EscapeWorks – Beyond the Flower Shop [Review]

Prune and fertilize

Location:  Denver, CO

Date Played: September 7, 2019

Team size: up to 12; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

It gives me no joy to tell you that we didn’t enjoy Beyond the Flower Shop. If I had to encapsulate the experience in one word, it would be “lifeless.”

The set had potential. Much of it looked good, but it had no spark of life… which is not how a speakeasy ought to feel.

In-game: A bar with beers, a mixed drink, and an ashtray laying atop it.

The gameplay felt utterly flat and was mostly a mixture of searching and the kind of static puzzles that show up in my Facebook feed. There was no intrigue, no mystique.

All of this was burdened by weak gating and hints that were only released at the gamemaster’s discretion… long after the death of the little momentum that we’d managed to build.

EscapeWorks was recently under new management when we visited, so I’m not writing them off yet. I think that there is potential in both this game and this company. I hope that it will be fully realized.

Who is this for?

  • Searchers and scavengers
  • Completionists

Why play?

  • You’re looking for a Prohibition-themed scavenger hunt

Story

It was 1926, Prohibition was in full swing, and we had gone off in search of a good time. A friend had told us about an establishment that was hidden behind a local flower shop.

In-game: shelves of flowers.

Setting

Beyond The Flower Shop was initially set in a flower shop before moving us into a speakeasy.

The flower shop portion did the bare minimum to set the stage as a flower store. The set was sparse and dominated by stark white walls.

In-game: an antique cash register on a tabletop.

The speakeasy portion was considerably better looking. I wouldn’t have minded having a drink at the bar. That said, it still felt empty and lifeless.

Gameplay

EscapeWorks’ Beyond the Flower Shop was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, and making connections.

In-game: closeup of a small tabletop on a barrel with a drink and lantern atop it.

Analysis

➕ Our gamemaster gave a strong introduction.

➕/➖ EscapeWorks put effort into this set. The brickwork looked brick-y and the music gave it a speakeasy vibe. That said, the space felt empty. It seemed like it was designed without a creative direction beyond generic speakeasy.

➕ One late game open was a fun reveal that brought us somewhere unexpected.

➖ Most of the gameplay resolved around search, observe, and connect. The only puzzle in the space was of the static “gotcha” variety that acquaintances post on Facebook.

➖ Beyond the Flower Shop struggled with gating issues. We spent a lot of time working on puzzles that weren’t fully available to us.

➖ We wasted a lot of time because of a tech-fail. When the obvious solution failed to trigger, we tried absolutely everything else in the space… and then tried to solve things that weren’t open to us yet.

➖ Many of these problems were complicated by the fact that hints were delivered entirely at our gamemaster’s discretion. The effect was that we spent much of our time frustrated and waiting for a hint that we knew we needed and would have asked for far earlier.

➖ The story logic was confusing. If we were looking for a good time. Why were we repairing the boiler? Everything in the space solved according to escape room logic.

➕ EscapeWorks staff was outstanding. Our game intro was especially well presented. 

Tips For Visiting

  • There is nearby street parking and public parking lots.

Book your hour with EscapeWorks’ Beyond the Flower Shop, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: EscapeWorks comped our tickets for this game.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.