Maze Rooms – Whatever Happened to the Garretts [Review]

Whatever Happened to the Garrettsย is one of the best games in Los Angeles. Here are our other recommendations forย great escape rooms in Los Angeles.

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Location:  West Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 5, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $49.50 per player for teams of 2, $37 per player for teams of 3+

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock [A]

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Whatever Happened to the Garretts is an escape game that has continued to come up in conversation. People kept telling us that we needed to play it… and they were right. It was as fun as it was interesting.

An old CRT television with an Atari on top.

Despite losing a bit of trust early on with a couple of weak puzzles and some jankiness, this game recovered. The narrative unfolded wonderfully and the later gameplay was packed with creativity and intrigue.

We’ve long said that escape rooms need to escalate. It’s better for them to finish with a bang, and oh my, Whatever Happened to the Garretts did just that. If you’re in the region, I’d recommend checking this one out. I wasn’t sold on it at first, but when everything was said and done, I was so happy that I listened to folks and played it.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • 80s & sci-fi fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Authentic 80s aesthetic
  • Strong escalation in set design and gameplay
  • Clever ending

Story

In 1984, Allan and Ann Garrett had disappeared, along with their teenage son Matthew. Nearly 40 years later, many have visited their home in search of clues, but no one could figure out what happened to them, until today.

A teen's door with warning to keep out. No parents allowed.

Setting

Whatever Happened to the Garretts was set in the preserved 1980s Garrett Family home. In pop culture, the 80s are associated with a lot of bright colors, but in reality, homes back then were very, very brown… and Maze Rooms truly captured that aesthetic.

A living room and kitchen, everything is very brown and 80s.

As the game progressed, the setting changed, and things escalated. Everything about Whatever Happened to the Garretts became more interesting the deeper we progressed into the world.

Gameplay

Maze Rooms’ Whatever Happened to the Garretts was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

A very 80s kitchen.

Analysis

โž• The early sets were solid. While not particularly exciting, they established the characters and their world.

โž• Whatever Happened to the Garretts excelled in its story progression, and the set progression to support this. We were invested in these characters and their disappearance. We enjoyed the surprises we encountered as we solved our way deeper into the narrative.

โž– The puzzle play got off to a rough start with a prop that didn’t function intuitively, or as it appeared to be clued.

โž– The second act also stumbled in puzzle design with some weak cluing, some janky tech, and an interaction that only one player could reach at a time that appeared to give inconsistent feedback.

โž• Although some individual puzzles proved frustrating, overall the gameplay worked. The puzzle styles were diverse and grounded in each set. We especially enjoyed some later layered solves that provided opportunity for teamwork.

โž• Whatever Happened to the Garretts excelled in its transitions. The reveal of a new space was always exciting and added an element of surprise.

โž• Towards the end of the story, Whatever Happened to the Garretts became increasingly dynamic. In the last two scenes, our actions were deeply integrated into the set and narrative. The effects further sold the fiction.

โž• In Whatever Happened to the Garretts, we had to make a decision, and it affected how the final scenes played out. The last reveal was fantastic.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • This game is located at Maze Rooms’ Santa Monica Blvd location in West Los Angeles.

Book your hour with Maze Rooms’ Whatever Happened to the Garretts, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Maze Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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