Not for the coulrophobic.
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date played: April 3, 2017
Team size: up to 12; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $28 per ticket
Story & setting
“Happy on the outside and sad on the inside,” a circus clown executed the other circus acts before he started to kill off the guests. We were trapped in his circus of tricks and puzzles, trying to escape before becoming the next victims.
Clowned was nominally set in the circus. Apart from a large and brightly colored mural, the gamespace felt more like a room of puzzles than a larger-than-life circus experience.
Our clown-captor attempted to thwart our survival with standard room escape puzzles and props.
A few puzzles made great use of physicality and space, while others felt a little too paper-y for an escape room.
While the puzzles were pretty typical, we particularly enjoyed two puzzles: one cast a familiar puzzle in a different light, while the other put a new spin on a standard puzzle trope.
The introduction to the room was exciting and humorous.
Clowned suffered from a lack of grand-scale. At times, it nodded to the circus through the decor, but it didn’t ever feel like a place that was a part of the circus.
It wasn’t clear that we should be watching the introductory video. If it was important – either for puzzles or ambiance – we missed it entirely in our eagerness to begin our escape. The sound was so quiet that most of our team didn’t even know a video was playing.
The puzzles occasionally needed additional refinement for improved game flow. There were a few instances of solution ambiguity that should be eliminated. In one such instance, the correct answer seemed weak in comparison to at least one of the other solutions we thought up.
Should I play Big Escape Rooms’ Clowned?
We enjoyed ourselves but weren’t blown away.
Clowned was an old school, entry-level escape room; it consisted of puzzles in a lightly themed setting. Given this, Clowned would be approachable for novice players. The puzzles weren’t too challenging or too involved.
Experienced players should bring a small group and expect to move swiftly.
So long as you’re not afraid of clowns, you can have fun in this escape room. If you don’t like clowns, consider this a warning to stay away.
Book your hour with Big Escape Rooms’ Clowned, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Big Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.