Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – The Last Vampire [Review]

Make no mi-stake!

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: flashing lights and loud noises

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

If you like vampires, you’ll love The Last Vampire. If you’re meh on vampires, you’ll likely still love it. If you are a vampire, well, this might not be the game for you if you want to make it out alive.

The Last Vampire was the most challenging of the current offerings at Encrypted Escape Room West Reading, and with a large quantity of parallel puzzling, it’s a solid choice for medium to large teams.

In addition to having a beautifully eerie set, The Last Vampire was also full of clever interaction design choices. A room full of puzzles has the potential to be overwhelming, but this problem was largely avoided by having spotlights illuminate which puzzle elements were in play at any given point. A tactile meta element helped us track our progress in the game. Light religious overtones provided diegetic justification for looking at things from a different perspective. And as the final nail in the coffin, an exhilarating finale made us, the players, an integral part of the story.

An alter surrounded by gothic arches.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Supernatural fans
  • Players with some experience

Story

A small town in Bavaria had been plagued by Astaroth, the last known vampire, for centuries. As the smartest paranormal hunters around, we had been summoned to infiltrate Astaroth’s castle, discover his weaknesses, and stake out this evil being before he awakened for his next feeding.

Setting

The Last Vampire unfolded within a vampire’s evil lair inside the Bran Castle. Complete with an out-of-tune piano, creepy old portraits, and gaudily patterned wallpaper, it was abundantly clear that this vampire was the real deal.

A parlor filled with portraits bathed in red light.

Gameplay

The Last Vampire was a standard escape room centered mostly around puzzles.

Analysis

The Last Vampire effectively used lighting to spotlight which room elements we should be paying attention to at any given time.

➕ A handful of puzzles utilized variants on some common puzzle tropes which typically don’t really make sense in escape room themes, but in this case were notably and cleverly on-theme.

➖ Printed paper elements in the room felt out-of-place in the otherwise consistent set.

➕ Though there were a decent number of standard combination locks throughout the room, it was always unambiguous which input went with which lock.

❓ I love encountering (and playing!) real musical instruments in escape rooms. A puzzle involving a piano was self-consistent and fair, but it was probably easier to solve by nonmusicians who don’t bring in outside knowledge of how musical notation is supposed to be interpreted.

An old piano with a skull and raven sitting atop it.

➖ The puzzle sequence in an enclosed space was completely fair but left some room for improvement in its particular implementation. With a bit more tweaking, it could flow smoother and lead to a more dramatic reveal.

➖ A literary reveal near the end of the game could have been better concealed from view, though this minor issue was not sequence-breaking.

➕ The Last Vampire ended with a bang — with a light meta-structure framing an exciting, unexpected, and perfectly themed sequence of interactions.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: Street parking is available nearby.
  • Food: Our team (including both vegetarians and non-vegetarians) enjoyed the lunch specials at Chen Vegetarian House, just a block away from Encrypted Escape Room West Reading.

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