A grim gallery
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Date Played: March 11, 2022
Team size: 4-8; we recommend 5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $32.95 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
We left The Painter’s Collection feeling conflicted and confused.
On one hand, the set was quite pretty, making excellent use of beautiful art coupled with some interesting interactions. There was a unique aesthetic. Someone had clearly put a lot of effort into The Painter’s Collection.
On the other hand, the gameplay felt fragmented and many of the puzzles were irritatingly under-clued. The amount of times we triggered/ solved something and didn’t know why our approach worked or took a hint which left us wondering “how were we ever supposed to know how to do that?” was disappointing.
Maybe it was too many cooks in the kitchen or too few… I don’t know… but this meal was undercooked.
The good news for Eludesions Escape Rooms is that The Painter’s Collection was 95% of the way to greatness… and it shouldn’t take much to get it there. However, that missing 5% was clue structure and playability, and that’s critical. I hope that Eludesions does the work to make this game as great as it ought to be. It’s too cool to be left in its current state.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Witchcraft fans
- Best for players with at least some experience
- Great set and art direction
- Clever interactions
When a painter was falsely accused of witchcraft, the townspeople raided his home and learned the terrible truth that his daughter was actually a witch. She preserved her father in a painting to keep him close… and then began luring townspeople to her home to trap their souls in her art.
The young witch intended for us to become her next victims.
The Painter’s Collection was set in a grim home, with detailed weathering. Eludesions Escape Rooms maintained a similar level of quality throughout the entire experience.
As the title implied, the game itself was largely built around a collection of paintings, which were used to interesting effect.
Eludesions Escape Rooms’ The Painter’s Collection was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.
The challenge stemmed from lack of clue structure.
➕ This was an unusual twist on a witchcraft theme. We love thematic mashups. This one worked beautifully as an escape room.
➕ The set design was fun. The paintings played a big role in that. They were great.
➖ The Painter’s Collection expected us to take a lot of unclued actions. Because we had to interact with the set and props in some atypical ways, we really needed some guidance from the game.
➖ The Painter’s Collection didn’t give enough confirmation feedback. Because of this, it was easy to disregard a correct action, rather than understand that we were on the right track, but hadn’t yet solved the puzzle.
➖ Some late-game cluing felt ambiguous.
➕ We most enjoyed interacting with props in unusual ways.
➖ The dim light was a challenge. It was thematic, but somewhat in conflict with all the paint. Puzzles involving color were especially challenging.
❓ The Painter’s Collection includes an unusual mechanic if you have 5 or more players. Unfortunately, we played with 3, so we didn’t get to see this play out. (We didn’t know ahead of time or we would have found more teammates!) This is a mechanic we’ve been waiting to see someone execute well for a long time. Unfortunately, we cannot assess how well it worked here.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
Book your hour with Eludesions Escape Rooms’ The Painter’s Collection, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Eludesions Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.