Twisted Limits Escape Rooms – The Passage [Review]

Making caves

Location: McHenry, IL

Date Played: March 11, 2022

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

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $40 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: stairs and strobing lights, though special accommodations can be made

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Passage opened in a breathtaking cave. I’m a sucker for rooms that don’t feel like rooms, and Twisted Limits accomplished that brilliantly, obscuring any evidence that this space had ever consisted of mundane perpendicular walls. Flickery lighting, stylized cave drawings, and a large water feature rounded off the atmosphere.

The Passage was a big step up for Twisted Limits in terms of set design. From building a cave from scratch to concocting a mind-bending “Passage,” it was clear that a massive amount of creativity and labor went into creating this escape game.

The gameplay in The Passage was also creative and enjoyable, though most puzzles centered around opening standalone briefcases and could have felt more deeply integrated with the set. Additionally, certain puzzles could have benefited from clearer signposting.

A room of sandstone with a illuminated pool in the center.

If you are in NE Illinois, The Passage at Twisted Limits Escape Rooms is a unique hidden gem and is well worth a visit.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • The set
  • The unique transition

Story

We’d been sent by the mysterious ONEIROS company to investigate an underground research site. The previous group of scientists had gone missing, and we were tasked with recovering a missing artifact and crossing “The Passage” that they’d been researching.

A corridor of sandstone supported with wooden framing. A light glows at the end.

Setting

The Passage was set at an ONEIROS company research site, deep underground in a cave. The floor, walls, and ceiling were organically textured and rounded. Wooden supports lined the entrance, making it feel something like a mining shaft. Briefcases, tools, and lights left behind by a previous research team were strewn throughout the space.

Gameplay

Twisted Limits Escape Rooms’ The Passage was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around puzzling and making connections.

Analysis

➕ The set was transportive. We stepped from a generic office building into an otherworldly cave, where every surface was carefully moulded and the room didn’t feel at all like a normal room. A slight drop in temperature and the sound of falling water further enhanced the immersion. As the game proceeded, we encountered a wide range of textures that provided a stark and effective contrast.

➕ The puzzles in The Passage were fun and creatively designed. They involved some unique physical props and interactions.

➖ Especially in the first stage of the game, many puzzles centered around laminated cards, ultimately leading to them feeling somewhat disconnected from the space.

➕ The titular “passage” was dizzyingly awesome. I was thoroughly enchanted and took a few minutes mid-game to just traverse this passage over and over.

➖ Most of the answer inputs were briefcases with digital locks that locked you out after a few attempts. These proved somewhat frustrating to operate, and we got bottlenecked a few times while trying to input correct combos, especially for longer answer sequences.

The Passage used a standalone tablet that we took with us through the game to deliver story and hints. The text styling and physical device could have benefitted from a more in-world presentation.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was a parking lot.

Book your session with Twisted Limits Escape Rooms’ The Passage, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Twisted Limits Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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