Morpheus Show: Locked Down | Review

Morpheus Show Locked Down Review | You wake to find yourself in a strange place. Memories distorted – a jigsaw puzzle of violence and horror. But what happened? As you explore your new surroundings, the pieces begin to slot together. There was a deadly virus. Mass panic. Riots. A civil war. There is now just one hope for civilization: you.

Completion Time: 2 hours
Date Played: 3rd November 2021
Party Size: 4 (+2)

Before setting out to play a Morpheus Show experience I read a lot of reviews. It seemed like this would be unlike anything else I’d ever played… And yes, despite reading up and getting in the zone as best I could, nothing could have prepared me for what the actual experience was like.

Instead I loaded up the Zoom call with my team with Rebecca, and Escaping the Closet, donned a blindfold, and was transported into an incredible, slightly terrifying, immersive world.

Live Action RPG Meets Thriller Meets Escape Room

So let’s address the elephant in the room – what is Locked Down and how does Morpheus Show work exactly?

Morpheus is an online interactive & immersive audio theatre experience, Morpheus takes place entirely in your mind as you are blindfolded and the world around you is described and implied solely by audio clues. Each guest will create their own visual interpretation of the show.

Morpheus Show ‘About’ Page

What this means is that it is a hosted, auditory adventure. No need for fancy graphics, because the whole game takes place entirely within your head. Your imagination is quite literally the limit.

You and up to 5 other players put on a blindfold and the game is described to you by the host.

“You wake up in an unfamiliar room”

As a team, you must move together. Meaning the situation is described to you and whilst individual characters can do different things… Such as Rebecca donning a dressing down whilst my character chose to stare out the window… you must make a decision as a group to move to a new location or explore something closer. In this way, it’s a little but like Dungeons and Dragons. Players can call out their action and the Games Master will respond accordingly, describing what then happens.

Because the game is played with a blindfold on, it’s also (probably accidentally) totally accessible for a blind audience. I thought this was really nice, as it’s a question we hear from time to time. Access Escape is generally seen as the leading company in accessible escape room experiences, but it’s cool to know there’s another on the scene.

The moments after we all put our blindfolds on…

Welcome to the Apocalypse

In Locked Down, players wake up in a dark room with a headache and fragmented memories about how they got there. Moments before we had been driving through London happily, embarking upon a trip, not a care in the world. Suddenly disaster struck – our car crashed! Days later, the hospital is dark and not a soul can be found.

In our playthrough of Locked Down it quickly became evident that a terrible virus had swept the world leaving few people remaining. Those that had survived were fragmented into militias. A tannoy overhead kept repeating more and more dystopian messages and as we crept through the hospital eerie screams and crashes reminded us of the horror outside.

Being in the middle of a pandemic ourselves, the experience was horribly close to home. For this reason it was all the more exciting too. The current climate, a deadly disease, and just a dash of Day of the Triffids thrown into the mix.

The show actually predates the global pandemic. Produced way back in 2018 by Yana Greene, the script was then adapted from the original Russian and converted into a play-at-home format.

Your Imagination is the Scariest Place to Be

From start to finish the whole experience was wildly immersive. I’m always a little sceptical when experiences take place ‘in your imagination’, but it turns out your imagination is often the scariest place to be. Not knowing what lurked around the next corner or what we might find was the chilling part. We’d hear a noise, and the group would panic and hide. For better or for worse, he outcomes were ours to decide.

Coming from a background of playing live-avatar escape rooms via Zoom, the only jarring thing about moving to Morpheus Show’s format was playing with strangers. Especially with our blindfolds on, it’s hard to know who you’re talking to. Instead, you have only the faceless voices of strangers you’ve never met before.

The game sets up the premise of ‘being with friends’, but unlike live avatar escape rooms (with mostly offer exclusive bookings for teams of 2-6), or even live roleplay games playing Dungeons and Dragons, the synergy of playing with friends and having a common goal was lacking. As such, some players took a more dominant role, making decisions collectively was met with resistance, and we struggled not to talk over one another during high-action scenes.

That said, of course it wouldn’t be fair to judge Morpheus Show on our escape room expectations. We just mention it as a word of advice for any escape room enthusiast wishing to book an exclusive show. A lot of folks will probably love being put in with strangers, and for sure there’s a kind of magic to starting as strangers and ending the show was best friends!

The Escape Roomer Badge Immersion

The Verdict

Overall we loved Locked Down. Morpheus Show is a wholly unique experience and we were blown away by the storytelling and production value that’s gone into it.

We’ve also chosen to award this show our ‘I Believe’ award for it’s incredible level of immersion. Sitting in the dark with nothing but your imagination is one thing, but the way this show manages to elevate your heart rate and send real shivers up your spin is quite another. At many points in the show I gasped out loud, and at many more moments I considered taking my blindfold off for a break from the vivid scenes. Truly Locked Down transports you to another world and for those two hours we lost sight of what was real or not anymore.

Locked Down can be booked on Morpheus Show’s website here.

Ratings

Author

  • Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and covers escape room news and reviews across the UK's South.

Morpheus Show: Locked Down | Review
  • Theming
  • Quality
  • Immersion
  • Innovation
  • Fun Factor
5

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