Drink, think, outwit a shrink.
Location: Avondale, AZ
Date Played: September 16, 2022
Team Size: 1-9; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $37.50 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
When I walked into The Room Escape Games’ Asylum of Lost Souls, my first thought was: I’m glad there are other people in here. The dark, creepy doctor’s office with several locked doors leading to the unknown was a bit unnerving. The set was moody and immersive, with shadows making ordinary items appear sinister. There were many items to search through that turned out to be extraneous, and while they added to the overall aesthetic of the game, it was also disappointing to search and find nothing useful.
The puzzles were approachable and on the easy side; we found it best not to overthink solutions. At one point, we tried really hard to make a puzzle out of a weird set of items that turned out had no purpose other than set dressing. It would have been quite a bizarre puzzle though! While some puzzles were unusual and unique, others were less so, but it was still satisfying when the answer just clicked. Thematic set pieces with well-integrated tech really worked with the story. In fact, the narrative was nicely woven throughout the game and purposefully evident in most of the puzzling.
We did experience a minor issue when an additional video started playing while no one was actually in the area to see it. Once we noticed, we wrongly interpreted information in the video as a hint pushed by the gamemaster. It was confusing and slowed our momentum late in the game, though we actually solved the puzzle as intended.
The Room Escape Games is unusual in that they allow selfies during the game and sell alcoholic beverages in the lobby, along with snacks and soft drinks. You can even bring drinks in the room or place an order while you play! This was surprising because I’ve heard many stories from gamemasters about crazy things people do while playing after drinking, not to mention the numerous warnings in many waivers and FAQs. I was hesitant to order anything, having been conditioned for so long.
Asylum of Lost Souls is a good game for novices or people who are there for a casual experience (the selfies, drinking, or haunted vibes) rather than for enthusiasts or hard-core puzzlers. If you are in the area and this describes you and your team, stop by The Room Escape Games.
Who is this for?
- Story seekers
- Scenery snobs
- Horror fans
- 🍺 Thirsty players who want in-game selfies
- Creepy, detailed set
- Smooth puzzle flow
- Strong story that carries throughout the game
A mother and daughter had once been residents of the Pennhurst Insane Asylum, where bad things had been done to them by the medical staff. They now haunt the asylum, waiting for someone to hear their story and set them free.
The game began in the office of Dr. Bernard, Head Resident Physician of the Pennhurst Insane Asylum. The scenery was detailed and immersive. Lighting and shadows created a dark, spooky vibe.
The Room Escape Games’ Asylum of Lost Souls was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ The tragic story was told through a variety of methods, sometimes directly through written materials and video, other times in more subtle ways, like set and puzzles. All together this was effective in creating a narrative that carried throughout the experience, and by the end, we were invested in the outcome.
➕ Set design was immersive and creepy, enhanced by several gruesome props that silently told a horrific story. The use of shadow and light set the tone and directed our attention to key areas.
➖ Several times we came across a large number of props that required searching but turned out to be just decoration and not part of any puzzle; making these items immovable would clearly indicate they were not in play and avoid unnecessary searching.
❓ We discovered a set piece that was genuine, yet so unexpected that we thought there was a problem with the structure of the building. There wasn’t; it was actually part of the ambience.
➕ Most puzzles fit the theme well, with solutions that furthered the story and were logical and satisfying to solve without overly complex puzzling.
❓ That said, puzzle content was fairly light, and our experienced team finished the game with plenty of time remaining. There is an opportunity to add additional puzzles – either in the current game flow or as bonus puzzles – that would take advantage of available space and provide more game time for faster players.
➖/➕ The Room Escape Game’s practice of selling alcohol and allowing it in the game space is definitely unusual among escape room companies. While leaning towards a more casual, laidback experience such as a happy hour or date night, I’d imagine it can also lead to problems depending on the specific players and amount consumed.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- We enjoyed dinner at the Cornish Pasty Company nearby in Phoenix.
Book your hour with The Room Escape Games’ Asylum of Lost Souls, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.