Andover, New Jersey
Room Size: 8 people (4 Recommended)
Escape Time: 60 Minutes
Date Attempted: 2/4/2018
Price: $25/person ($200 for Private Booking)
You and your family are out at the ‘classiest’ French bistro in New Jersey, but you make the heinous mistake of coming in right before closing. The waiter not taking any of your guff goes back into the kitchen to complain. You are waiting for a while before you realize that the waiter and chef have left you alone in the bistro and armed the alarm system. Can you get out in the 60 minutes before the bistro goes into lockdown mode?
I will admit that this is one of the more innovative themes that we have encountered. It seems the industry is saturated with ‘Jailbreaks’ or ‘zombie survival’ so when I saw the room advertising escaping from a ‘snooty French bistro’ I was intrigued to say the least.
While the decor was a little sparse in most of the room I do appreciate that the room itself didn’t take itself too seriously. The menus for the bistro were very clearly making fun of themselves in the meta sense. Most of the food items listed weren’t french, and the kids menu even went so far as to tell us “make your way through the maze…or don’t I’m just a menu.” This lead to a lot of chuckles as we made our way through the room.
The room didn’t have any standout puzzles per se but there were a few that made us stand back and re-evaluate how we were making our way through the game. There was one puzzle in particular that had us a bit frustrated as it was greatly determinant on the precise placement of items on a scale. If your placement was a bit off, your answer would be incorrect.
While the room was set up in a way that several people could be working at once, I felt that it kind of lacked an exciting climaxing moment. It’s not that the end was a let down, it just didn’t have the heart pounding finish that other rooms have.
I’ll deal with customer experience in 2 aspects: ownership and facilities.
The ownership of Unlocked! are among the nicest that you could ever hope to meet. Carl was EXTREMELY accommodating with a last minute booking and squeezed us in when he easily could have turned us away. In the beginning he gives you the story of the room and a sample puzzle as the intro to get people acclimated and a hint as to what they should be looking for once they get in. You can tell he is passionate about his craft and the company is handcrafting their rooms with care.
With that said the facility was a bit hit or miss. It seems as though they converted an old house to fit their rooms so while they flowed nicely it had the creaks of an old house. The other thing of note is that there were no monitors in the room to get clues or your time remaining, and instead he communicated with you via phone if you needed help. If this was tweaked a bit I think the experience would be that much better.
Unlocked! Is one of two facilities to open in Sussex county and are trying to bring the hobby into a part of New Jersey that is all but devoid of escape games. If you are a veteran escape rooms you might find Locked! In the Bistro! to be a bit easy for your tastes. While the room may be lacking the bells and whistles of the higher end New York City rooms, Unlocked! isn’t looking to compete with them. Their self proclaimed niche is families, work groups, and newbies. With that in mind I have no problems telling you to check out the Daily Specials at Unlocked! Escape Rooms and let them know that LockedinReviews.com sent you!