The Official SAW Escape [Review]

I played a game.

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Date Played: October 24, 2019

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 5 (both for practical reasons and so you can call yourselves the Fatal Five)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $49.99 per player for a public ticket; private VIP tickets available at other prices

Ticketing: Public, with private VIP ticketing available

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

When I started playing room escapes nearly six years ago, non-players would ask “Oh, like the SAW movies?” (uh, no). To finally play an escape room that actually was inspired by SAW was surreal.

The Official SAW Escape Las Vegas logo depicting Jigsaw.
Image via Official SAW Escape

The Official SAW Escape bills itself as an immersive experience that “brings to life twisted games inspired by the blockbuster SAW film franchise.” It seriously delivered. Stepping inside felt like crossing over into Jigsaw’s depraved world.

The Official SAW Escape was a horror-themed escape room featuring traps and puzzles. Players must overcome these obstacles to advance to the next stage of gameplay. The wow factor of life-size props and gamespaces (several pulled directly from the SAW movies) made up for some of the clunky and frustrating puzzle interactions. 

If horror is your thing and you want to feel like you’ve walked onto a movie set, this is one you won’t want to miss. 

In-game: A person crawling through a crawlspace.
Image via Official SAW Escape

Who is this for?

  • Fans of the SAW Franchise
  • Horror game aficionados
  • Players who want to feel like they’re in a movie
  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle or interaction
  • Players who aren’t disturbed by horror-themed effects
  • Players who don’t mind actors in the game space

Why play?

  • Impressive set design
  • Large-scale interactions
  • Life-size props and traps that you can interact with (many directly from the SAW movies)
  • The excitement
  • The tension

Story

We thought we were taking an exclusive, after-hours tour of the historic Egan & Co. meat packing plant, only to discover that we were actually pawns in one of Jigsaw’s elaborate games. We had to work together to navigate an abandoned factory full of traps before the clock ran out and we faced our demise.

In-game: The front gates of the experience. a brick wall with an imposing black metal gate.
Image via Official SAW Escape

Setting

The gamespace closely mirrored several spaces Jigsaw and his successors used in the Saw movies to conduct their mischief and mayhem. It was large, ominous, detailed and impressive.

The gamespace toned down the horror of the films by not employing restraints or locked doors/ spaces at any point in gameplay.

In-game: Two people looking into a caged area and some strange artifacts.
Image via Official SAW Escape

Gameplay

The Official SAW Escape was a highly immersive escape room with a moderate level of difficulty, exacerbated by the distractions of standard horror-themed special effects.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing details, making connections and interacting with large props. It was built in a railroad style. Teams moved through the rooms at timed intervals, whether or not they had solved all the puzzles. For fans of the Saw franchise, the flow will likely bring to mind one movie in particular.

In-game: A person in a cage bathed in green light grasping one of the bars.
Image via Official SAW Escape

Analysis

➕ The Official SAW Experience offered an interesting backstory and compelling first sequence of gameplay. These elements set a tone of confusion, frustration and eeriness that laid the foundation for the remainder of the experience.

➖ The puzzling was frustrating at times. It was sometimes challenging to find the thread of gameplay when entering a new room. On a couple of occasions, The Official SAW Escape could have benefited from stronger cluing instead of relying heavily on our team searching.

➕ The transition from the first stage of gameplay to the second stage was startling and well executed. I rarely use the word giddy, but the sequence made me giddy, and it was one of those moments I wish I could play again for the first time.

➖ There were moments where the gameplay seemed unfair. Some puzzles relied on remembering information from previous rooms, yet that information was no longer accessible after leaving those rooms. (The website did warn this was the case.)

➕ The gamespace was large, detailed and highly immersive. It felt like wandering onto one of the Saw movie sets. Many of the traps, props and gamespaces were the same as or similar to ones used in the movies, adding to the immersion.

➖ The gamespace expanded and contracted significantly at points, which created inconsistency in the number of players needed to be successful. Some rooms required a larger group; other rooms bottlenecked.

➕/➖ The experience can be solidly classified as horror; however, it didn’t capture the outright terror of the movies. Depending on personal preference, this may be a positive or a negative.

➖ While the game started strongly, it lost momentum in the middle. The ending managed to inject some of the fear back and created a sense of urgency, but didn’t match the thrill of the opening.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is a parking lot. Pay close attention to the street address.
  • ID: Valid identification is required to enter the room escape.
  • Age: The experience isn’t recommended for anyone under the age of 16, and parental supervision may be required. Check before you book if you have minors in your party.
  • Food: The Official SAW Escape is in a highly industrial area; Uber is your best bet for getting to the closest restaurants.
  • Nearby Major Casinos: Circus Circus is a three-minute drive, Stratosphere is a four-minute drive, and Sahara is a five-minute drive.

Book your hour with The Official SAW Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

3 thoughts on “The Official SAW Escape [Review]

    1. Hi Lynn, good to hear from you! Railroad-style gameplay isn’t my favorite in general; I like being able to take my time to adjust to and figure out a new space instead of being moved through on a set schedule even without success. In this particular game though I was ok with failing a few rooms and being moved forward, because I’m a huge fan of the Saw Franchise and I was primarily there for the immersion and the scenery. I couldn’t wait to see what was coming next. – Lindsay

      1. Well put-) The set design was worth the visit. Unfortunately for me, what sticks in my mind is that I failed 3 times in 1 experience. lol

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