View All Posts

Sep 13

Locked Manhattan celebrates three years of mind-bending challenges

Posted on September 13, 2018 at 1:08 PM by Michael Goens

Brainteasers can be fun and we’ll prove it at the end of this blog with a mental exercise linked from Forbes online. If you miss any of 10 riddles you’ll be mortified that you didn’t process the questions more thoroughly.

That, in essence, is the concept of escape rooms like Locked Manhattan, two blocks west of Manhattan Town Center at the corner of 4th and Houston streets (122A S. 4th St.). Brainteasers compounded. The compilation of puzzles presented at Locked tantalizes the mind. Given time, most people are more than capably equipped to find a solution.

Therein lies the rub. At Locked Manhattan, time is of the essence. After one hour, your time is up!
LockedLogo.highres_ (002)

Assemble your team for success
Not easy. But fun! Great when used as teambuilding exercise and friendship-enhancing challenges. “Earning” your escape makes 60 minutes seem like 30. Warning: you’ll be obsessed with solving each puzzle and advancing forward to the end. Locked offers four active rooms ($21 entry for three or more players) each with distinctly different challenge levels and entertainment value.

“We like to take people out of this reality and put them into another reality altogether to make a new discovery,” Locked co-proprietor Jessica Tegethoff offers as the Locked conceptualization.

Think you’re up to the task?

Difficult team challenges
Three of the four rooms have proven difficult to the extent that 24-34 percent success comprises the escape rates. Easy as Pi, right? This month, Locked Manhattan celebrates its third anniversary of beguiling guests with fascinating fun. A summer room addition, The Dalton Plan, introduced a heavily Kansas-influenced theme into the Locked rotation. In this room, you’re accused of being a member of the notorious Dalton Gang of three brothers which ultimately met its real-life demise in Coffeyville.

Can you escape the sheriff’s noose to freedom?

“The Dalton Plan has proven to be our most difficult room,” Tegethoff says, “with the amount of puzzles and the amount of difficulty within each puzzle. We’ve included some parts of state history as an ode to Kansas. We put a lot of work into the aesthetics – a lot of Western influences -- and it’s been received very well. It’s been a good theme and a good challenge.”

The_Dalton_PlanThe Dinner Party
Four rooms, moderate success
Only 16 percent escape “jail” in time from The Dalton Plan room and as such, Locked MHK website recommends it not be your first "escape" attempt. The Witching Hour, The Dinner Party and Outpost 10 have set the standard for Locked escape rooms.

Nothing is easy. Teamwork is paramount.

Introduction of new rooms takes about a month of construction. Locked owners concentrate to build each with local materials and rooms are thoroughly vetted by beta testers.

For the unindoctrinated to what constitutes an escape room, a sequence of clues lead Locked guests along the quest. Word clues. Logic puzzles. Locked rooms keep guests on their toes, keep them engaged and excited about the adventure, Tegethoff emphasizes. Clue solutions are moments of rejoicing among groups. Quick rejoice, as it’s on to the next clue.

Group psychology plays a dutiful role in untangling the narratives.

“We call it the hero moment,” Tegethoff says of solving micro-level puzzles. “How people feel in that hero moment is important. That’s what we build for is that excitement.”

That excitement is vitally important to solve puzzles and ultimately conquer the escape. Remember Emerson’s theorem: Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm? When it comes to Locked: Get Pumped Up or Stay Locked Up!

P.S. They do let you out, irrespective of your group's success or failure!!! Great fun in the heart of The Little Apple©.

Book your escape challenge at or 262-THE-LOCK.
Locked features 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. business hours 


You must log in before leaving your comment