More fun than school!
It’s been tough for pupils, it’s been tough for parents – well now the teacher’s can get their revenge with:
“The School of Hard Locks – Teacher’s Revenge”.
This is a school-room with a difference…it’s all a set up! Not that you knew that when you turned up for little Timmy’s parents’ evening. Just a normal 10 minute chat about how he was getting on. Oh how wrong you can be – what has the teacher done? Add crafty, clever and amusing puzzles with a little revenge and what do you get? An hour of FUN! But can you find Timmy’s report yourself or will the teacher win?
Day twelve of our escape room road trip and we had just finished playing Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop, and Conspiracist at Want to Escape in Rushden. The only games left to play were their newest room, Teacher’s Revenge, and their most famous room, Guardian of the Gallery.
We were told that the waiting area at Want to Escape should be more comfortable than it was, but they have removed a number of things to make it more COVID secure – but we found it comfortable enough as it was and there was plenty of space to move around, or avoid other teams if any did appear.
Our time in the waiting room gave us enough time to admire the leaderboard on the wall. At Want to Escape, if you set a record (top four) in any of their rooms then you get to keep a real record. This is a record of a random song/artist but they write your team name and time on it, you get to take one home to keep and one remains on the wall. I’m proud to say we have two such records in our collection now.
As this was the new room at Want to Escape, we knew even less about this game than we did about the others. Teacher’s Revenge, or to call it by it’s full title: Teacher’s Revenge: School of Hard Locks, we guessed was a room that was based in a classroom, but that was as far as our knowledge went. Interestingly though, we found out that one of the owners (and our GM), James, actually is/was a teacher, so we thought it would be interesting to see if his experiences as a teacher affected the room design at all.
James gave us the health and safety briefing in reception and then proceeded to provide the story. It’s worth noting for Teacher’s Revenge the game is up a flight of stairs and there is one obstacle in the room that will need to be navigated. If that’s too much of a problem (the obstacle, not the stairs), they have a workaround in place so just make sure you let them know that you want to use this.
Covid-19 Procedures: Excellent COVID precautions, a (covered) outdoor sink was provided and visitors are requested to wash hands before entering the building. Plenty of hand sanitiser provided and there was a strict mask policy when we visited in May 2021.
It’s been a long time since I was in a school, and I’m pretty sure I remember my old classrooms being bigger than the space in Teacher’s Revenge, but it was a great space and certainly brought back memories of perhaps primary school (if I can remember that far back) – think lots of bright colours and soft furnishings and you’ll get a good idea of the finish here.
In the classroom we were greeted with a video recording from our teacher, which added more depth and immersion to our task. When we entered Teacher’s Revenge it was kinda like an assault on the senses as there was so much to take in, but we found it easy enough to work out where to start and then everything seemed to just flow naturally from there. The upbeat music certainly helped to push us along too.
Perhaps it was because this room was new, but everything felt like quality in this room and like it was built to last, also nothing felt out of place. Ok, there were things you’d perhaps not expect to see in a classroom, but nothing that stood out like it didn’t belong.
I mentioned how Want to Escape give out records if you record a Top Four time, but not everyone will get one of those. However what you do get after your game is a report card! This was a great touch, totally on theme and gave a detailed breakdown of how quick you were on each puzzle and a nice little photo too – a lovely memento of a really fun game.
I’m very pleased to report that the puzzles in this game did not bring back horrible memories of school homework, instead they were lighthearted and fun with some good humour thrown in, we found ourselves laughing quite regularly.
All of the puzzles fitted the theme well and covered subjects you’d expect to find in school: general knowledge, science, maths, geography and even some languages. Don’t worry though, everything you need is in the room and these puzzles are fun and clever.
With so many subjects covered it’s no surprise that there were a number of different puzzle types in this room. Wordplay, maths (not too complex), observation, minor searching, logic, and a bit of lateral thinking. Essentially, something for everyone.
On top of all of that there was one puzzle that would be classed as a physical/skill puzzle. Want to Escape seem to love throwing in skill puzzles, but fortunately this one wasn’t too complex and was good fun.
I imagine one of the hardest things about creating an escape room is to make it so that it is challenging for experienced and inexperienced players alike. Smartly, Want to Escape have made at least one puzzle scalable in difficulty, so even the youngest of escapers can take part.
I’d love to say we sailed through this game and got top marks for taking no clues, but that wasn’t the case. We definitely needed one clue, I believe for a search fail, and we possibly needed another for general stupidity. When we did need the clues they were delivered promptly by James, in fact I’m pretty sure one he anticipated as he left us just long enough to struggle before pointing out the error of our ways.
When clues arrived they were delivered by a screen in the room and were accompanied by a noise so we knew to look. This screen also displayed the timer for our game.
If school was this fun, I’d probably be a doctor. This room was a joy from start to end thanks to its clever puzzles and lighthearted design. Was it as fun as Shimmy Shimmy or as impressive as Guardians? Probably not, but it was very close!
It’s worth pointing out that this game was pretty new when we played and some aspects may have been tweaked since we played in May 2021. But I’m sure if anything has changed it will be a positive change to improve an already great game.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 47 minutes
Address: 40a Newton Rd, Rushden NN10 0HD