29, 10, 2018
The invite was simple, do you like escape rooms and all things Halloween? Then why not come and try out one of two venues from Handmade Mysteries’ Escape Rooms. The options were Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop in Islington or Lady Chastity’s Reserve in Battersea, both sounds intriguing and inviting but my decision was purely made on location as I was at an event beforehand that was closer to Islington.
As I’m obsessed with Halloween I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to try out an Escape Room with a darker feel to it having only been to one before that was a lot tamer in comparison. We arrived at The Depot, a great venue in Islington, that not only has the escape room but also a pub and a theatre which I have seen a number of shows in with The Live Review. I had brought along a plus one for the evening and we were told we would be taking part with another pair who randomly enough I already knew, Louise from Formidable Joy and her friend Becky.
I did not know what to expect from the escape room, but I definitely wasn’t expecting to be greeted by Wynne, a wind-up doll created by Poppa Plock who escorted us to his toy workshop and would be our guide for the evening. Wynne explained to us how Poppa Plock had mysteriously disappeared and that he had been most recently working on a creepy life size dummy called Roy. Roy was hanging on the wall with all of his limbs missing, and we were tasked with putting him back together through a series of clues and puzzles.
Whilst we knew what was expected of us getting to the end result was by no means an easy feat, the clues and challenges had been well thought out and made to what I would say was quite a difficult level. I bow down to the inventors of Escape Rooms because to come up with the interweaving steps and minute detailing must take such a creative and clever brain. We were able to get three clues from Wynne and whilst we thought we would sail through we had to use all three.
We were taunted throughout by a ventriloquist dummy, who we may have all jumped at when he first piped up, but he did occasionally give us a helpful tip and clue. One clue we got from Wynne had us all scratching our slightly drunk heads and you could tell she wanted to laugh at us because we just couldn’t work out she meant at first. The room was a lot more immersive than I expected and in line with Halloween there was some scary things in the room but nothing too bad, for me the worst was touching limbs and old dolls that spoke (seriously creeped me out).
It was a complete adrenaline rush throughout and at one point we despaired that we might not finish within the one-hour time limit that we had but I can happily say that our team completed the room in 59 minutes and 23 seconds, so a mere 37 seconds was between us and defeat, but we done it and came out victorious. I was really pleased and proud of our team and felt that we all brought something different to the table, Louise knew exactly what we needed to look for, Becky paid attention to the smaller details, I had a very proud moment where I made it through a really intricate and delicate puzzle, and Andrew was an absolute wiz with the creepy bits I couldn’t deal with touching (and apparently a master with talking dolls).
Once we had finished in the room and the finale was complete, I don’t want to give anything away but let’s just say that there was a lot of running around like lunatics, screaming, cheering and a slightly freaked out moment, we were given a scorecard. Not only do you take part in the room, but you are given points on your time there, we got 17 points, and this included all sorts of achievements like bringing drinks to the game, finding Lady Chastity’s wine bottle (of course the drunks found the wine), screaming, great team work and more.
I had a really great evening and having only experienced one escape room previously this has definitely cemented my love for them. I would love to try out Lady Chastity’s Reserve, I’ll have to see if Louise is free to do so as we were clearly the dream team on the day. If you are looking for something different and a bit of immersive fun this Halloween, or any time of the year, I would definitely recommend going to Handmade Mysteries Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop. Have you ever taken part in an escape room, does this sounds like your kind of evening?