Once Upon an Escape – Neverland [Review]

Off to never never land

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Date Played: January 30, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $39 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Players are all required to duck under a low doorway. One player is required to crawl.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Neverland was Once Upon an Escape’s first dive into non-linear gameplay. The game was based on a fairytale we had always wished to see an experience designed around. Similar to the other games by Once Upon an Escape, the puzzles encompassed some traditional escape room puzzle play with numerous twists on their typical implementations. Puzzles were overall fun to solve and interact with, including a handful of dexterity challenges. Because this room had multiple communication puzzles, it was nicely designed for teamwork.

Neverland carried the strongest story out of Once Upon an Escape’s three current offerings, with a cohesive adventure traversing varied sets that showcased a creative use of space. With this being said, the experience felt less polished due to a few of the puzzles not making sense thematically. Additionally, Neverland had the ability to break sequence, allowing us to bypass a series of puzzles and ultimately finish the game with leftover clues.

A well-like table with a thatched roof beside some tropical plants.

If you’re visiting Once Upon an Escape, check out the room with the fairytale that calls out to you, whether it be your childhood favorite or a novel theme you have never played before!

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fairytale fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Reliving a fantasy from your childhood
  • Traditional escape room puzzle play

Story

Realizing that you’re not dreaming, you must sneak onto Captain Hook’s ship, rescue Tinkerbell, and escape to the land where you’ll never have to grow up.

Setting

Opening in Wendy’s bedroom, players journey through Neverland among various sets inspired by the fairytale. These include Captain Hook’s ship and the island of Neverland.

A table with wooden letters spelling "WENDY," beside a couple of books, an hourglass, and a tower of Jenga blocks.

Gameplay

One Upon an Escape’s Neverland was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, observing, and puzzling. The puzzles in Neverland leaned heavily into dexterity challenges, with a sprinkling of traditional escape room puzzles.

Analysis

➕ Multiple puzzles were implemented with player fun in mind. These puzzles were a joy to solve, including a few unexpected twists on classic escape room puzzles.

➕ Once Upon an Escape created a lot of communication puzzles by separating puzzle elements into different spaces, forcing teamwork.

➖A mid-game interaction lacked clear direction and instruction due to a one-time triggered event seemingly intended only as part of the story (and not seemingly useful). Re-triggering this interaction was not clearly clued, leading our team to stall.

➕ The set was fun to traverse, with multiple varied environments that felt magical to explore.

➕ /➖ Neverland was full of unique dexterity puzzles. While we loved the unique execution of some of them, others overstayed their welcome with tedious execution.

➖ A puzzle was easily solved without the required equipment. This allowed our team to break sequence, bypass a handful of puzzles, and ultimately finish the game with leftover clues.

➕/➖ Once Upon an Escape provided ample padding for players required to crawl through a passageway, but missed padding overhead. While our knees were nicely cushioned, we could easily bump their heads on the low ceiling.

Tips For Visiting

  • Once Upon an Escape has plenty of parking on-site.

Book your hour with Once Upon an Escape’s Neverland, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Once Upon an Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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