You have to hand it to Handmade Mysteries, they put a brilliant amount of effort into crafting the theatrical experience of their escape rooms. For the immersive element of escape rooms they are second to none in London.
Sitting in The Depot pub in Islington, we are greeted by a real-life wind-up doll who can only walk in straight lines and speaks with a brainless amount of enthusiasm befitting her minimalistic doll-like existence. She tells us to follow her and at once we are immersed in a toy workshop gone sadistic. How brilliant.
With a fantastic sound-scape, the use of talented voice-over actors, clever script writers and engaging live performers, Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop is a hit.
The only splitting point in this room is the game design is often so unclear that many a time we were left wondering if the ventriloquist Oki had removed some of our brains while we were dressing up his puppet. One of the puzzles is no longer used and it so happened to be the first set of information I ran around digesting – so beware of red herrings in this room.
The audio is sometimes difficult to hear over the music which meant sometimes we also missed key information that guided us through the game.
Those who like linear games like myself will feel challenged by the at times non-linear nature, but my other half enjoyed the un-obvious nature of the clues and the mystery of where to next.
If you love your escape rooms then you must come and experience Handmade Mysteries’ Poppa Plock. If you’re new to escape rooms, I’d bring a bigger group of people with you to help work through the puzzles and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you get stuck.
Kudos to Gemma our game master for doing a brilliant job. And big kudos to Handmade Mysteries for giving expert attention to the dramatic side of escape rooms, the detail and quality pays off.
Handmade Mysteries escape rooms range from roughly £25 to £35 per person with teams of 2 to 6. We had a team of 2 and we just escaped in time. For experts, you can do it with 2 but I would recommend a team of 4 for this room so you can investigate the detail quicker.
Room design: 9/10
Game design: 7/10
Creativity of puzzles: 9/10
Story integration: 10/10
Difficulty level: hard
For more information or to book, visit: www.handmademysteries.com. Handmade Mysteries have a variety of escape rooms in various locations around London. Poppa Plock was at The Depot, Carpenters Mews, 1, North Road, London N7 9EF, which is a 5 minute walk from Caledonian Road station.
London Escape Room Guide team members: Maryann, Molly.