Published on September 26th, 2017 | by Dean Love1
Locked In Edinburgh – Locked in the Distillery
“Why the hell would I want to escape from a gin distillery?” was the unarguably correct point made by a friend when trying to explain this game to her. The answer is that it’s one of those escape rooms where you’re not actually trying to escape. Rather you’ve got sixty minutes to find out which of the disgruntled employees has been plotting against the distillery.
Locked In Edinburgh are based out of Summerhall, which, along with a ton of Fringe venues when we played in August, also features Pickering’s Gin Distillery, and this is an appropriate team-up between the two companies to produce a very gin-themed game. I’m not sure if gin is offered to the players but as we were playing at 10am in the morning we didn’t really have the option to find out…
The opening of the game is fairly non-linear: you can see a whole bunch of cages with various items in, the vast majority of which can be opened by solving puzzles around this area. Some are pretty simple, and it lets you get a few quick wins under your belt before moving on the bulk of the experience. There’s also a single large deduction puzzle in this area that requires information from all around the room, and into which the things gained from these smaller puzzles feed into. This does a couple of nice things: firstly it gives a good sense of your progress through the game as you’re able to build up your collection of information. Secondly it feels really nice to be “creating” something by getting all the information in order. It also ties in neatly to the storyline around deducing who the rogue employee is.
The second part of the game becomes a bit more linear with some larger and more complex puzzles that certainly feel like a step up, though they remain in the more cerebral end of the spectrum – you’re not going to find physical or skill challenges here. We only really ran into one issue: we had the solution the to the puzzle but didn’t quite get what form it had to be entered into the lock in, and it was a lock with a lock-out if you entered an incorrect combination more than a couple of times. Likely easily solved by just having the number of characters you needed written on the lock, but a surprising miss in a room that got most things spot-on. Oh, the small case of being given the usual “items with this sticker are not part of the game” talk in the briefing, leading to a teammate quite reasonable assuming that “break in case of emergency” item was indeed part of the game due to lack of said sticker!
Clues were delivered as text on a screen, and we were fed them at appropriate points.
The tension is ratcheted up a notch for the finale, which also conveniently answers the question that opened this review. It also requires you to be a bit destructive, which likely makes it a bit of a pain to reset and maintain but makes it so much more realistic and enjoyable. Lesser games would abstract this out a bit to give themselves an easier life.
Result – we escaped in 53 minutes
Date played: 16 August 2017
Team: Dean, Kat, Cameron
Summary: A fun game, with some strong puzzles and a theme that works surprisingly well.