It’s elementary…and that’s okay!
Location: Killeen, TX
Date Played: August 31, 2022
Team Size: 2-7; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $25 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
As a former elementary school teacher, Back to the Fourth Grade felt like a homecoming of sorts. I recognized the floor tiles, the desks, the posters… heck, I probably even bought some of those posters once in my life. In both its decor and activities, the room captured the core essence of a classroom. It successfully made a school-day fun.
This was also the sparsest of the three rooms we played at Great Escape of Central Texas and showed a bit more wear than the others. Here, the minimalism hid some clever mechanics in plain sight, making their discovery that much more exciting. However, players looking for a richer environment should play Mobfather or Lost Tomb of Anubis.
Puzzle-wise, the room offered a good balance between straightforward activities for younger or newer players and a few trickier challenges. One puzzle suggested more patience than it ultimately deserved, but otherwise everything was well-clued and fair. Experienced players will likely fly through much of this experience but may still enjoy the nostalgic interactions here. I did.
After lamenting the scarcity of good family games in the Austin area, I brought my kids (ages 6 and 9) back to play this room with a couple of their friends. They loooooved it. They were able to make most of the puzzle connections without too much help, and they were delighted by the set interactions and surprises. I had already enjoyed this room with my enthusiast crew, but seeing it from my kids’ perspective made me appreciate its extra charm for fresh eyes.
Back to the Fourth Grade was an endearing room that is highly approachable for families, including a couple of clever ahas to delight enthusiast chaperones. Families in the Austin or Killeen area should definitely check it out.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Newbies and families
- To introduce newer players to escape rooms while having fun yourself
Long ago, we’d failed fourth grade, causing undefined negative repercussions well into our adulthood. Fortunately, we befriended a time-traveling scientist who enabled us to reattempt our classes. If we could escape in time to catch the bus, we’d rewrite our history and permanently defeat the fourth grade.
Despite this fantastical setup, no flux capacitors were necessary for this room. It’s a classroom game.
We explored a recognizable rendition of an elementary school classroom. There wasn’t anything fancy about it, but school need not be fancy to be effective.
Great Escape of Central Texas’s Back to the Fourth Grade was a standard escape room with a moderately low level of difficulty.
Core gameplay involved making connections, outside-the-box thinking, and a tiny bit of fourth-grade-level trivia.
➕ The set was minimal yet convincing as a classroom.
➖ One puzzle had a large potential for error.
➕ We were impressed and challenged by a particularly outside-the-box implementation of a common puzzle type. None of us had seen that variation, and it was delightful.
➖ The puzzles most well-suited for the youngest players were also the hardest to reach.
➖ One puzzle had the potential to be an excessive time sink, depending on how literally you interpret it.
➕ Several clever clues were hiding in plain sight.
➕ The puzzles were thematic, well clued, and mimicked actual classroom tasks. Even if they were aimed at newer players, they still felt satisfying to complete.
➕/➖ My kids’ favorite puzzle also involved a safety mechanism that shouldn’t be treated as a toy outside of an escape room. They were delighted to get to interact with it…and a bit too excited to see a real one the next day…
Tips For Visiting
- There was plenty of parking right outside of Great Escape of Central Texas.
- The owner recommended Arepitas, a local Venezuelan restaurant. It did not disappoint.
Book your hour with Great Escape of Central Texas’s Back to the Fourth Grade, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.