Clue IQ – Excalibur [Review]

The trials of the sword

Location:  Frederick, MD

Date Played: October 3, 2021

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: scaled pricing from $46 per player for teams of 2 to $28 per player for teams of 10

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Excalibur was an amazing newbie-friendly game. We took my aunt to her first escape room (and my cousin and her friend to their third), and I don’t think we could have picked a better first game for her.

Excalibur had a fantastic blend of solid puzzles, ambiance, and magical tech – all set in an approachable environment.

A sword set in a stone, fog lit dramatically behind it.

If you’re an experienced player, there’s a fun game for you here, but I’d suggest savoring it rather than speed running it. There’s a lot to enjoy. Beyond that, I’d encourage you to bring some newbies and play it a little cool. It was a lot of fun watching my family make the right connections and experience the magic.

If you’re in the DC suburbs, check out Excalibur.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fans of swords & sorcery
  • Great for any experience level, but fantastic for newbies

Why play?

  • To introduce your friends to escape rooms
  • Magical triggers

Story

As King Arthur grew old, he asked his wizard, Merlin to set his mythical sword Excalibur back into the stone from which he’d pulled it so that another who was worthy could lift it.

Generations had passed and no one had been able to pull the sword from the stone. It was our turn to face the Trials of the Sword.

Setting

Excalibur was set in a compact, yet compelling castle. The walls, prop selection, lighting, and effects came together to really sell the space.

From an ambiance standpoint, the lighting really felt like it was subtly putting in a lot of work.

Castle interior, with a round table, and some armor.

Gameplay

Clue IQ’s Excalibur was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.

A view of a chapel from a pulpit.

Analysis

➕ Excalibur felt appropriately majestic. The set had height. The props had heft. The dramatic lighting provided ambiance.

➕ The gameplay flowed beautifully. Clue IQ interwove aha moments with process-oriented solved. With each solve, it was clear what had unlocked, and we what we could use to press forward in our quest.

➖ The atmospheric lighting made it hard to read clues. The small candles didn’t quite suffice. Select spotlighting would go a long way.

➕ We especially enjoyed seeing patterns where we wouldn’t ordinarily expect them.

➖ One prop opened up in the middle of the game, creating a tripping hazard in a well-trafficked area.

➕The finale was exciting. It was clear that we were headed to victory, and we enjoyed the fanfare.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • There are lots of restaurant options within walking distance.

Book your hour with Clue IQ’s Excalibur, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Clue IQ comped our tickets for this game.

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