Captured LA – Starlet Killer [Review]

It’s a classic LA love story.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Date played: March 20, 2016

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-6

Price: $25 per ticket

Theme & story

It was the 1940s and you (all of you!) are aspiring Hollywood starlets. Together(?), you are meeting with a potential agent when you realize all the starlets he has represented have been mysteriously murdered. You have an hour to escape or you will be his next victim.

Set in the 40s, this story was a little far-fetched. However, it was a fun local staging for a murder mystery game.

That said, it was a little strange that the story was clearly about one person trapped by a killer, but there were a whole bunch of us.

Set design

The set reflected the time period. It felt like the agent’s parlor.

This game had an unpolished design. It felt cluttered and raw. This design added to the eerie, haunting mood of the story.

The Starlette Killer interior. There's a rundown home with stained wallpaper, and a fireplace.

Lighting and effects

The mood of the game was further enhanced by the lighting and other effects that started as soon as we entered the room and continued throughout. These added both difficulty and ambiance.

Scavenging heavy

This game required a thorough room turnover. In part, it derived its challenge from the hidden elements. At times, it was also difficult to ascertain where or how to use a discovered clue.


This game was not well maintained. We struggled against a worn lock, a bent lock, and other poorly maintained game items. We burned a lot of time fighting with the mechanisms of the game. At one point we had the correct combination in the aforementioned lock, but we weren’t able to open it.


We brought a team of new players to this experience. There was one moment in the game that shocked and awed them. Experienced players won’t be surprised by this use of technology, but will still enjoy it.


The staff at Captured LA were wonderful. They were welcoming and engaging.

Captured LA team photo

Should I play Captured LA’s Starlet Killer?

We didn’t perform very well in this game, but we still enjoyed it.

It was a good on-ramp for newer players, showing them how to search for clues as well as demonstrating a taste of the technological ingenuity that has become the industry standard. The local theme added a layer of charm.

This game didn’t offer anything particularly novel to experienced players, but if you like murder mystery themes and a raw game design, it could be a lot of fun.

We support low budget games with an unpolished feel. This can add ambiance. But even with this style of game, there is no excuse for the poor maintenance of game elements and tools. These shortcomings severely detracted from our experience. If Captured LA replaced the $30 worth of components that we struggled against, we would have had a much better experience.

Book your hour with Captured LA’s Starlet Killer, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Captured LA comped our tickets for this game.

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