Locked In Escapes – Rock Star: The Final Curtain [Review]

Playing old hit.

Location:  Colorado Springs, CO

Date Played: September 9, 2019

Team size: up to 6; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [B] Emergency Key

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Rock Star: The Final Curtain was a challenging puzzle-centric game that had a cute intro and stronger final act. The middle was a bit shaky.

This game didn’t need to be as hard and grindy as it was. So much of the difficulty stemmed from the volume of partial puzzle content that we had access to. It could have been smoother and more energetic.

In-game: A microphone viewed from on-stage, the auditorium beyond it.

We think that this is a heavily modified version of the N.E.R.D. game of a similar name. Our teammate who had played the original was pleasantly surprised that he recognized a few puzzles.

Rock Star: The Final Curtain had some bright spots and we were glad to play them. However, you need to fight through the early-game to find the stuff that’s special. If you’re up for that, absolutely give it a try. Otherwise, we strongly recommend Locked In Escapes’ The Infected; that game was lovely.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • A fun mid-game transition
  • It was challenging
  • Amusing introduction and conclusion moments

Story

Our favorite band since high school US THEM OR DEAN was on their farewell tour. We’d managed to score backstage passes to meet them (OMG!).

As we’d made our way through security and to the dressing room, we learned that a pop music-hating madman had planted a bomb in the arena. We became trapped inside with no other option than to disarm his destructive device.

In-game: The entry to Rock Star, a velvet rope before the doorway.

Setting

After an adorable in-character introduction, we were led into a dressing room that looked pretty spartan and rough. There were some strong details, but the overall look of the space didn’t give us the sense that we were in a big rock star’s dressing room.

In-game: a view out of a window of the Las Vegas Strip.

From the props to the interactions, the second act staging looked and felt a lot stronger.

Gameplay

Locked In Escapes’ Rock Star: The Final Curtain was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and keeping organized.

In-game: a locked guitar case on the floor of a purple dressing room.

Analysis

➖ We were physically locked in this game with an emergency key hung near the exit door. This was less than ideal, but fine. The problem that we had with this particular setup was that the exit door was in a dark, cramped area of the game. I understand why this game’s setup called for a lock-in, but it would be far safer with a maglock instead of a keyed lock.

➕ Locked In Escapes built excitement with their presentation of the game. Our in-character gamemaster set an energetic tone. This sold the introduction.

➖ The set for the first act wasn’t particularly interesting. It was a bit cramped and didn’t really sell Rock Star’s dressing room.

➕ As we solved through Rock Star: The Final Curtain, we’d be interrupted now and again by newscast videos, which reminded us of our situation and added to the drama of our plight. These were fun interludes.

➖ In the first act, we had access to too many unsolvable puzzles too early. These gating issues slowed the gameplay and caused us to spend a lot of time working on things that we couldn’t solve. Because of this, Rock Star: The Final Curtain was more challenging than it needed to be (or probably should be).

➖ We found an iPad in the dressing room, which we used in a few different ways throughout the first act. While this worked to facilitate gameplay, it bottlenecked like a runbook. We would have preferred less on the iPad and more in the room.

➕ Locked in Escapes justified consumable in-game refreshments. The refreshments and their justification were unusual and appreciated.

➕ We loved the mid-game transition. The second act was also staged quite well. Any sliding energy levels abated.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Locked In Escapes’ Rock Star: The Final Curtain, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Locked In Escapes 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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