Escape Corvallis – Dialed In [Review]

At least one circuit is busy.

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Date played: May 20, 2017

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

Story & setting

Dialed In was an old-school puzzle room without a narrative or theme. When we “dialed in” the correct code, we’d find the key to our escape.

Escape Corvallis had furnished a former photo studio with odds and ends to puzzle through.

In-game: An assortment of furnature sitting in a white and blue photo studio with curved infinity walls.
That’s not a visual trick; the floor and walls curve into one another.

Puzzles

Dialed In was a basic, old-school escape room. We had to search hard, find the relevant items, and connect the proverbial dots.

Standouts

Dialed In recreated the feel of an old-school point & click escape room game.

Our gamemaster was friendly, attentive, and helpful.

Shortcomings

There were a few serious electrical safety hazards in Dialed In. One puzzle required us to tamper with what appeared to be a standard electrical outlet. While this particular interaction was safe, this puzzle design teaches players unsafe behavior.

Dialed In bottlenecked. In particular, it didn’t provide enough tools for more than one player to participate in key segments of the experience.

One puzzle relied on outside knowledge.

Much of the puzzling took place in one dimension. The puzzles didn’t interact with the space beyond the scavenging. Especially since room’s shape was rather unique, given its earlier incarnation as a photo studio, this seemed like a missed opportunity.

Should I play Escape Corvallis’ Dialed In?

Escape Corvallis was the first escape room in Corvallis and Dialed In, their first game. Dialed In was an older style escape room: find the relevant information within the space and piece it together to get out.

If you enjoy point & click games, you’ll find this an accurate real-life version.

Unfortunately, the escape room industry has moved beyond Dialed In: in puzzle design, the incorporation of physical space, and safety awareness. This simply isn’t an accurate representation of where the industry is in 2017.

We hope that the team behind Escape Corvallis has the opportunity to go experience the growth of escape room design and then bring that back to Corvallis. We’re rooting for them.

Full disclosure: Escape Corvallis provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

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