Date completed: April 2017 (5 players). Succeeded escaping!
Creativity: 8; Difficulty: 5.5; Atmosphere: 8.5; Fun: 8.5
- No language required; hints in English or Spanish (Castilian)
- 2-5 players
Yo-ho-ho, a pirate’s life for me! Yarr… Actually, no really. They would spend months in the sea pillaging and lacking vitamins, which is not all that appealing. But everyone has played pirates before, right? And their popularity has had a recent resurgence, reinforced in recent years with the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise and Black Sails tv series. A key part of this genre has been the treasures taken from the new world, shipped back to the Spanish crown in treasure fleets, which were some of the prime targets of pirates because they would transport tons of gold and silver from Latin America to Europe.
Lock-Clock used the historical background of Spanish navigation to create a very fun and family-friendly escape room, Aztec Treasure (Tesoro Azteca, in Castilian). You are the assistant team to Captain Pablo in a galleon loaded with gold. In an unfortunate night a storm hits and the ship is sinking! Your mission is to recover as much of the treasure as you can. If you will retrieve it for your boss or sell it to the pirates later, it’s your call… But find the gold coins, yaaarrrr!!!
Aztec Treasure takes place in a very well decorated room – the captain’s cabin. A recording of Captain Pablo himself welcomes you explaining the mission: search the room for the 20 pure gold coins he hid away in his cabin. His late assistant, now a skeleton, sits motionless at his desk. (No, this is not the sort of escape room where it will move and give cheap scares. You can approach it at no risk).
Once the clock on the room started, we quickly started rummaging and found that there was much more to the trappings of the cabin than meets the eye. As we progressed through looking for the Aztec Treasure, I really enjoyed how Lock-Clock created so many puzzles inside a room without making any of them too obvious. Most of them were well embedded in the captain’s cabin and the designers of the room found ingenious ways of hiding things in plain sight. We found only one part of Aztec Treasure that screamed “look, I’m a puzzle!”
Speaking of puzzles, they were a combination of clever search tasks, association and basic deduction work. Their difficulty varied from the very easy, such as finding hidden coins, to puzzles which have layers. There was even a bit of physical activity – nothing too strenuous though. This isn’t the real deal on the high seas. Have you ever used a telescope, a globe or pulled ropes to adjust sails? Nothing was too complex, and we manage to recover all 20 coins in 40 minutes, more or less. As the game is completely non-linear, everyone in a team should be able to find something different to do.
This is considered the easy level room in Lock-Clock, and was cleverly built to accommodate players from the age of 8 onwards. That does not mean the game is not interesting for older players: our team of five adults (all of us were over 30) had a pretty good time finding all the hidden treasure! That was probably one of the strengths of this room: there will be something for every type of person. While I was decoding ancient Aztec symbols, Trapspringer was going through some fishing equipment and food crates and my parents were looking at a list of countries that were sending their vessels to the Caribbean sea. Kids will be able to contribute a lot to this adventure, and if you look attentively, there are elements in the room that will give you extra hints of were to look next.
In case you need some extra help, you can just yell “we need a hint” or “pista, por favor” to the walls and Captain Pablo will reply through the sound system with some guidance. We needed his assistance once, but if we were a bit more observant we probably would have managed without him! Overall, Aztec Treasure was a fun game that we would recommend for those days you prioritize a nice time with friends over challenge and thrill. It is probably a good room to introduce the escape room hobby to new players or to entertain young escapees.
In Lock-Clock we also played Gaudi’s Secrets. We did not have a chance to try their other room, After Party, but the theme that was original and seemed great for bucks/hens parties: you wake up in a trashed apartment and have no recollection of the previous night – only that you were going out with friends. Maybe well try that the next time the winds take us to Barcelona! Yaarrr!
Out of the room
Service: Our gamemasters were really nice and did their best to make our multi-lingual group comfortable. The reception area is very large and Lock-Clock often runs art exhibitions and music presentations in parallel with the rooms. Check in their website and Facebook page if there any extra activities going on. They have a cafe there too.
There are lockers for belongings and the toilets are spacious and clean.
Communication: Aztec Treasure can normally run in English or Spanish (Castillian), but if requested beforehand, there are gamemasters fluent in Catalan (the language spoken in Barcelona), Italian, French and Russian. Hints will come through the sound system if you ‘speak to the walls’.
Surroundings: The venue is located in the Gothic Quarter, also know as the Old City. We highly recommend having a map or a navigation app to walk around! Many companies run free walking tours in the area, which we highly recommend as it is a great source of information about Barcelona’s history.
You will also be at walking distance from La Rambla (which roughly translate to “the stroll”), famous street that connects Plaza de Catalunya with Cristovan Columbus statue by the sea. Considered by many the soul of Barcelona, La Rambla hosts beautiful shops, markets and restaurants. Do not miss it.