Billed for new players, Grandpa’s Last Will is a pleasant room for new players. Not too linear and quite straightforward and manageable.
My mission, having chosen to accept it, was to book 13 people of Team Judge into one, two, or three escape rooms over three sessions on a quiet Monday in October. This was similar in difficulty to the room: an initial call and email to investigate whether 25 person-games worth of sales might elicit a discount went unanswered, and when I went ahead to book online, to my horror the other two rooms were blocked out after I booked the first one at 11am. More calls and emails went nowhere, so when they randomly reopened for booking a few days later I snapped them up. Problem 1 out of the way.
Round 2 was on arrival. The address and postcode on the website are not well-liked by Google Maps, which directed me to a different street and around the corner. To be fair, Lock’d has a very clear map on its website of where you need to go in.
That sadly wasn’t all; it took more footling about and eventually a call to the venue (which was answered this time) to indicate where the door was, cleverly concealed by some building work.
So getting in was the first challenge. How about the room? Grandpa’s Last Will is aimed at beginners to the world of escape games, but it provided a robust challenge. There were artful concealments, a few clichés, and a pleasing amount of custom tech. Plenty of paths to follow, but light was limited, which became annoying at times.
The aim, as one might have guessed, was to recover the will from… somewhere and use it to magically operate the exit door. The logic behind the theming wasn’t obvious, but it was devoid of anachronisms or annoyances.
It improved as we went along. All the puzzles made perfect sense. We needed to call for two hints, which required us to explain what we wanted help with, but the host clearly knew his games backwards as he was able to give us something that was cryptic enough not to give the answer right away but that left us kicking ourselves that we hadn’t already spotted it.
A good balance of search and solve meant we were moving along at a sensible speed and we didn’t need a great deal of help along the way.
We made heavier weather than I would have liked on two of the puzzles but still made it out in 38 minutes and having used two hints.
I had doubts that one host could effectively manage three games at once, but he did. Coping mechanisms included that you would need to actively ask for clues; they would not be proffered.
Accessibility: We needed to go up a few stairs on the way in after which there was a lift. It looked like there might be an accessible route, but I didn’t see it. The room itself is probably fine.
Alerts: Area with limited headroom (1 metre), low light
Capacity: They have three different rooms with plans for an additional five. Each room takes 2-5 players, so maximum 15 at a time.
Cost: Our booking for 5 cost £99. Peak pricing (£125) applies on Friday evenings and all day Saturdays and Sundays.
Photo: None taken.
Getting there: Somewhat of an ordeal; using the address or postcode is not advisable as it sends you to the wrong place. The map on their website is good – you need to enter the business park through Drummond Road (not Clements Road) near City Hope Church, then spot block B (which is pretty obvious) and find the door (which is less obvious, or at least was to us due to building work) and dial a code, B108 if I remember right, on the intercom to get left in.