My first escape experience was at Tick Tock Unlock in Leeds in 2015 (and the reason why Tick Tock Unlock will forever be a favourite of mine). I'd heard of escape rooms before but only had the opportunity to go when we organised a family trip to the Hatch room for my brother's 30th.
The venueTick Tock Unlock is situated in an office building that's very close to Leeds train station. In 2015, the venue was fairly small, only containing three rooms with two themes: Blueprint and Hatch. The briefing area had lots of locks and puzzles to warm up your brain before you go into the room itself.
We were greeted by Yeti, who talked us through the rules, locks, and what to expect. He also mentioned that Hatch was very new and the more difficult of the two themes. This made us immediately nervous - we definitely wanted to escape on our first attempt of a room!
The roomHatch is a room with a theme that appealed to my old love for the TV show Lost (let's not talk about that ending). You're on a tropical island, where nothing is as it seems, and you have 60 minutes to figure out what exactly is going on there.
The room itself was decorated as a jungle and the music was very dramatic and creepy. Clues were delivered via a large screen on the wall, which also acts as a timer.
All six of us had so much fun in this room! I found the puzzles pretty tricky at the time, but now I look back, they are probably some of the most difficult puzzles in any of the rooms I've been in. Yeti provided cryptic clues just at the right times so that the game moved along at a good pace.
We played this room all the way back in 2015, but the one thing that still stands out for me was one of the later puzzles in the room. It's genius and will have you scratching your heads for a while.
After lots of confusion, teamwork and panic, we escaped the room with around six minutes to spare! At the time, we were told that this was the fastest time so far. I'm pretty sure that was because the room had just opened, and that the fastest time now is much, much quicker.
Final thoughtsI would definitely recommend both Hatch and Tick Tock Unlock. Both this room and the venue itself are still a favourite, and much of this is due to the great room themes and amazing staff.
I give Hatch four out of five locks!
Find out more about Tick Tock Unlock here.