Escape The Place, Colorado Springs – The Chamber [Review]

A head-to-head competitive escape room that feels a lot like the video game “The Room.”

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Date played: September 5, 2015

Team size: up to 10 (5 versus 5); we recommend 4 or 6, definitely an even number

Price: $28 per ticket

REA Golden Lock-In Badge
2015 Golden Lock-In Winner

Theme & story

The setup for this game is a little out-there:

Two teams that are part of a demolition crew have finished setting explosives in a building. The timers were set for an hour when both teams stepped into identical rooms with cosmic scrawling on the walls, Leonardo da Vinci art, and a mysterious sealed cube in the middle of the room. The doors lock behind the teams and they have to find a way out before they are killed by their own explosives.

Like I said… A little out-there. Thankfully the setup doesn’t stop this from being a very special escape game.

“The Room”

“The Room” (and its sequel, “The Room Two”) are far and away my favorite mobile/tablet video games. The entire game is about unlocking a puzzle box. Each time you solve the box, it reveals another box within it. It’s the Russian nesting dolls of puzzle games.

The elegance of “The Room” is derived from the simplicity of its interactions. The game designers allow the player to control the game by directly touching the puzzle box. The controls are simple, and the game is beautifully rendered.

The real-life room escape industry owes a debt of gratitude to this video game, among others. I have been waiting a long time to see a live room escape game company riff of The Room.

Escape The Place has done just that.

The cube

The beating heart of this game is the cleverly engineered cube in the middle of the room. It produces a linear experience that is filled with original puzzles.

It’s physically interactive and it left quite an impression on me.

Competitive play

We had five players, so we split the teams along gender lines (at the suggestion of the gamemaster). Two women vs. three men… Neither Lisa nor I were thrilled to play one another.

The hinting system worked via walkie-talkie. If your team asked for a hint, the other team heard it.

This particular game played almost entirely to my strengths and Lisa had a rough time. It also turned out that three people was the right team size; two was a serious handicap.

Both teams escaped, but with about a 20 minute differential.

Each team can track the progress of the other via the LEDs on the control panel.
Each team can track the progress of the other via the LEDs on the control panel.

Some bumps

We were the first paying customers in The Chamber. As such, we contended with puzzle failures:

There was a lock that neither Lisa nor I knew how to release.

There were two locks that were positioned in ways that were very challenging to open.

And in Lisa’s room, there was one mechanical puzzle failure.

All of this stuff is fixable, but it detracted from our overall experience.

Should I play Escape The Place’s The Chamber?

This was our first competitive room escape experience and we really enjoyed it. This room was designed for us to escape; the game was in the race.

Get an even number of people together (ideally 6 in total, but 8 would be ok). Make sure players have played at least one room escape game before. Then go at it to outplay the people in the next room.

The Chamber has a silliness about it at first, but that quickly fades as the experience takes over… It is a must-play experience if you’re anywhere near Colorado Springs.

Book your time with Escape The Place’s The Chamber, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Allow your thoughts to escape

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