ClockLocked: Cleopatra [Review]

clocklogoLocation: Clocklocked, Ultimo, Sydney , NSW, Australia

Date completed:  July 2016 (3 players). Succeeded escaping!

Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 7.5; Atmosphere: 7.5; Fun: 8.5.


  • 3-7 players
  • One team member with full mobility
  • Intermediate English
  • 90 minute room

Cleopatra is the newest room in ClockLocked and also the biggest: it is a 90-minute room! What is Cleopatra about?  A long-time friend sends a package with a message to your team, saying he is in an excavation project in Egypt. He claims to have found an ancient treasure and is now being chased by smugglers. The treasure has been hidden and he has left notes for you to retrieve it.

Will you be quick enough to find the artifacts and your friend before the fiends find you? Be ready to grab a Fedora hat and a crack whip and start the treasure hunt!

Cleopatra starts in a place that looks like some sort of oasis in the desert, adjacent to some ruins, a wall of hieroglyphs and what appeared to be equipment used by other explorers. The setup of the room was very interactive and there was no overt indication of where we should start. Although the notes passed on from the friend from the story provided some initial direction, we found that this escape room was very non-linear from the get go. Cleopatra was a complex, multi-layered game and it should challenge even experienced teams.

We mapped at least four different potential starting points in this escape room. According to the gamemasters, we chose the one least commonly used, however it was the first one we identified! On the other hand, it took us ages to find the hints leading to the ‘most obvious’ starting point… I suppose every team is different, right?

Regardless, there is plenty to to do from the start and we enjoyed playing with a team of 3 experienced members. We would recommend playing with a group of 4-5, however, the room can easily accommodate 7 if you like playing in large groups.

clocklocked-cleoAfter the game, we mapped out the sequence of puzzles to see how complex the game design was and what resulted was a very intricate flowchart  (puzzles crossed each other and different layers unfolded all the time). Despite this, the flow of the game was very smooth. The three of us were busy all the time, and a pair of us were always working on a puzzle while the third would try to figure something else out or go searching for items. A number of puzzles in this room are quite physical and two of them are designed to be tackled with at least two people. One of them will be particularly hard without an extra pair of hands.

There is plenty to explore across all areas of this  escape room and there is a fair amount of searching to do. Some parts of the room are well lit while others will require the use of torches. Make sure you do not leave anything behind in the shadows!

The amount of props is also quite large, and they come in all sizes and shapes, inspired by ancient Egypt. It is easy to get distracted with all the bling and put important things aside, so be organized with everything you find. Our gamemasters told us that on occasion, they’ve observed situations in the past where a team member placed items in their pocket only to forgot it there, driving the rest of the team insane!

Teams playing Cleopatra will also need basic math, some text interpretation, logic, dexterity and excellent search skills. It is not easy to find treasures in ruins, you know? There is stuff everywhere! Association puzzles were not as frequent here as in other escape rooms, but there are some some layered ones. I had the feelings that we knew what to do in most parts of the game, however most puzzles required us to take some time to give the situation a thought – nothing was blatantly obvious.

There are many rooms that rely on fear and tension to propel you to escape, and Cleopatra is NOT one of them. Exploration is the main element of the story, and that is pretty cool. I appreciate when rooms give players incentives to explore and escape because it is adventurous! If you like the thrill without the scary element, you will probably enjoy this game.

Like in Da Vinci, the hint system in Cleopatra was a tablet on the wall. You press a button and a hint appears on the screen. Our gamemasters Laura and Margo again did a good job and steered us the right way even when we were dealing with the tiniest things.

We finished the room in a pretty good time (58min), considering we had one hour and half to do it. The room was not easy though and we could clearly see why Cleopatra is not a standard 60-minute game. Maybe this piece of information about the 90 minute time allocation could have been more explicit on the website, as we got to ClockLocked thinking Cleopatra was a normal length game and wondered why it was more expensive than the other games!

Cleopatra is an intense, fun game, that we recommend for enthusiasts of all ages.

In ClockLocked, we also played the Da Vinci room.

Out of the room

Service: Margo and Laura were very good gamemasters. Briefing was clear and hints were quick and correct. After the game we had a chat with them and also with Robert, who was very enthusiastic about escape rooms in general.

There are lockers for your personal belongings and you can drink free water. In Clocklocked, you pay your games per room, not per person.

Communication: To contact the gamemasters, press a button on the tablet on the wall. A hint will appear after a few seconds.

Surroundings: Clocklocked is located in Ultimo, a short walk from the iconic Darling Harbour. There is plenty to do in the area: Sea Life Aquarium, Madame Tussauds wax museum, delicious (overpriced) restaurants. It is a lovely area to walk, have fun and take lots of pictures. If you are coming from the Chinatown side, make sure to try the delicious mooncakes and soy milk teas sold on the stores all along the streets!

Some reviews on the internet say that it was complicated to find Clocklocked. We did not have any issue and found our way there easily. Probably, signaling was improved since older reviews were written. For another view of this room, check out what All Access has to say.



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