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Don’t Get Locked In, Bedford – Extortion

Don’t Get Locked In is a local independent company we like, they started of small and have grown their business up to a new premises and more rooms just before Lockdown 1. Having heard that we were going into Lockdown 2 we made sure to get out with friends and get one more room in. You can book with your room the Lock in Lounge for drinks before/after your game.

They run a Kudos challenge across their rooms whereby they have bronze, silver and gold levels depending on the number of clues you need. If you escape a room with 0-3 clues (gold level) then you win a bottle of gin for the group. this was our aim going into the room. With a bottle of gin at stake, the game masters do require you to make a unanimous decision when you go to ask for a clue.

Extortion has an escape rate of 35% and can you play with up to 8 players (though I’m not sure if I would recommend doing any escape room with 8 players!) We were playing with friends and there were 5 of us playing.

You and a group of friends decide to spend a weekend in Bedford sightseeing.  You rent a large house from a holiday rental website. It was supposed to be a fun relaxing weekend with friends. That is until you hear a noise downstairs in the middle of the night. You go downstairs and realise that someone has been in the house and turned all the power off.  You sense that they are still outside watching you but can’t be sure. A growing sense of dread engulfs you. You wake the others and two of you try to open the front door and take a look around – the back door and all windows are locked – there is no way to escape….

As the intro suggests the room starts off in the dark and you are given a couple of lanterns to work by. This room is very heavy on finding things and you need to be very careful and thorough when searching. You have access to pretty much everything straight away so you need to remember what you find in case you can’t use it straight away. There are not many padlocks in this room which makes it a bit different. The room is generally not linear, there are some bits that you need to do in order to get the clues you need for other puzzles.

This is a room which is very difficult to do without clues. Our game master mentioned that only one team has so far escaped without clues. We were stubborn to begin with asking for clues, but knew that as long as we didn’t ask for more than 3 we were in for a chance of that gin. We went with more than 3 clues in the end (I think 5!) Some of the clues we were so close to getting there which is frustrating.

Once you have completed the main room there is the chance for a second challenge, we were quite low on time (about 8 minutes I think) when we completed the main room, but we went for it on the second challenge anyway. We were so close to achieving it, we knew what we were trying to do and just had a memory blank at the wrong point. We got to 30 seconds left and decided to get out. We were tantalisingly close to completing that second challenge.

I like the concept behind the room. I found that the balance of the room was too much towards finding things and not enough puzzle solving. I felt pretty useless in the first section and other members of our team came out feeling like they didn’t contribute much. It’s a hard room because things can be very difficult to find. I would have preferred if some of the codes you needed to physically find could be got to by solving puzzles. However some of the mechanisms of the room were ones we hadn’t come across before.

We escaped in 59:37 (only 23 seconds left on the clock by the time we got the door code in).

Overall I’m giving the room a 3/5

Difficulty 4/5

Atmosphere 3.5/5

Variety 2/5

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