Locked Adventures – Hunting Dracula [Review]

Hunting Dracula is one of the best escape rooms in San Diego. Here are our recommendations for other great escape rooms in San Diego.

[At the time of this review, Hunting Dracula was called V.]

V is for 🧛

Location: San Marcos, CA

Date Played: March 6, 2022

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

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $42 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: at least one player needs to crawl and stand in a dark, enclosed space

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

V may be the first escape room I’ve seen with a single-letter name. But don’t let the short moniker fool you — this 90-minute vampire-themed room had an alluring Gothic set and was densely packed with moderately challenging puzzles.

Locked Adventures stepped up their game in designing V, especially when it came to scenery. We started off in an ornately decorated cemetery, adjacent to a courtyard and the entrance to a crypt. The set offered layers of exploration, and the puzzles were cleverly integrated into large set pieces.

The puzzles were also a step up in complexity from Locked Adventures’ previous rooms. They were generally well presented and enjoyable to solve, though some could have benefited from clearer signposting or more precise alignment indicators.

An unusual environment that looks like a cemetary crossed with a mad science lab. A skeleton, a crossed headstone, and a glowing pyramid can be viewed.

One of the most delightful elements in the room was Roko, a talking demonic skull, and I’d love to have seen more of this type of quirky character also reflected in the gameplay.

For escape room enthusiasts, V is one of the top rooms in the San Diego area. If you’re newer to escape rooms, Locked Adventures’ The Curse of KV62 is a great pick.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
  • Gothic geeks

Why play?

  • Detailed cemetery-and-mausoleum set
  • Snarky character who was fun to interact with

Story

A famed vampire called “V” had returned. We were tasked entering V’s resting place and destroying him before he reached his full power.

An alter with a demonic skeleton.

Setting

V transported us to a sprawling graveyard and crypt with a Gothic haunted house vibe, filled with weathered stone tombs, monuments, and skulls.

Gameplay

Locked Adventures’ V was a standard escape room with a moderate-to-high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around puzzling and searching.

Analysis

V started before we entered the room with some entertaining acting from our gamemaster. As with all the other rooms we played at Locked Adventures, the creative characters the gamemaster devised for each room really enhanced the pre-game experience.

➕ The set was hauntingly beautiful, with a wide range of textures, large set pieces, and mood lighting.

➕ Roko, a talking skull-demon, was a fantastic character. He engaged with us just the right amount and infused the room with extra personality.

➕ A set of relics felt impressively hefty and provided a clear, thematic meta-collection element.

➕/➖ The gameplay in V was full of tactile interactions that looked like they belonged in the environment, though the specific interactions didn’t always make sense for the story.

➖ On certain puzzles, small handwritten symbols were a bit difficult to read or match, especially give the room’s shadowy lighting.

➕ A crypt-ic interaction was a creative and thematic way of delivering clues.

➖ The tolerances on one puzzle were a bit too tight. We were able to roll with it, but clearer alignment markers could have greatly helped this fun puzzle mechanic work a bit more reliably.

➖ The ending fit the story but felt too expected. Some extra effects or more of a boss battle could have added a final crescendo.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was a parking lot.
  • V is based around an Indestroom design.

Book your hour with Locked Adventures’ V, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Locked Adventures comped our tickets for this game.

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