Escape from Hellscream – The Elevator [Review]

The elevator to Hell

Location:  Colorado Springs, CO

Date Played: September 9, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 2 – 6 (or elevator weight capacity)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Escape from Hellscream was about the experience, the setting, and playful terror.

Are you looking for an intellectual puzzle-driven adventure? Go somewhere else.

In The Elevator, the actors struck a balance between fear and humor that managed to amplify both without undercutting the tension.

Additionally, the experience was built around a functioning elevator; we used it to access different floors of the game. This was a nifty gimmick… and it allowed us to traverse a huge set without having to navigate stairs.

In-game:

The biggest annoyances came from a near total lack of lighting in one lengthy segment, which was great at first, but stretched on too long. We were also disappointed in some of the prop selection, which included a lockout safe.

Escape from Hellscream offered “scary” and “not scary” modes. The difference between the two was the presence of scare actors. I’ll be blunt:

There is no reason to visit Escape from Hellscream and play the “not scary” mode. Playing “not scary” would be like watching “not erotic porn.”

If you’re near Colorado Springs and like horror escape games, Escape from Hellscream is a must-visit.

Who is this for?

  • Horror fans
  • Actor-friendly players
  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The hilarious and intimating scare actors
  • An imposing set
  • The elevator was cool
  • Adrenaline

Story

Escape from Hellscream’s The Elevator didn’t really have a story. It was essentially a haunted house with escape room puzzles as gates.

In-game:

Setting

Escape from Hellscream’s The Elevator was built around a real, functional elevator. The gameflow was controlled by locks and hasps on the elevator control panel.

In-game:

As we navigated the floors, we explored a haunted house filled with scare actors. It is possible to play without the actors, but why bother?

There were multiple settings that seemed entirely unrelated to one another. Each had its own creepy, dingy, haunted house vibe.

Gameplay

Escape from Hellscream’s The Elevator was a haunted house with escape room puzzles as gates. Your fear level will adjust the difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved primarily around searching with a few puzzles. Interacting with the actors was also part of the gameplay.

In-game:

Analysis

➕ “Scary mode” means the actors play too. The actors were the life of this experience and clearly had a ton of fun. These guys were simultaneously intimidating and hilarious, creating a vibe unlike any other escape room we’ve played.

➖ This was a search-heavy escape room, played primarily in low lighting. We didn’t have enough flashlights to solve the puzzles. While this was intentional to create a mood, it carried on far too long.

➕ Although much of the gameplay was searching, there were some serious puzzles in the first act. These were good solves.

In-game:

➖ One critical interaction had weak feedback. Ultimately one of the actors clarified things, but there was an opportunity for stronger execution.

➕ We enjoyed the gameflow, which Escape from Hellscream crafted around the elevator. With the locks on the buttons, the scare experience was gated by puzzles that we solved in this well-lit space where nobody unexpected would appear. It gave fearful players a break to solve puzzles and changed up the experience. This was a unique design choice.

➖ We didn’t have a clear sense of game progression and timing. We misunderstood the instructions – and I’m not sure if this was on us or on them – so we thought we had a lot more game left to solve than we actually did, meaning we rushed the ending a bit more than we needed to.

➕/➖ We could ask for hints over a walkie-talkie. The hint-giving was part of the gimmick and they toyed with us over it. This was totally in character for the game. That said, the actors controlled the gameflow. They could make things more or less hidden and help or hinder puzzles. There was an opportunity to have smoother gameplay facilitated by the actors and keep more of the experience in-world.

➖ Escape from Hellscream used some generally frowned-upon props including trick locks and a lockout safe. These have the potential to stall gameplay. Swapping these for less frustrating items would make a smoother experience.

The Elevator was a high-energy game. It got our adrenaline pumping.

Tips For Visiting

Book your hour with Escape from Hellscream’s The Elevator, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape from Hellscream comped our tickets for this game.

Disclosure: Our trip to Denver was sponsored by the Denver escape room community. Contributions were anonymous.

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