It’s becoming more and more apparent that Nottingham is full of hidden gems. So many games, so little time! We decided, last minute to find ourselves a Friday night game and with Nottingham only an hour from home, it was the obvious place to look. We chose a company we had never been to before, iLocked. Located in the lower part of a University of Nottingham building, we were looking forward to seeing another companies take on the escape room experience.
Unlike his son, Tutankhamen, Akhenaten believed that the sun god, Aten was the greatest and holiest of all Gods and should be worshiped above all else. The other Gods were not happy about this. There is still much mystery surrounding the death of Akhenaten, as almost all records have been lost or destroyed. Some say he died of natural causes, whilst others say he was brought down by his people. Others even believe the Gods had a hand in his demise. However, one thing that is known is that many of his monuments and possessions were hidden away, some believe so as not to incur the wraith of the other Gods. But alas, it matters not as the ancient tomb of Akhenaten has never been found…
Explore a world untouched for thousands of years where the sands of time will dictate whether you will get to see another sunrise. Work through ancient clues to determine what is real and what will destroy you. Can you avoid the traps and stay alive long enough to escape?
Upon entering iLocked, we were met with a very different look to most escape rooms. I felt I’d entered a Laser Quest from the 90s as the whole entrance area uses neon and UV. I must admit, it worried me that the decor in the room and its gameplay might use the same idea just as heavily but luckily, this wasn’t the case.
The Mummy is an entirely linear game. This is a strength as the rooms has ALOT to get through. If you were counting the number of puzzles per £ you’ve paid then you really are getting value for money. The website boasts 40+ riddles and with the different steps each puzzle contained, it’s about right. One of the things that iLocked are rightly proud of are the lack of padlocks in their games. In fact, in the Mummy there isn’t a single number puzzle. They are a really nice mix of logic, observation and physical puzzles. In fact, if you are looking for a more physical challenge then The Mummy is certainly the game for you. For its physicality, it is certainly up their with Escapologic, also in the same city.
We really found our groove in the game. Once we knew exactly where to go first we found that we made some fairly rapid progress. Things flowed nicely and we felt a real sense of adventure. The room doesn’t have any overall way of showing progress but as you make your way through parts of the game, you can see what you have left to do in order to make it to the next step. There are some really lovely puzzles in here and some that we haven’t seen before. One particularly tricky puzzle involving a series of poles can get a little frustrating if you rush but it was one that was very enjoyable to complete.
The only time we came across stumbling blocks were points where there may have needed to have some signposting. Although we understood the puzzle and it’s mechanics and had an answer, we became stumped a couple of times as to what we needed to actually do with it. On both of these occasions we needed to get some help from our GM, Sam. We aren’t the kind of players who hate asking for help but both of these moments could have been solved without clues if the signposting was a little better. At least one of them we wouldn’t have got in a month of Sundays without GM intervention.
Be aware that there are some parts of the game that do take place in smaller spaces. If you have anyone who is wary of being locked away in a small space, make sure they aren’t the ones to make their way into the final room. Also, make sure the person in the final room is good at describing. This was nearly our downfall!
In keeping with the theme of being explorers, the clue system is via walkie talkie and your GM is on hand the whole time, helping you along the way. Your GM is only running your game too which mean they are fully focused on what you are doing.
The space really immerses you into the game and there has been a lot of thought into making sure the space matches the theme. The lack of padlocks or keypads means that the space feels even more authentic. Props are well in theme and varied and each puzzle in the room is designed to fit in with the game. There is a really nice moment mid game where the set design adds a little more peril. I won’t spoil what it is but when I realised it was happening, it certainly added tension and made me speed up! Each part of the temple we visited was perfectly themed and it’s clear that a huge amount of money has been spent making sure the game looks right. If anything, the build is too good. We were venturing into an old Egyptian tomb but it felt a little too new to be old. Something a bit less perfect may have tipped the theming over to perfection.
As the puzzles are all built into the game and everything is automated, it did mean that things would release automatically. The design of the game is such that an audio clue gives you the hint that you’ve activated something. On the whole, spring loaded doors worked to give a visual clue but there were a couple where the “springyness” may have gone and made it a little hard to see what had changed. Overall, very small issues.
If you want a bang for your buck then iLocked has probably got more puzzles per square foot than any other game in Nottingham. The game has enough to keep a pair of players very busy for the full hour but larger groups may find that there are a couple of times there isn’t enough for everyone to do at all times. Having experienced their first game, we would love to see how their games have developed with Deep Blue Sabotage and Alien. We were lucky enough to have been given a sneak peek inside Alien and if the game play is anything like the decor, it will be superb!
Escaped: 55 minutes with 3 clues.
Note: we didn’t not pay to play this game but it did not alter our review.