PuzzlEscape Hudson – The Legend of Pepe [Review]

The Legend of Pepe is one of the best games in Massachusetts. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Massachusetts.

Houdini and Santa and Freddy Krueger, oh my!

Location: Hudson, MA

Date Played: April 2, 2022

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28-38 per player, depending on group size

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

PuzzlEscape recently opened a new location in Hudson, MA. There they opened The Legend of Pepe, a game that pays homage to the 12 games they’d created at their original venue. That said, although this game revolved around prior game narratives, it definitely did not require any knowledge of the previous legends of Pepe La Scuzz, our main villain.

The Legend of Pepe was a puzzler’s dream with a lot of content and fantastic puzzle flow. While not every puzzle was mind-blowing, the game offered a huge variety of puzzle types for every player, and most of the puzzles put a refreshing twist on our assumptions of how they would solve. This made what could have been boring interactions into something unique.

PuzzlEscape designed an interesting way to level the playing field for teams by incorporating a difficulty modifier at the midpoint of the game. Teams choose their difficulty and thus the ending to the story. However, this choice mechanic was under-clued in the gameplay itself.

We love what PuzzlEscape is doing, and cannot wait to see their absolutely insane themes (that we got a glimpse of!) come to life in the future.

Note: this review is for the more difficult path. After we played, our gamemaster gave us a walkthrough of the easier path for review purposes. Players can return for half price to play the path they did not take originally.

Closeup of an old, gold cash register with an infinity symbol, beside it is a computer monitor with the same symbol.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • PuzzlEscape megafans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Adventure seekers
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A choice which leads to multiple endings and varied difficulties
  • Tons of puzzles to explore

Story

Pepe La Scuzz had been trapping his foes for centuries in his escape rooms. Now he’d locked us up with the trophies he’d collected from these past rooms. We had to uncover how he had managed to do this… and escape ourselves.

A study-like environment with a strange selection of medieval armor, historical clothing, an old cash register, a computer, and paintings.

Setting

The Legend of Pepe began in Pepe La Scuzz’s office with multiple trophies paying homage to PuzzlEscape Hudson’s previous experiences. Note: playing the previous games was not required.

A study-like environment with an old cash register, a computer, a fireplace, a big leather chair, and paintings.

Gameplay

PuzzlEscape Hudson’s The Legend of Pepe was a standard escape room with a variable difficulty level. Players choose the difficulty for the second part at the halfway point.

Core gameplay revolved around making connections, observing, searching, decision making, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ This game was a puzzle lover’s dream. There was no lack of puzzles to solve, items to interact with, and paths to follow. The puzzles just kept coming, requiring our strong team to puzzle hard for a full hour on the more difficult path. The ability to divide and conquer this nonlinear game was essential. We recommend taking the easier path your first time through if you are less confident in your puzzle skills or want to play leisurely.

➕ A pop culture puzzle presented itself in an accessible way, throwing by the wayside any preconceived notions surrounding these items and characters. We loved seeing a twist where outside knowledge was potentially hindering.

➖ The Legend of Pepe relied on a computer as a central input mechanism. We were constantly running back to it to input answers. While this worked well enough, it lacked creativity.

➕ One puzzle with a simple interaction had some major payoff. Our team was left in awe at what we had just done in a controlled environment.

➕/➖ At the halfway point, we reached a decision between an easier or a harder path to the end. This choice had narrative implications. We loved having a choice regarding difficulty, but the decision did not emerge as a natural result of our in game actions. It required gamemaster intervention to explain which path was which. We wished the decision were more clear, and the weight of the choice more readily apparent through gameplay.

➖ The final answer input was too loose and had our team spinning in circles. The tech worked well, but the movement could have been tighter and smoother.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is some parking on site, and plenty of parking around the corner if the lot is full.
  • We recommend checking out Rail Trail Flatbread Co. for some delicious flatbread and cocktails.
  • If you’re looking for a post-game snack, check out New City Microcreamery and their hidden cocktail bar, Less Than Greater Than, for some ice cream, boozy milkshakes, and secret cocktails.

Book your hour with PuzzlEscape Hudson’s The Legend of Pepe, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: PuzzlEscape Hudson comped our tickets for this game.

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