Backstage Escape Games – The Haunting of Hyde House [Review]

Hyde and Seek

Location:  Myrtle Beach, SC

Date Played:  September 28, 2021

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $36 per player

Ticketing: Public

Accessibility Consideration: at least one player has to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Haunting of Hyde House was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The setting was well-crafted to suit the story and the gameplay did a stellar job of reinforcing the themes of the game.

The experience’s introduction and justification were the standouts, and there was a late-game puzzle sequence that felt perfect.

Interior hallways blocked by a red velvet rope.

At different points, The Haunting of Hyde House showed its age as we encountered some props that needed some refinishing or replacing, and sensors that needed a tuneup. Additionally, there was a persistent runbook throughout The Haunting of Hyde House that, while fairly well executed, continued to distract from the game environment, which was considerably more engaging than the laminated pages of a journal.

On our trip to Myrtle Beach, The Haunting of Hyde House was without a doubt the standout escape room in the region. If you’re nearby, I strongly recommend checking it out.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Horror movie fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Strong set
  • Fantastic final act

Story

After years of neglect, Hyde Mansion had been turned into a museum by the Hyde House Historical Foundation. Tours were available to learn the history of the building as well as explore the tragic story of the family who had previously owned it.

Some superstitious guests claimed that Isabella, the youngest daughter of the Hyde family haunted this beautiful old home… we decided to investigate.

Closeup of a boarded up door labeled Isabella in child-like handwriting and decorated with hand drawn flowers.

Setting

The Haunting of Hyde House nailed the rickety old haunted mansion vibe. The floor, walls, doors, ceiling, and all of the props in between reinforced that we were in a haunted house. It wasn’t a bombastic setting; it simply felt right in a foreboding sort of way.

A bed covered in assorted plushies.

Gameplay

Backstage Escape Games’ The Haunting of Hyde House was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, puzzling… and some amount of not being intimidated by a creepy set and story.

Analysis

➕ The introduction was stellar. With a short scene acted by our gamemaster, the staging for this haunted experience made sense.

➕ Hyde House gave off strong Haunted Mansion vibes, in a good way. It looked appropriately foreboding and creepy.

➖ The set needed a bit of refurbishing. In one area we were warned (rightfully) about avoiding splinters… and got a splinter anyway.

➖ The later sets also felt a bit grimy. We weren’t thrilled to interact with plushies in an escape room, even though it was thematically appropriate.

➕ Hyde House hid its secrets well. We enjoyed the twists and turns within this space.

➖ Some puzzles became a little irksome to engage with, either because of finicky sensors or in one case, a key decision that felt like a gag pushed a little too far for fun.

➕ The gameplay generally flowed well, and the puzzles were fun to solve.

➖ Hyde House was overly reliant on laminated paper and a runbook. As far as runbooks go, this one was thematic, and relatively easy to follow. Still, it pulled our eyes away from the designed gamespace and noticing essential details within it.

➕ The penultimate sequence was outstanding. It was creepy, fun, and thematically on point. It was also big enough the entire team could engage with it together.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • Backstage Escape Games is located at Broadway at the Beach, a shopping center and entertainment complex. There’s plenty to do here.

Book your hour with Backstage Escape Games’ The Haunting of Hyde House, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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