We took to Escape the Review to find reviews to see which rooms in Reading got good reviews and The Time Machine at Deadlocked Escape Rooms had great reviews. We checked out the website to see what the room was about and it peaked our interest. Its a 90 minute room where you have 60 seconds to fix the time machine otherwise you would be spat out into a random time period each time. The concept sounded pretty original and so we booked as a group of three. We arrived at the building and the confirmation email told us what to do but I was just replying to some messages before our room begun as I didn't want to use my phone inside the building but our host appeared at the door. I'm going to be honest, he was completly different to any games master or host we've had for any escape room we've played before. It was almost as if he was new and unsure of what to do but he was left on his own and he just had to do it. He was quiet and distant and I couldn't quite work out if it was a character or not. We decended down the stair case and at the bottom we were told to put out belongings in a box. He then told us to go in this room and watch a video about the room we would be experiencing. We were told that we would have 60 seconds to fix the time machine but if we failed to fix it in that 60 seconds we would be kicked out into a different time period. The video finished and we were led into the room.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The first 60 seconds in the time machine gave us a chance to familarise ourselves with the things in the room that had to be solved to fix the machine. The room itself is tiny which explains why the game has a max 4 person and it has a very simple, almost bland look to it. Its like you're in a broom cupboard with tinfoil on the wall. We could tell straight away that these rooms were built on a tight budget, not that that ever detracts from a room. We then get spat out into our first time period, the date of which I don't remember but its some point in the future. This room was very simplistic in its design, again minimal and almost fragile theming but it did have a screen that simulated a window and the we got that we were on a space ship. We quickly got to work solving the maths puzzle in this room. I think we had a shakey start as we failed to understand the simple instructions given about what we needed to solve but we eventually got there. The rest of the puzzles were on the computer screen. Whilst we have seen this in other rooms it felt like this room put to much focus on using this device and whilst I understand we were in the future, it just would have been nice to have a few more physical puzzles in the room, especially as you re-enter this room later in the game. We eventually found what we needed from this room and were allowed back into the time machine for another 60 seconds. We only had one of the four things needed to fix it so we were spat into a different time period, this time it was around the time of the Gundpowder Plot. This area had less theming compared to the future room. It was very basic but it weirdly worked as I think we were supposed to be underground anyway so it didn't really need it. We had more hands on puzzles in this area and we quickly solved this area and got back in the time machine for our next 60 seconds.
This time the lights in the time machine didn't come on so we were stood in total darkeness for the 60 seconds unable to actually do anything. We were then spat back out into the future area again but into a different time period in the future. The window display screen had changed and the puzzles on the main screen had changed and become slightly more harder but again the emphasis was on the puzzles on the screen and it just felt repetative as we had only just seen these types of puzzles not 10/15 minutes ago. The puzzles on the screen also felt a bit frustratingly simple. There was a couple of more hands on puzzles in the room too but we solved this room, popped back into the time machine. We managd to find everything we needed to fix the time machine and when the time came we started solving the puzzles but its almost as if it glitched. Things stopped working, lights worked and then didn't and it just felt a bit of a shambles for the finale. We managed to escape the 90 minute room in 51/52 minutes i think it was.
Honestly, this room is so mixed for me. On the one hand its got a really original and great concept but the puzzles themselves just fell flat and the whole experience feels slightly over priced at £25 per person. I always feel bad abut writing a slightly negative review but its best to be honest about the experience you had so they are able to improve it than lie and others experience it the way you did.