Incredible! Escape Rooms – The Toy Maker [Review]

But where does he keep the cool toys?

Location:  Glendale, AZ

Date Played: March 13, 2022

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $39.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

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

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We played The Toy Maker when it was brand new… and if I hadn’t known better, I would have assumed that it was designed in 2014.

The game had absolutely no cohesion. With the exception of a handful of small, cheap toys, it barely did anything with its own theme.

One of those old toy bird things with liquid in them that swing like a pendulum.

From a gameplay standpoint, the puzzles were largely common and frequently purchasable. The biggest challenges came from searching.

While there was a slightly interesting twist on a puzzle in the late-game, overall, this experience felt like it was years out of date before it was even conceived.

I used to think that the worst thing that a player could feel after playing an escape room was a sense that they hated the game and didn’t want to play escape rooms anymore. The truth is that there is something far worse… and it’s when a player without relevant skills or a background in game, prop, set, amusement, or hardware design walks out of your gaming believing that they too can create escape rooms. If you felt that after playing this game, go visit The Nemesis Club or Paragon Escape Games for a reality check on the direction that this industry is moving in.

Who is this for?

  • Players who want to add another game to their escape game count

Why play?

  • To see where this industry used to be

Story

Our long lost toymaker uncle had passed away leaving his estate to us, if we could solve his mystery.

Wide view of a generic study-like escape room with a few bookshelves, a large seat, and exposed wires.

Setting

The Toy Maker was set in a generic study with an assortment of items that don’t really belong together and exposed wires.

A large black leather chair beside an end table, a lamp, and wires plugged into an outlet.

Gameplay

Incredible! Escape Rooms’ The Toy Maker was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connection, and puzzling.

Analysis

βž– The set was uninspired. The decor was random. This didn’t feel like somebody’s office, especially not that of a toy maker. The theming was almost non-existent. The space was large, but sparsely decorated.

βž– There were exposed wires.

βž• Although the experience screamed “designed in 2014,” Incredible! Escape Rooms avoided perhaps the most classic mistake of the era. Instead, their version of this mechanic illuminated clearly. It was a good moment.

βž• The gameplay flowed pretty well. The puzzles solved cleanly, and in the second act, a few were especially nicely clued.

βž– Most of the gameplay was simplistic: see this and input that. It had no depth.

βž– Instead, it was tricky in the wrong ways, with locks that were challenging input mechanisms, and some unexpected reuse. We wished the challenges were in the puzzles rather than the mechanisms.

βž• We enjoyed one layered sequence in the second act that facilitated teamwork.

βž– Incredible! Escape Rooms relied on a few small purchased puzzles. These were the type of tavern puzzles you’d generally find in a lobby. As puzzles that are best solved solo and made no use of the set, they just didn’t belong in an escape room.

βž• Incredible! Escape Rooms did one thing we’ve never seen. They turned a small item many of us touch every day into an input for a puzzle. This was pretty neat.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Incredible! Escape Rooms’ The Toy Maker, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Incredible! Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

3 thoughts on “Incredible! Escape Rooms – The Toy Maker [Review]

  1. If you all are heading through Tucson soon, I’d love to meet up with y’all for a game! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the warning about this company!

      1. No worries… we played a lot in the spring, so there’s a big hopper. We’d love to meet up next time we’re in the area.

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