CU Adventures in Time & Space – Game Night [Review]

Roll for initiative

Location:  Urbana, IL

Date Played: March 12, 2022

Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25-35 per player depending on group size

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Game Night was a fantastically unique Dungeons & Dragons adventure lovingly brought to life, full of nostalgia and delightful moments. With the help of an energetic in-game “dungeon master” (gamemaster), our experience was hilarious and whimsical from before the game even began. 

Escape rooms usually stick to 1-2 styles of gameplay and ride that out for a full 60-minute experience. In Game Night, CU Adventures was able to incorporate an homage to unique and vastly different styles of escape room design, curating gameplay for all types of players. Each section of the game was a varied β€œtype” of escape room, whether it be interactive and fast paced, split team, or inclusive of immersive character interactions. CU Adventures brilliantly designed each portion for the overall storyline to flow seamlessly while also tailoring to different player archetypes. They wrapped all this into one coherent experience. 

Closeup of a dragon's head.
via CU Adventures

Even without having a background knowledge of tabletop role-playing games (RPGs), this game can be an absolute blast for every adventurer. CU Adventures is spinning up some incredibly unique and exciting experiences, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for the future.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fantasy and RPG nerds
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Fun and hilarious character interactions 
  • Vastly different zones of escape room gameplay 
  • Impressive puzzle interactions and communication challenges

Story

Our Dungeons & Dragons dungeon master wanted to up the ante on our weekly game night. Instead of simply fiddling with small figurines on a table with a hand drawn map, he wanted to take the immersion to the next level.

A table in an 80s basement with a tabletop RPG setup.
via CU Adventures

Setting

Game Night began in a living room straight from the 80s, complete with the TV entertainment stand, ugly couch, and wood-paneled walls. Every item was meticulously chosen for the nerdy gamer lair aesthetic. When we left the living room, we entered an entirely different adventure.

An 80s basement with wood panelling, movie posters, and a shield from Zelda.
via CU Adventures

Gameplay

CU Adventures in Time & Space’s Game Night was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, observing, communicating, and adventuring. The game was split into four distinct sections, each with its own unique escape room flair.

Analysis

βž• The game’s humor was on point and was thoroughly enhanced by the in-game actor who added an extra level of flourish. This actor displayed great dungeon master-style acting. These periodic character interactions were positive and did not feel overbearing.

βž• Game Night dug in deep with the references. These were for the players who will appreciate them, but were still entirely enjoyable for the those without any knowledge of tabletop RPGs.

βž• All puzzles were on theme and consistent with items and props which would be found in these fantastical worlds. The reveals built into these sets were also constantly shocking us with realistic puzzle sequences in each of the four game zones.  

βž• Game Night was spot on to the subject matter, and truly felt like a video game or a tabletop RPG adventure full of chunky dice and other thematic props. Functional costume elements that can be acquired throughout the game also helped amp up the immersion.

βž– We acquired an amazing prop from a mind-blowing interaction and never used it. We wish we’d had a place to triumphantly stick it.  

A beautiful D&D-esque dungeon.
via CU Adventures

βž• Everything throughout the experience had a presence within the set and was incredibly fun to play with. All interactions were larger than life and tangible, further absorbing us into the fiction. 

βž• An epic final sequence commenced, perfectly fitting the theme and vibe, requiring communication and collaboration between the party members. The difficulty of this sequence dynamically scaled to fit the skill level of the team and the remaining time in the game.

βž– After clearing an area of the experience, we did not have to backtrack to solve anything, with the exception of one interaction. This interaction felt disjointed.

βž• CU Adventures rewarded players with a Mary Poppins moment following the coolest implementation of a meta multiplayer sequence that is sure to have the gamers yelling with delight.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is plenty of on-site parking .
  • Be sure to take a photo with the Puzzlesaurus outside!
  • We loved Crane Alley for some tasty bar food and local beers on tap.

Book your hour with CU Adventures in Time & Space’s Game Night, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: CU Adventures in Time & Space provided media discounted tickets for this game.

One thought on “CU Adventures in Time & Space – Game Night [Review]

  1. CU Adventures here! As of April 2022, we still have Game Night off our public calendar. It has been a bit more challenging to host regularly during the pandemic due to the in-game actor.

    We hope to get it back up normally this summer. In the meantime, we are always happy to host it by request for experienced players, with some additional masking requirements in the game! Contact us if you’re visiting to set that up, we love seeing enthusiasts!

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