Escapology – Dallas (Victory Park) TX – Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure [Review]

Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure is one of the best games in the Dallas area. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms around Dallas.

There’s a very logical explanation for all this.

Location: Dallas, TX

Date Played: March 30, 2022

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $36 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

As an experience built around a cherished piece of nostalgia, Scooby Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure delivered a thorough homage to the show. The main characters (and their voices) each made important appearances, the entire set felt like a cartoon (if not necessarily a castle), and several more minor allusions appeared throughout. Beyond the licensed IP content, however, the escape room elements also reflected the show’s essence. The puzzles fit in the Scooby world, and Mystery Inc.’s sole purpose of solving mysteries was ripe for this escape room adaptation. Scooby fans should be pleased.

A case with knight's armor beside a box of Scooby Snacks.

Of course, not every Scooby fan is an escape room fan, so the other thing that this room did well for its audience was scaffolding the puzzle-solving process. As puzzle difficulty steadily increased throughout the room, we were provided explicit instructions for how to think toward the solutions. There were still reveals, minor ahas, and some tricky execution points within this process, but it was the most explicit training I have seen in an escape room.

Ultimately, this room did what it set out to do: enabled Scooby Doo fans to enjoy a thematic, puzzle-focused adventure, even without prior puzzling experience. It clearly prioritized Scooby Doo fans of all ages over escape room enthusiasts, but the latter may still appreciate this game if they have any nostalgia for the show or fans to entertain.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Scooby-Doo fans
  • Newbies

Why play?

  • This is an excellent trainer room for kids and newbies. It purposefully educates players how to think through puzzles, all in the context of a lovable, cultural icon.

Story

The local baroness had gone missing, so we were tasked to help Mystery Inc. find her. Unfortunately, our Scooby friends were locked outside of the local castle, leaving us to solve the mystery alone. Fortunately, our Scooby friends had harnessed the power of the castle’s Magic Portraits, so they could tell us useful things to help us track down the true villain.

A fireplace with 5 different paintings hung over it, each with a different colored frame.

Setting

Even though the set didn’t scream “SPOOKY CASTLE” to us, it did scream “SCOOBY-DOO!” The bright colors, cartoonish styling, and pervasive allusions to Scooby-Doo history centered us in the Scooby-Doo universe. Whether ogling the pilot-episode suit of armor, collecting Scooby Snacks, or solving a legit mystery, it felt like we were doing real Scooby-Doo things.

A grandfather clock beside a strange portrait.

Gameplay

Escapology’s Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure was a standard escape room with an intentionally low level of difficulty.

Puzzles involved observation, making connections, logic, and following instructions. Notably, the room provided a high level of scaffolding, including step-by-step instructions for how to complete some puzzles, leaving the difficulty in the execution.

Analysis

➕ In this licensed game, the Scooby-Doo theme isn’t just superficial; it carries throughout the experience. The overarching aesthetic honors the cartoon, character voices pervade the game, and references to the show abound.

➕ Puzzle difficulty steadily escalated throughout the experience, building a sense of accomplishment and momentum.

➖ A couple of puzzles seemed to “stick” a little, in different ways. We had to repeat the triggers multiple times and nudge the set a bit.

➖ One puzzle blurred the line between the game and the safety features of the room. This did not make the game unsafe, but it did make us wonder if we’d cheated.

➖ Parts of the background soundscape were misleading and distracting, making us think that either the gamemaster or Mystery Inc. was trying to contact us.

➕ Whatever Escapology is doing to maintain the scents in this room, they should keep it up. They created a scent puzzle that was actually reasonable…even with N95 masks.

➕ The role of Scooby Snacks was particularly fun. This would be a satisfying mechanism for occupying younger kids.

A box of Scooby Snacks.

➖ One of the cartoonish suspects seemed to have a “Voodoo” mask as its defining feature. This may have been a reference to the Witch Doctor character of Scooby-Doo lore, but nostalgia doesn’t make villainizing particular cultures acceptable. There are plenty of other iconic Scooby-Doo villains to choose from; I nominate the Ghost of Captain Cutler.

➕ The room scaffolded its logic puzzle in a very tangible way. As a lover of logic puzzles, I was particularly pleased to see this.

Tips For Visiting

  • Here are a couple of parking options:
    • Free street parking is available, limited to two hours.
    • There is a parking garage directly behind Escapology Victory Park. Escapology will validate two hours of parking.

Book your hour with Escapology’s Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle Adventure, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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