Hour to Exit – Elude the Illusionist [Review]

Abracadabra!

Location: New Rochelle, NY

Date Played: August 4, 2018

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $37.50 per ticket for a single ticket, price per ticket drops the more tickets you buy

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Elude the Illusionist was a search-and-puzzle escape room with dramatic reveals and escalation. While Elude the Illusionist would flow better with additional gating and a touch more feedback, we enjoyed the puzzle-focused gameplay and especially the larger-scale, group solves.

If you’re in the area, stop by Hour to Exit and see if you can magic your way out of this one.

In-game: Close up of a glowing lamp illuminating a picture frame collage of playing cards of varying sizes.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Fun puzzles
  • Exciting reveals

Story

Famous magicians had been disappearing. Not like they do on stage. Rather, The Great Zoltar seemed to have had a hand in eliminating his competition. We had snuck into his dressing room to see if we could work our magic on this case.

In-game: a magician wall of fame featuring posters of some of history's move famous illusionists.

Setting

Elude the Illusionist took place in Zoltar’s dressing room among his costumes, props, and one of his famous stage-act set pieces. The room was comfortable, with wooden furniture and warm lighting. The loud wallpaper added dramatic effect.

In-game: a wide shot of a large portion of the dressing room set. There is a large box with the silhouette of a woman painted on it.

Gameplay

Hour to Exit’s Elude the Illusionist was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, experimenting, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

Elude the Illusionist was clearly designed and constructed with love. It had a homemade – but in a good way – pure energy about it. It was a joy to step into this puzzle adventure.

– The theme and staging begged for a dramatic opening moment to punctuate the gravity of the missing magicians and ignite an urgency to our dressing room turnover.

+ The bigger set pieces delivered tangible interactions that the entire group could enjoy together.

– We wished the the small clues – especially the reading material – had instead been integrated into the set to better facilitate large-scale group solves.

– Many of the opens in Elude the Illusionist lacked feedback. We couldn’t necessarily tell which action had resulted in a open, or sometimes, what exactly had opened. We recommend springs, lighting, or sound cues to help with puzzle flow.

Elude the Illusionist included a disappearing act. It was a well-crafted solo moment: amusing for the solo player, but not to the extent that other players felt they’d missed out. The rest of the team was entertained.

Elude the Illusionist had a few dramatic reveals. We especially enjoyed when standard set decor transformed into something else entirely.

+ The visual styling escalated to dramatic effect.

– Elude the Illusionist wanted for a dramatic conclusion that every player could experience from their vantage point at the culmination of the final puzzle sequence.

– When we won, we’d certainly solved something important… but didn’t know enough about the disappearances to have brought the story fully around to its conclusion.

+ Elude the Illusionist entertained us with set decor, puzzles, and dramatic reveals. It was a lot of fun to work our magic in this escape room.

Bonus Cupcake Review

We’d mentioned to Hour to Exit that our team would be looking to get dessert locally after the game. They surprised us with beautiful cupcakes from Smallcakes in Scarsdale.

The chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were thematically decorated with keys and clocks. These larger cupcakes were moist and flavorful. They had a generous allotment of super sweet frosting, which was a bit much on its own, but beautifully balanced the more subtly sweet cupcakes.

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Tips for Visiting

  • Purchase all the tickets for the group in a single purchase to save money.
  • Use the app Parkmobile to fill your meter on the street in New Rochelle.
  • We enjoyed lunch at The Wooden Spoon.
  • We recommend cupcakes from Smallcakes in Scarsdale.

Book your hour with Hour to Exit’s Elude the Illusionist, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Hour to Exit comped our tickets for this game.

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