Review: Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop, The Depot

“Can you turn the twisted key?”

Another weekend, another escape-the-room challenge, this time in the form of Handmade Mysteries’ Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop at The Depot, the pub that is underneath the Pleasance in North London. Handmade Mysteries’ take on the problem-solving genre is a richly fantastical one as we’d previously experienced in their Lady Chastity’s Reserve and Poppa Plock proved to be no exception.

The set-up for the game, as best I can recall, is that your team needs to complete one final project by toymaker Plock in order to escape the workshop, which is fantastically eerie with its childhood-games-gone-wrong aesthetic. In order to find the component parts for that project, there’s a whole series of clues to find, puzzles to solve, codes to crack, games to play, you get the picture…

Guiding you on your way is the saucy wind-up merchant Wynne, who has mastered the art of creeping up unexpectedly but also judges the assistance he doles out extremely well, making sure that you’re not lingering too long on any of the tougher challenges. As ever, the fun comes in doing it as a team, so it is worth finding enough pals (up to six) to do it exclusively, as so much of your success comes from the communication between you all. 

Altogether, I have to say it was one of the more enjoyable iterations of this ever-compulsive genre (it helps that we managed to complete it, with some assistance as you can see!) as it balances ingenuity with difficulty and never forgets to be hugely entertaining with it. I also recommend the po’boys from the pub afterwards!

Running time: 1 hour

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