Room Lockdown (Essex): The Curse of King Anum

Outside the room

We’d enjoyed our first two experiences at Room Lockdown enough that we convinced them to stay open to allow us to play a third room. Top tip for enthusiasts: they have to close their doors at 10:30pm so, if you’re heading there towards half past nine, make sure you get in quickly to ask for the extra game!

Background

October 1906 a team of archaeologists start the excavation of King Anum deep within the pyramids of Egypt. In the process an evil curse is released and the whole team of archaeologists die!

No one ever since has even got close to the cursed Tomb of King Anum. Rumour has it that the archaeologists were in fact looking for a hidden treasure deep within the tomb – a red coloured stone believed to be the heart of King Anum. It was believed to bring much wealth but once separated from King Anum, the curse is released, in a race against time your task is to make it out of the pyramid alive! The heart is in the chest of King Anum now a Mummy locked within the tomb

Inside the room

OK. I didn’t expect another prison scenario, and certainly not here. It turns out that the start of this game sees you handcuffed in an Egyptian jail cell. Given that it’s not central to the theme, I think it’s reasonable that you’re not shackled for very long – this certainly isn’t meant to make the game more challenging like in Prison Break but is instead just a little twist to what might otherwise be a fairly standard storyline.

In spite of being a prison, the decoration wasn’t too drab. In fact, it generally improved as the experience progressed, and the props were good enough to do the job, especially the artefact that formed the centre of our quest. Some parts of the game were visually very disappointing, though – looking exceedingly rough and out of place in an ancient tomb.

Of the mental puzzles we encountered during our Room Lockdown visit, these were probably the strongest. We had to think far harder than in the other rooms, and they pulled off much more involved mental challenges than in their other offerings. One in particular we ended up brute-forcing because we incorrectly assumed it was poorly designed when, in fact, it turned out to be a really clever idea. That said, there was a lot of repetition, with two particular escape room tropes that massively outstayed their welcome.

The finale delivered on the mission in the briefing, but the last puzzle left us feeling utterly confused as to how it was meant to be solved. Without a clue, there’s no way we’d have realised what they wanted us to do, and even with the clue, there was a massive red herring that left us in need of further clarification.

Result

We escaped with around 6 minutes left, having taken two of our three clues.

Verdict –
 

For me, this game sat in the middle of the Room Lockdown offerings. Once again, they did well with the sense of exploration through the game – with plenty of interesting transitions. The decoration was acceptable but still had rough edges. The puzzles had their moments but were incredibly repetitive and sometimes lacked direction. If you’ve never played a game before, I think you’ll have fun here but, if you’ve played elsewhere, you’ll be left feeling disappointed.

Three was probably a reasonable number for the game – two would have felt like we were in a bit of a rush, while four would have been a bit crowded at times.

Detailed Room Ratings

Venue
Host
Wow! factor
Immersiveness
Difficulty

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