Escapology – Dallas (Victory Park) – Mansion Murder [Review]

A family affair

Location:  Dallas, Texas

Date Played: March 30, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $36 per player

Ticketing: Private

Game Breakage: No

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Mansion Murder was defined by a hint of luxury, a dab of family intrigue, and a couple of multi-part connections that carried the bulk of its difficulty. It didn’t have many standout moments, however; the puzzles and set elements were fairly standard escape room fair. A detailed family history lesson provided the narrative, but most of it was superfluous to our efforts.

Wide angle view of an old mansion with painted portraits and a large family tree all hung on the wall.

The pacing of this experience was curious. It positioned the most relevant plot points, most difficult puzzles, and most exciting reveals before or near the halfway point. A deeper interest in the story might sustain committed story seekers in the second half. To us, the final puzzles felt scattered and inconsequential.

As a set of puzzles in a pretty setting, there was nothing wrong with this room, and newer players may find it quite challenging. There are, however, other rooms in the Escapology franchise (Scooby-Doo and the Spooky Castle and Budapest Express, for example) that use more compelling theming, set pieces, and/ or puzzle integration to offer a more interesting experience.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Murder mystery fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • You enjoy piecing together centuries of family drama under pressure.

Story

At the Montgomerie family’s New Year’s Eve celebration, someone had murdered our grandfather! As his heir, we were the prime suspect. We had an hour before the police arrived to solve this mystery and prove our innocence. Fortunately, mansions seem to always be trustworthy sources of evidence.

Wide view of a study with a large leather chair and a key maze.

Setting

We explored our grandfather’s mansion, which was adorned with mansion-y mainstays like organs, chairs, and portraits. It also included some less mansion-y elements, like curious pneumatic tubes.

An old organ in a mansion.

Gameplay

Escapology’s Mansion Murder was a standard escape room with a moderate-to-high level of difficulty. Puzzles emphasized making connections, reasoning, and decoding.

Analysis

➕ Most of the puzzles flowed smoothly from each other. After an initial stretched connection, it was generally clear what to do with each new piece of information.

➖ The only place to take notes was on a wall-mounted whiteboard near the entrance of the room. This was inconvenient placement for several puzzles, adding an uninteresting communication requirement without any thematic justification.

➕ One physical gimmick was surprising and fun, even if it seemed out of place within the set.

➕ Our favorite puzzle required us to process part of the story, lending some importance to the narrative. For anyone interested in the drama behind the Montgomerie family, more intrigue developed throughout the room, but it was less critical for gameplay.

➖ One digital prop behaved suspiciously, apparently without purpose. This served more as a red herring rather than enhancing the ambiance.

➖ Some elements of the room were of poorer quality than the rest. One early puzzle suffered from a physical malfunction, making the solution available without completing the puzzle. A later area of the room was of substantially lower build construction and interest than the rest of the set.

➖ A couple of puzzles overlapped in their cluing, lending themselves to reasonable but incorrect connections that crossed into each others’ territory.

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 Mansion Murder, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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