Lock’d – Perpetuum Mobile

We loved the tech and theming of the room, which a lot of love and effort has clearly gone into. Pretty short though.

Having played the venue’s other two games earlier that day, we found out that Perpetuum Mobile was free in the next slot and our host reeled us in with a discount, the room otherwise likely to go empty. It would have been rude not to.

We were invited to don lab coats to play; I must say I think this is becoming a bit of a trope. It’s the third or fourth time I’ve come across it and whilst it’s cute for newbies, it’s usually a combination of overheating and uncomfortable for the rest of us. Less, please.

That’s where my complaints end, though. Perpetuum Mobile is a story about a scientist’s quest for a perpetual motion machine. The story makes sense, it’s well put together, it doesn’t have any stilted searches for numbers with limited relevance to anything, and the technology is astoundingly good. Build quality, style, and relevance to theming all good.

They had elegant ways to prevent brute-forcing problems and clues that really innovated. We saw just the right level of red-herrings (some might see this puzzle as trolling) and a beautiful amount of parallel work possible to make progress.

Have I mentioned the tech? We’re talking someone with real electronic skills here. This isn’t just wiring a few bulbs; some tremendous work has been done with a whole pile of complicated instruments. We were super impressed with this and with the knowledge of the host. One toy wasn’t quite playing ball but the host proactively told us when we had just reached that part and clarified how we would need to proceed.

We really enjoyed the techstravaganza, although perhaps it was a little too easy… our host spent a lot of the rest of the slot talking us through the room and going back over bits with us, and talking about their future plans. A true gentleman.

Nominally the hardest of the three rooms, but it was our fastest escape of the day, 29 minutes and no hints. I haven’t counted as a hint the discussion with the host when one of the puzzles was suffering from a technical hitch.

In numbers
Overall: 8/10
Difficulty: 5/10
Theming: 8/10
Host: 9/10
Wow: 10/10

A narrow miss on the Generally Awesome award here; on the plus side we of course have the tech and theming, but pulled down by things being a tad too easy and tech not always playing ball. The latter has dropped the Overall down from a 9.

Other details
Accessibility: Seemed fine except for two or three steps up from the entrance. I think there’s a different way in.

Alerts: UV, dark in places

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: As mentioned, we were talked into completing the set for the low, low price of £61.60 for four. Normal price is £88 off-peak or £108 peak.

Photo: None taken, which was a bit of a pity given the labcoats.

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.

Website: http://www.lockd.co.uk/

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