The Puzzle Effect – The Path [Review]

A cosmic balancing act.

Location:  Northglenn, CO

Date Played: September 25, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $31.95 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Puzzle Effect’s The Path was a solid take on a traditional escape room format. This room was all about the puzzles, and a wide variety of escape room puzzle types were represented. A few puzzles had nice tie-ins to the subject matter presented, including zodiac animals and a small collection of Chinese artifacts.

In contrast to The Puzzle Effect’s other rooms, The Path had zero combination locks. As our team played The Path after some of The Puzzle Effect’s more lock-heavy rooms, this was a breath of fresh air.

The Path would be a great option to sell newer players on the concept of escape rooms. While The Path provided less novelty for more experienced players, its smooth, straightforward puzzle flow could be enjoyed by all, and it was a serene environment in which to spend up to an hour.

A dojo-like environment, with a strong east-Asian aesthetic.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Story

Upon entering a mysterious sacred temple, we awoke an ancient evil force that was probably going to destroy the earth. To stop it, we had to restore the balance between Heaven and Earth by completing a set of challenges set forth by this evil.

Setting

The Path took us to a single-room East Asian temple with a zen-puzzle aesthetic permeating its decor. A large octagonal pedestal in the center of the room incrementally tracked our progress through the game and represented the Heaven and Earth components we needed to rebalance.

Gameplay

The Puzzle Effect’s The Path was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

The gameplay was all about making connections and solving puzzles.

Analysis

➕ The Path was filled with a bunch of solidly designed, novice-accessible puzzles. A central set piece allowed us to clearly track our progress through the room.

➕ The Path was free from traditional combination locks, of which some of The Puzzle Effect’s other rooms had an overabundance. Instead, object placement unlocked compartments containing new puzzle components.

 The game flow was quite linear. With a 4-player team, we hit some bottleneck points where only 1 or 2 players were able to actively work on a puzzle.

➕ The loosely East Asian-themed content, while not culturally deep, felt culturally respectful.

➕ The set of The Path was consistently thematic. The decor could best be described as clean and minimalist, and almost everything in the room got used in some form for a puzzle.

The Path was a smooth but static experience, with little in the way of discovery or transformation.

➖ The ending, while appropriately symbolic, felt expected and anticlimactic.

Tips For Visiting

  • There’s a large parking lot on-site.

Book your hour with The Puzzle Effect’s The Path, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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