Lockout – The Room [Review]

 Old asylum, fresh blood (available in English, well, kinda)

Location:  Antibes, France

Date Played: September 30, 2018

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 20-35 € per person depending on team size

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

The Room was an old-school puzzle room. The weathered and detailed set gave it a creepy feel that never turned into horror.

Lockout could fix a few missteps in assembly that currently hamper the flow of this otherwise interesting and challenging puzzle-focused game. While there was plenty to like in this escape room, especially for puzzlers, we walked away wishing that some of the details of gameplay had received as much attention as the set design.

If you play escape rooms for the puzzles and you find yourself in Antibes, France, this was an interesting game, but I’d recommend playing Lockout’s Europa instead.

In-game: A dingy, bloodied white-walled asylum.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Some interesting layered puzzles
  • Dramatic opening set

Story

We conducted an investigation of an old, abandoned asylum in search of evidence regarding the disappearance of a patient.  

In-game: A bloodied and worn medicine cabinet in a dingy white-walled asylum.

Setting

The asylum set of the room was grim and weathered. It was clear that something bad had happened within these walls. 

The level of set detail put The Room on the upper end of what we saw from escape room sets in southern France.

Gameplay

Lockout’s The Room was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ The Room’s initial set was well-detailed and established a grim tone. It staged the experience well.

➕ We enjoyed a few substantial, layered puzzles with satisfying solves. Lockout built some excellent puzzles into The Room.

➖ One puzzle required order preservation. Our gamemaster interrupted us to tell us not to move these particular props, which were not just easy to move, but seemed like they should have been moved. We recommend Lockout glue these down.

The Room included multiple locks with identical digit structure and no indication of which puzzle resolved to which lock. Varying the types of lock inputs or connecting locks with puzzles would facilitate smoother gameplay.

The Room was mostly in English. There were a few critical clues that weren’t translatable. Having translations on paper would have been helpful for those of us who were less-fluent in French. (Lisa was fine.)

➖ We uncovered quite a lot of reading material as we solved The Room. In the end, those who spoke French had their noses buried in papers. While it wasn’t necessary to read everything in order to escape, the reading contributed to additional win conditions focused on the plot. We would have liked to see this part of the game more integrated into the physical gameplay.

➖ The ending was anti-climactic. We had finished all of the puzzles, but we stayed in the room to try to solve additional plot questions. This conclusion had no energy and seemed meaningless.

➕ The Room was a solid, puzzle-focused, older-style escape room. We had some lengthy criticism, but most of these things were fixable and none of them destroyed the game.

Tips For Visiting

  • Note that while this game is playable in English, you’ll miss one major component of the game with you can’t play it in French.

Book your hour with Lockout’s The Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Lockout – Europa [Review]

By Jupiter’s moons! (not available in English)

Location:  Antibes, France

Date Played: September 30, 2018

Team size: 3-5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 20-35 € per person depending on team size

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

Europa was a puzzle-focused escape room that offered some unusual interactions and puzzles.

At times this mission felt futuristic and spaceship-y. Other times, it felt like an escape room of locked boxes.

While I enjoyed many of the puzzles, as we escaped, I found myself wishing that the concluding story beats, puzzles, and interactions felt more like they had belonged on this spaceship.

Overall, if you’re in Antibes, France, and looking to play an escape room, this would be a fun choice with interesting puzzles.

In-game: A pilot's chair in front of a computer station in a spaceship.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Interesting and varied puzzles
  • Nifty moments

Story

The European Space Agency had received a signal from a missing ship that was returning with samples from Jupiter’s moon Europa. We had to board the ship and return with the samples.

Setting

Europa was set on a futuristic spaceship.

The set was uneven. Most of the game had a steel and space-y look. Some segments looked like a traditional lock-and-key escape game.

In-game: Closeup of a steel floor.

Gameplay

Lockout’s Europa was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ Lockout designed some excellent, layered puzzles.

➖ Europa presented us with a mission and detailed steps to follow to achieve it. It wasn’t clear, however, which puzzles fit with this series of objectives. We played a decent amount of this game in the dark because of this confusion.

➕ We especially liked the use of augmented reality in one puzzle.

➕/➖ One interesting puzzle concept missed a beat. We liked the inventive concept, but the solution was only partially clued.

➕ Lockout executed standard escape room puzzle concepts to facilitate teamwork. This worked well.

➖ Europa was a heavily padlocked spaceship containing a lot of locked boxes. It felt overly locked with props and locks that didn’t aesthetically match the game concept. This contributed to a general feeling that too many items in this game didn’t belong on a spaceship.

➖ The win was anticlimactic. Solving a complex puzzle yielded yet another key. We would have liked to see that solve integrated contextually into the story of this spaceship and our escape from it.

Tips For Visiting

  • You must be able to read and understand French to play Europa.

Book your hour with Lockout’s Europa, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.