Key to Escape – Cuckoo’s Nest [Review]

“He Who Marches Out Of Step Hears Another Drum.” One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 

Location: Nashua, NH

Date Played: December 16, 2017

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

REA Reaction

Cuckoo’s Nest was so much more than it appeared to be. Key to Escape turned very little into an impactful set and satisfying puzzle sequences.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Creative puzzles
  • Surprises

Story

It was 1948, a particularly cruel time in the history of psychiatric treatment, and we were wrongfully locked up in an asylum. We had to escape or suffer the rest of our lives under the care of cruel and misguided doctors.

In-game: A padded cell with a bed. One of the walls has a purple door drawn on it.

Setting

We were locked in a small padded room. It contained only minimal furnishings and some wall drawings. There was far more than met the eye.

Gameplay

Cuckoo’s Nest was a standard escape room with a heavy emphasis on puzzling and a light emphasis on searching.

Cuckoo’s Nest combined standard locked-compartment gameplay with tech-driven opens. Many of the puzzles were layered challenges.

Standouts

Cuckoo’s Nest’s unassuming staging gave way to more intrigue.

With few props and a simple set, Key to Escape conveyed atmosphere and emotion.

We enjoyed the puzzles in Cuckoo’s Nest. Key to Escape put their own twists on some standard puzzle types.

Key to Escape devoted a lot of physical space and detail to their most memorable puzzles. They weren’t afraid to turn a common escape room trope on its head to produce interesting content.

Shortcomings

Many solutions led to a lock. While it was generally clear where to input solutions, only some of these unlocked interesting reveals.

One important clue was easily destructible and seemingly invited destruction. In fact, one of our enthusiastic teammates very nearly destroyed it. Key to Escape should affix this permanently.

Tips for Visiting

  • Key to Escape is in an industrial park. There is ample free parking.

Book your hour with Key to Escape – Cuckoo’s Nest, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Key to Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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