RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 10:43
Trapped by a mad scientist who conveniently moonlights at a mental health facility, he may just steal our brains without anyone even noticing.
Dr. Marian Hemlock is madly insane and has turned the mental facility into his own lab. He is experimenting with patients, doing surgeries to extract part of their brain and condemn them to live without consciousness. He will never let them recover or leave…
Team with others to escape the asylum within 60 minutes before you become mentally doomed!
Locked Inside crafts a rather unique take on the somewhat clichéd mad scientist story with Psycho Ward, successfully finding a way to immerse its players into the storyworld, making them active participants.
The experience is even further brought to life upon first encountering one of the facility’s missing patients. Throughout several themed interactions with her, the question quickly becomes whether she is here to help you or see to it you don’t ever leave this place outside of a body bag.
Psycho Ward’s take on an asylum as its setting is executed fairly modestly when it comes to the game’s scenic. It’s multiple rooms are fairly sparse and empty, leaving them to feel a bit more like standard offices lightly themed than a vintage mental health facility.
However, the clever inclusion of the escaped patient actor role does help this game translate from the reality of its space to the crafted reality of its storyworld. From some cleverly placed scares to the nonsense behavior of a lunatic, to the cunning calculation of someone who may be either working with you or against you, the minimal scenic is given a jolt of authenticity thanks to her. In that way, the actor really adds a great value to Psycho Ward’s total package.
Locked Inside clearly set out to make each puzzle step a logical, interconnected part of the storyworld, and for that we have great appreciation. Some puzzles exist to cruelly test the mental functions of patient victims fresh off their lobotomies, measuring memory function and logical deduction skills.
Other puzzles cast an even darker mood, clearly left behind by one of those victims who, much like ourselves, began their visit trapped in this facility, now hoping to find a way out. Clearly for them, things did not end well – but thanks to their sacrifice we have a chance of finding our own way out.
Psycho Room isn’t just your standard key and code affair either. Though they still exist where logically integrated into their surroundings, several of this game’s puzzles involve buttons and some light use of technology, helping to add to the more advanced flavor the concept of a mad scientist naturally evokes.
Overall we enjoyed our time spent in the Psycho Ward. It’s a unique approach that makes its players the main characters of a clearly established storyworld, enhanced greatly by the well-implemented us of a live actor to both add urgency and authenticity.
Important to know here is that the actor’s character is not the star; you the player are. This understanding of using characters as supporting cast to instead let guests take the lead leads greatly to the success Locked Inside had with the design of this game.
Psycho Ward continues to be a work in progress, as the team at Locked Inside has been steadily making adjustments after each bit of feedback they receive. This type of dedication to delivering the best possible results truly benefi only the players, and shows just how much this venue strives to be spoken of among the best in Central Florida.
Psycho Ward is a game designed completely in house by the team at Locked Inside, and as such it’s a clear labor of love for them. In fact on our visit, the game’s designer herself surprised us by playing the role of the insane patient, adding a wonderfully personal flair to our experience.
If you find yourself feeling a bit stressed on Central Florida’s east coast, check yourself in to this ward for a little quality rest and relaxation. It will either get your troubles off your mind, or leave you without a mind to have troubles on in the first place. Either way, it seems win-win to us!
Venue: Locked Inside
Location: Indialantic, Florida
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $29 per person (minimum four)