Escape Room LA – The Pyramid [Review]

You might have to make a small sacrifice.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date played: December 2, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per ticket weekdays, $37 per ticket weekends

REA Reaction

The Pyramid was an imposing monolith of puzzles.

Escape Room LA stands out as a large-team, puzzle-focused company in a city that generally emphasizes storytelling. The Pyramid impressed us with elaborate sets, numerous reveals, and challenging, tangible puzzles… all without sacrificing adventure.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with a least some experience
  • Larger groups
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Many tangible puzzles
  • Dramatic reveals
  • Large scale
  • It’s a challenge

Story

We set off on a journey to find the mythical Mayan Mask of the Jade Warrior. Finding the artifact would ensure our survival.

In-game: A stone alter with glowing red eyes and teeth and a pedestal with small statues atop it.

Setting

The Pyramid was an Indiana Jonesy adventure through a Mayan temple. It had an aesthetic that hovered comfortably between realistic and cartoonish. I mean that as a compliment. It was a fun place to puzzle.

Gameplay

Escape Room LA built gameplay around large groups and collaborative challenges.

The Pyramid contained lots of puzzles (and skulls). There was enough for everyone to sink their teeth into.

Standouts

The Pyramid spanned multiple large and varied sets. These were detailed and they hid their secrets well.

In-game: 4 pillars of skulls, above them, the ceiling is covered in skulls.

At each set change junction, we confronted an impressive, interactive gate. The sets, combined with imposing gates, created grand reveals continually throughout the experience.

We enjoyed many of the puzzles in The Pyramid. They made use of the set pieces and props. We traversed the various sets with purpose.

The starting puzzle sequence introduced escape room gameplay and cooperation. It opened The Pyramid well.

We brought a large and talented team (plus one infant); everyone was busy throughout the experience.

Given the Mayan staging, we encountered a number of symbol systems. Escape Room LA incorporated these into the various puzzles. We also found them helpful for separating the different puzzles in play.

Shortcomings

While some of us enjoyed the symbols, others felt like they made many of the puzzles feel too similar. We were continuously matching or interpreting different symbol systems.

The Pyramid contained multiple puzzles in each game segment. Since many of these required teamwork, sometimes across large distances, the noise of other teammates working together became a frustrating obstacle. Additionally, because so much was happening at once, we were frequently confused as to which interaction had triggered which reveal.

Within The Pyramid we uncovered multiple notebooks containing important clue structure. While these fit the theming, they hindered gameplay, as only one person in the group could use them at any given time. To alleviate bottlenecking, we recommend separate written materials or incorporating these clues into the set.

One of the larger props was touchy. Our gamemaster had to continually reprimand us for attempting to manipulate it in unintended ways. If Escape Room LA does not want players to get creative with this prop, they need to improve the intended interaction.

One smaller space needed to be cleaned. Achoo.

Tips for Visiting

  • Bring a larger group. The Pyramid will be best if you parallel puzzle.
  • Escape Room LA is located in downtown LA. Plan for street parking.

Book your hour with Escape Room LA’s The Pyramid, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Room LA comped our tickets for this game.

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