After attending our first cèilidh (KAY-lee, traditional Scottish line dancing), we of course decided to play a few escape rooms. One of the most recommended rooms for the area was "Locked In Edinburgh" which we didn't know much about but were happy to check out their latest game, "The Cutting Room". From their site:
"In 1987 a series of bizarre murders plagued the city of Edinburgh. Over a span of a few months, 6 victims were found in various closes in the city.
The victims were all male, in good physical condition and in their twenties. When dissected it was clear they were all missing an organ but a primitive replacement was found in it’s place.
Just as swiftly as they had started the murders stopped.The police never found out who was behind it all and eventually gave up the case after years of searching.
But last night there was an unexpected development in the case, 5 new victims. we don’t know why he’s back, why he’s taking organs but let’s be clear. If we don’t find the missing organs in the next hour 5 men will die. We’re counting on you."
Set Design, Technology & PuzzlesLocked In Edinburgh was located in a former university and the game we played was also a former laboratory used by the school. It was such a unique feeling to walk through the lobby, which felt just like my old university, and to walk across "campus". This all somehow made the setting feel more authentic and appropriately set up the mood. The game took place in a spacious lab with some fun elements that we haven't really seen in the past (and we have played in a lot of lab themed rooms).
Puzzles could be solved in parallel and this was perfectly suited for larger groups. There were many lab gadgets and related info in the room, which at times could be interpreted as red herrings. The game flowed nicely and the puzzles built up into unlocking the five missing organs.
All the rooms we played in Scotland seemed to be of the older generation in that padlocks were abundant and perhaps a little over relied upon. While padlocks were also prevalent in The Cutting Room, there were some clever ways to recover some of the missing organs which we thought were pretty funny.
Memorable MomentsThe unlocking of each organ included props integrated with authentic medical school material and we had some funny moments figuring out how to use them. The finale was great, with some heart pumping elements that left us in panic!
Room For ImprovementThe hint mechanism was thematic, so we really enjoyed it but we felt that hints were far and few in between, even for our team which did not go hint heavy. Perhaps this was by design (they give you hints rather than you asking for them) and also country specific as Scottish games had much lower success rates compared to Spanish or German ones where they make sure everybody gets to the final puzzle.
Overall ThoughtsThe Cutting Room was a standout for the Scottish market. The set utilized a former laboratory which made the atmosphere that much more immersive. There were plenty of puzzles to go around and be prepared to work fast!
- Set design: Fine, setting in a former university makes it special
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Price: 60£ -110£/team
- Number of players: 1-10, (we recommend 3-4), public
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Overall Rating: ★★★★
Disclosure: Locked In Edinburgh graciously comped this game