We Tried This: Unlocked Escape Room
6 things you should know about Honolulu’s scariest escape room.
Photos: Courtesy of UNLOCKED Escape Room
Editors’ note: The HONOLULU Magazine staff is always excited to try new things. With this web series, we bring you activities we tried for the first time.
We know, we know, this is not our first escape room. But when we heard that the team behind Haunted Plantation put together a horror-themed room at Ward Village called Unlocked: The Killer’s Experiment, we thought, what better way to get in the spooky spirit than an interactive, heart-pumping game of terror? Digital media manager Diane Lee, associate art director Gary Saito and I returned for redemption, dragging along art director Kelsey Ige and her husband, Matthew Ing, associate art director Erica Kunihisa, editor in chief Robbie Dingeman and her husband, Brian Gilhooly.
Here’s the basic setup: You walk into a storefront with creepy music and old films playing, an animatronic mannequin reaching out for you, and a wall full of toy baby heads. Don’t mind the puddle of blood on the table. Once you’ve checked in and signed a form agreeing that you’re doing this of your own will and won’t sue anyone if something jumps out and grabs you, it’s time to hear the tale. The room you’re about to enter belongs to a serial killer—The Sandman—and, though you’re about to be locked in, he wants to give you a chance to escape. Try not to scream as he peeks out at you, moments before you plunge into total darkness.
The room is filled with clues that will lead you to combination codes and keys that will, hopefully, eventually, set you free of The Sandman’s dungeon. (We made it out, but only because the staff invited us to try the room for free and allowed us extra time so we could experience the whole thing.) If you need help, you can hold up a sign for a hint—just remember that you’re dealing with a serial killer who’s watching your every move, and you’ll get what you ask for. Be careful not to make him angry. You only have 60 minutes before you become his next victim.
1. WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED?
Four to 10 people are allowed in at a time. No one under 13 is allowed, and anyone under 18 must be with an adult. Again, we made sure to go with a mix of personalities—some creative, some organized, some fearless. It’s a lot more fun if you go with scaredy-cats, as long as you have a few level-headed friends who can stay calm in frightening situations. But the screams really add to the experience.
2. WHEN TO GO
Reservations can be booked online. There are slots available every hour-and-a-half from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Get there early to go over the rules and make sure you have a full hour in the room.
3. WHERE IS IT?
The Unlocked Escape room is in the Warehouse side of Ward Village, closest to the theaters, next to Waiola Shave Ice.
4. HOW WE FELT (BEFORE)
Kelsey: I’m getting scared and feeling adrenaline.
Diane: We didn’t make it out of Breakout Waikīkī last time. It’s time for redemption.
Gary: I just hope that nothing jumps out and scares me.
Robbie: I’m excited, but I don’t know what to expect since it’s my first escape room.
5. HOW WE FELT (AFTER)
Erica: After finally escaping, I was very much relieved to be back in a well-lit room. I went through a roller coaster of emotions throughout the entire thing, but I would definitely like to try other versions of the escape room!
Kelsey: I felt mostly scared at the end and didn’t feel too helpful at all, haha. I even dreamed about being alone in the room. By myself. It made me realize I can NOT handle haunted attractions (let alone solve puzzles in one). But it really was so much fun with friends! I highly recommend it (scaredy-cats beware).
Katrina: At times, it felt like we were never going to get out. The final moments were really tense and I kept groaning like Tina from Bob’s Burgers to keep from screaming. I had nightmares that night.
Diane: This escape room was dark, creepy and challenging to tackle even with eight people on our team. I really liked the interactions we had with the serial killer, which made the escape room feel like the real thing.
Go to the bathroom before you go in, since you will not be allowed to re-enter (and you don’t want any accidents if you’re suddenly surprised).
Keep track of which codes and keys you’ve already used. It can get confusing with a large group. There’s a pen and paper in the room—designate one person to take notes so you don’t waste time trying to find the pen.
You have unlimited clues, so don’t be afraid to ask for them. Well, maybe a little afraid. We won’t tell you what form they come in.
Keep track of time! There’s a clock on the wall but it’s not a countdown, so monitor your own pace.
Use a locker to store your belongings outside the room, since you can’t bring anything in—not even phones.
If you get too freaked out and need to leave, there’s a board with the word “FAIL” on it. Hold it up to a camera and the game is over.
Book a room during the week for 20 percent off—use the code WEEKDAY20 for slots Monday through Thursday, or before 4:30 p.m. on Friday.
$24–$36 per person (the larger the group, the cheaper per person), located at Ward Village, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., #1430, 783-8381, youhave60minutes.com