Handmade Mysteries: Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop

Poppa Plock’s eerie creation is part-Pinocchio, part-Frankenstein’s monster. And it’s unfinished! Whether wisely or unwisely, we went to help finish this twisted toy – but did it finish us first?

  • Location: Islington (nearest tube Caledonian Road)
  • Players: up to 6 (age 18+)
  • Attempted: December 2018 as a team of 2

Great things about Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop

  • The overall theming in Poppa Plock is truly memorable, with loads of creative detail and quirky touches. The room is everything you’d expect from an eccentric toymaker’s wonky workshop, and for us, it hit a sweet spot between sinister and silly.
  • This is definitely an escape room where the host is an essential part of the theme. Our host Tom played his role enthusiastically from the moment he came to collect us from the adjacent Depot pub; he was funny, engaging and wooden in the best possible way.
  • Poppa Plock features a decent variety of puzzles and tasks. It’s not a room for those who hate to see combination locks, which are used in several places, but it didn’t feel repetitive.
  • We liked the fact that this room is structured into distinct stages, and audiovisual rewards congratulated us for each stage we completed to let us know we were making progress.
  • Unlike escape rooms where the story is incidental, Poppa Plock is a game that rewards you for paying attention to the narrative.

On the other hand…

  • Maybe some players have been a little too rough with parts of this room; there were a couple of elements that clearly didn’t work as they were intended to, and our host had to intervene to put things back on track more than once. Of course, he did so in character and without spoiling the immersiveness of the experience, but it did slow the momentum somewhat.
  • Poppa Plock is a very linear, sequentially structured room, which wasn’t a problem when playing as a pair, but might be frustrating for larger groups. One task in particular could only be done by two people working together, which would leave other players twiddling their thumbs (or cheering from the sidelines).
  • When we played in December, this room was extremely cold. Wear your long johns!

Who should try this room?

This room is for over-18s only, so it would suit small teams of grown-ups who want to go back to the (slightly creepy) playroom.

Rating – 7/10

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