Location: Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Date Played: May 2, 2022
Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 75 minutes
Price: It’s Complicated
Accessibility Consideration: Players need physical dexterity and strength to fully participate in this experience. At minimum, 2 players need to be fully physically capable.
Emergency Exit Rating: [B] Emergency Key
Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release
The Lab: Lockdown took two of our least favorite escape room settings – prison and lab – and smashed them together. In some ways playing this game felt like an absolute disaster, while in many others it was a triumph. It was a weird game, from a strange company, so buckle up, because we’re going on a journey.
As far as labs and prisons go, REVO Escape made both sides of this experience unique and compelling. Setting us in a dystopian sci-fi narrative where we were prisoners being experimented on allowed them to create a sense of purpose for both the prison and the lab. Neither felt generic (which is part of why these settings usually disappoint). The story was legitimately interesting… I bought it.
Where things got really unusual in The Lab: Lockdown was the punishing physicality of the entire experience. REVO strives for mimetic design, which means that they want you treating everything like it’s an actual scenario, and The Lab: Lockdown had a MacGyver theme to essentially all of its challenges.
To that end, the bonkers solution to the first challenge seemed unreasonable… and it truly was unreasonable. Doable? Yeah… but it mostly involved 2 teammates; no one else could help them in a meaningful way. In our case, David sat in his prison cell with essentially nothing to do for 40 minutes. Yes, it took us 40 minutes to complete the first challenge.
Beyond that, there was an obstacle course that included scaling an 8-foot wall with very little headroom at its peak.
There was also a challenge in this game that David and I completed together. We have never felt more accomplished in an escape room than we did after defeating this monster.
Throughout it all, we picked up many bruises, cuts, and scrapes. I’d guess that the REVO Escape staff are more familiar with their first aid kit than any other escape room company we’ve visited.
The Lab: Lockdown was a weird beast. Switching almost at random from boring to exciting to curious to punishing, the entire experience felt chaotic, unapologetic, and unforgiving. It was as easy to love this game as it was to hate it, and frequently both all at the same time.Continue reading “REVO Escape – The Lab: Lockdown [Review]”