaces and stuff. Dexterity also a plus.
- Scare factor: Not a scary game, unless crypt-like spaces give you the serious wig.
- Company Age Guidance: ” We say that anyone from the age of 12 and up can play but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been surprised by younger players before.”
- Age suitability: Great room for tweens/teens. Robust 8+ would probably enjoy it, but kids would definitely need an adult to complete large chunks of the room.
Also at this venue: EPI-Centre