LiveMinds Adventure Escape – Treasure of Pacari [Review]

Explore a treasure.

Location: Franklin, TN

Date Played: February 10, 2018

Team size: 2-11; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $28 per ticket

REA Reaction

Treasure of Pacari included some of the most impressive set design and interactions that we’ve encountered to date. LiveMinds Adventure Escape poured so much love, skill, and attention into this gamespace… and they are flirting with true greatness. With a bit more work, they could nail the gameflow. If they do that, this will be a genuine treasure.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Indiana Jones wannabes
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • The set
  • Incredible attention to detail
  • Large-scale interactions
  • The whole facility is cool

Story

Following in the footsteps of a famed and missing archeologist, we were seeking a powerful and mysterious artifact lost within Aztec ruins.

In-game: A massive stone circular temple door.

Setting

LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s set design was dumbfounding. This is what the hallways between LiveMinds’ games looked like:

I’m going to repeat this: these spaces had absolutely nothing to do with the games and they weren’t even the lobby. These were hallways.

The Aztec ruins of Treasure of Pacari were absolutely gorgeous and otherworldly. Each new space that we discovered had a unique feel, but was clearly part of the larger whole. The level of detail in the set’s construction was off the chart. There was so much to look at that David spent a fair amount of time simply taking in the set… because I had my head in the book with most of the clues.

In-game: A close up of a lantern, water tanks, and a crate in front of an archeological dig site.

Gameplay

Treasure of Pacari was all about the adventure. The set and the interactions facilitated this by presenting puzzles that felt Indiana Jones-esque. We had to reference our notebook, explore the space, and determine how to properly manipulate the environment in order to progress.

The size and scope of everything made this room escape feel enormous. There weren’t that many puzzles, but everything was memorable.

Standouts

The puzzles in Treasure of Pacari required us to interact with the set. Our role was tangible, physical, and exciting. The scale of these interactions fit with the enormity of the gamespace.

The expansive set amazed us. LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s attention to detail was breathtaking. They fully developed these spaces and everything they contained. Treasure of Pacari rivaled the most impressive sets we’ve seen to date.

The artwork was beautiful.

The excess. One puzzle had hundreds of components. It was nuts. They didn’t need to do it. There was no need to build animatronics. They didn’t need to produce a lobby and hallway with more nuance and finish than most escape room companies put into their games. There was no need for the level of detail, but LiveMinds Adventure Escape did it… and it was so worth it.

Shortcomings

The puzzles lacked feedback. We weren’t always sure which interaction had triggered a reveal. We couldn’t necessarily tell if we had completed the interaction from a specific prop or set piece. Sometimes doorways opened and we didn’t hear or see them pop. LiveMinds Adventure Escape could use lighting and sound to clarify when players accomplish solves.

Many puzzles lacked clue structure. Most existing clueing was buried in a journal. Beautiful as the space was, with my eyes in a book, I missed many of the more impressive set reveals. Only one person could look at this journal at a time so players were either poking around the set blindly or heads down in a book. It would have been cooler to see the written information reduced and worked into the set.

Our actions could have unintended and unsafe consequences. If players have the capability to manipulate large set pieces, LiveMinds Adventure Escape needs to build precautions that keep other players out of the way of heavy moving props.

Despite all the tech-driven opens in this escape room, the final reveal was an unclued, manual interaction. We recommend restructuring the ending so that the challenge is in solving the puzzles, not determining what they reveal. This structure deflated the drama of the win.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is parking out front.
  • We enjoyed The Tin Roof 2, especially their signature sandwich.

Book your hour with LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s Treasure of Pacari, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

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