Eludesions Escape Rooms – The Painter’s Collection [Review]

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

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

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.

Closeup of a black and white painting of a cursed old man.

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

Why play?

  • Great set and art direction
  • Clever interactions

Story

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.

A glowing fireplace in an old-looking living room. Beside it is a large painting of an older man.

Setting

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.

3 small black shelves, one has a white candle on it. Beyond is a small table with a vase that bears a strange symbol.

Gameplay

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.

Analysis

➕ 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.

2 thoughts on “Eludesions Escape Rooms – The Painter’s Collection [Review]

  1. As of just a couple months ago, my family has played every single escape room in Arizona not once, but twice (to fully get a feel for each of the room) and The Painter’s Collection by Eludesions Escape Rooms is the best escape room in all of Arizona by a long shot. The thematic was spooky but not too scary and the decor and props were incredibly crafted for the room. Not only that, but you can tell that they spend a lot of effort creating amazing and intuitive but unique puzzles here that give the room a real challenge. My family usually agrees and understands where REA comes from with a lot of their posts, but this one we all agree that this room was vastly undervalued in this post. The clues and structure of the room felt very clean, made sense, and you were able to track your progress with items that you collect along the way. Not only that, but the painters collection features the ability to search the room for additional clues hidden on top of the unlimited clues they offer for their most difficult room. These additional clues (in the form of diary entries) were a huge aid and really tied the lore with the puzzles in such a brilliant way! The lighting was dim, as was mentioned, but it is a horror room and all of the puzzles were well lit that the lighting wasn’t an issue at all but only added to the atmosphere. We’ve never been so immersed in a room before, but we not only were the first time but also the second time playing as well, and that shows how well made this room is. We got to experience the painters collection “unique mechanic” that they refer to here and it is so creatively executed and makes the room go from the best in Arizona to being head and shoulders above the rest. It is truly an incredible room and we are interested in reading REA’s posts in regards to Eludesions’ other rooms if they played some others (The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party we would say is Arizona’s second or third best room in the state, just behind The Painter’s Collection so hopefully they give it more love because that room also deserves it!)

    1. (Sorry, your comment got caught in out spam filter, sometimes it overreacts).

      Eludesions didn’t do it for us the way it seemed to have for you. We did play Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and you can expect a review of that coming soon.

      Overall, for us, Eludesions fell comfortably in second tier amongst Phoenix games, they were good, but didn’t blow us away. I am however glad that you enjoyed them.

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