ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you’ve always wanted to rule your own kingdom.
Avoid if… you suffer from delusions of grandeur.
Locked In Escapes:
Address: 2760 N Academy Blvd, Suite 301, Colorado Springs, CO 80917 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 719-424-7066
Room – Shattered Kingdom:
Description (from the company website): It was on this day, almost a year ago, when the bell tolled signaling the king’s death. Ever since, the kingdom has become violently fractured. Thieves rule the marketplace. Vagabonds litter the streets. Even the wealthiest nobles have been reduced to rags. Lords are fighting to claim territory all across the realm. It seems that there is no end to the chaos. If the kingdom remains this way any longer, it will surely shatter. A proclamation from the castle rings through the streets; the king’s last will and testament is being read in the public square. The royal herald clears his throat and begins, “The kingdom will be united by the discovery of the foretold objects. Whosoever finds these objects and restores the family crest triumphantly shall be crowned King of the Realm. Any person may attempt the quest, beggar or lord, but know that the price of failure is death.” Running as fast as your feet can carry you, you race to gather a worthy band of comrades to attempt the late king’s Royal Quest. Arriving at the castle you discover that you and your comrades only have 60 minutes to complete the trial and seize the throne. If you are not successful, the guards will find you and execute you. May the gods be with you.
Difficulty (1-10): N/A
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Party Size: Up to 8
Staging Area: Small staging area with lockers. This is one of the few places I’ve been that requires you to lock up your devices and such.
Metro Access/Parking: There is a parking lot for the building Locked In Escapes is in, so plenty of room.
Description of the room: You start out in a small chamber, almost a servants quarters, scarcely decorated but for a table and an ornate trinket.
Understanding of the Mission: As the Kings final decree, anyone who can solve the riddles in the throne-room can claim the throne. So you and your friends have gathered at the castle to try and do just that, becoming the kingdom’s new rulers in the process.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 10-ish minutes
Our Suggested Party Size: We were 7; I would say there is enough to do for the allotted size of 8, but 5/6 might be the sweet spot.
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Marco, Holly, and 4 other folks
Worth the time and money? Yes, if for nothing other than how you exit the room…
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- Rocco’s Italian is the closest place (but we didn’t go there).
- There’s a Carl’s Jr close by as well (but we didn’t go there either; I think we just went home).
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|This was the first time I’d be attempting an escape room in Colorado. While out visiting some friends, I convinced them they should try one with me, and after searching around online, this one was close by and sounded interesting. The story was well written and, as we would come to find out, the room was well crafted. Certainly some things I didn’t expect in this room. I hoped for the best, as I greatly dislike introducing friends to terrible escape rooms…|
|The story in this room, as I said, was well written. Roughly a year to date from the Kings death, and the kingdom was a mess. After a reading of the King’s will, you learn that there were several objects in the throne room that, together, would restore his family crest. Whoever is able to complete this would be named the new King (or presumably Queen). The penalty for failing, however, was death. So yeah, don’t screw up.
|The only thing that was unclear to me with this mission was how many other groups were in line and how the guards chose who got to go in. (I would assume it was on a first-come basis.)
Regardless, we knew going in we had to find things, however we didn’t know what they would be. That’s something you find out throughout the adventure. Find the things, get the scepter, escape with your lives. Easy Peasy.
Or is it?
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|Man, there was a lot going on in this room. It starts out seemingly tedious, but quickly spirals and makes you think. There’s a TON of discovery to be done here, but the payoff at the end is really nice.
We started off slow and the first main puzzle I totally…overlooked. Not my cup of tea, to be honest, but a good deceptive way to start out. I worked on a few other things as I scoured the room for items while the majority of the rest of the group got to work on the first puzzle on the wall (as I would have been useless and in the way; I know when to move). Once we got started, things fell into place as we made it to the second room. [I threw that in there (the second room reference) because (a) the first room is lacking in things to do so (b) it’s rather obvious that there’s a patch forward to another area. Not really a spoiler.]
This room ran the gamut from magnets and string to pneumatics and…strategic placing (aka hidden in plain sight). I do enjoy those types that are so obvious they can’t be right but are. Makes you think and doubt yourself, which is how you lose time.
I don’t recall there being combination locks (but this was a while ago); I do remember some physical locks (like inserting a sword into a slot, that kind of thing), as well as some old keys. There was also some logic involved, and you all KNOW I love that.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|Where to begin. I wouldn’t call anything particularly simple, per se. I’d say the “easiest” puzzle was probably a 4 (of 10), with the hardest being about an 8. There was plenty of puzzle diversity (as I alluded to above), but I do have my favorites. Particularly the photos [saying just that is not giving anything away; I’m trying to tread lightly…], but they were both my most and least favorite part (you’ll understand why in the next section).
We usually say that it’s the small subtleties in a room that really make it something *extra* special, and this room didn’t disappoint (though really the design of the room was special in itself; that was the first time I’ve really felt like I was in a throne room; maybe couple it with the set design of Kings Ransom and you have yourself a castle).
|Once you got yourself out of the first room, and the game picked up, that’s when it got really interesting. There were at least 2 paths we could split up on (which is awesome, of course), and I particularly liked the armor statues. (My Aunt and Uncle used to have a 3′ tall one in their living room when I was growing up and it creeped me out in the dark…)
Everything fit with the period the room was set in with 2 exceptions; one was the aforementioned photos, the other was something to do with the throne. I won’t get into specifics, but they definitely weren’t things you’d find in medieval times, but obviously they were used to progress the puzzles and I’ve not thought of how else it could have been done otherwise.
The room was surprisingly fast-paced, and as there were 7 of us, we had no shortage of brainpower to try and pick things apart or put things together. We hit a groove and kept going.
But again, the subtleties of the puzzle design and the set itself were fantastic and really helped with the immersion factor here.
|Going in, we didn’t know what to expect and everyone seemed to have a good time. I couldn’t tell, however, if the 4 strangers were a family or if it was Mom/Dad and son or daughter + their significant other. Couldn’t figure out the dynamic there.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|The GM was a hand at a computer (meaning we had a monitor that made a sound when there was a nudge or a clue waiting.|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|We asked for a clue or 2 and they were helpful and to the point.|
|RAGE Meter Score|
|No issues here!
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.1/10
Final Thought: While it was a little tedious going up 3 flights of stairs to get to Locked In Escapes, the trek back in time was definitely worth it. The aesthetics were top notch and I was pleasantly surprised with how the whole thing played out. I would highly recommend checking out Shattered Kingdom. I’ll have to head back here next time I’m in town to try another of their rooms. Can’t Wait!