Run Run Rudolph!
Location: Grapevine, Texas
Date Played: November 30, 2022
Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $32.99 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Grapevine bills itself as the Christmas Capital of Texas, with cute little shops and restaurants, holiday events all season long, and a town square pulled right out of a Hallmark movie. So it’s no surprise to find a Christmas-themed escape room right down the street. Grapevine Escape’s Rudolph’s Gift was a family-friendly game with whimsical decor and props and several curious elves perched merrily around the room. In the intro video, Mrs. Claus explained that Santa’s elves were sick – with Mistletoe Mumps(!) – and asked if we could help finish putting together a gift for Rudolph’s special anniversary. Why, of course we could!
The set was decorated for the holidays with the elves’ work table, a cozy fireplace and Christmas tree, and a wintery scene just outside. While not the most immersive set, it was a nice backdrop for thematic puzzles and some cool surprises. Many puzzles were kid-friendly, with plenty of components to touch and manipulate – perfect for little hands. There was good puzzle variety that kept us busy, and although most were on the easier side, they were still engaging and enjoyable to solve. (One fun puzzle actually required a bit of compromising so that each of us got to do part of it.) Our only struggle was when we found a code, we didn’t always know which lock or input device to use it with, causing some confusion and retries. But an unusual and clever hint mechanism let us know if we were heading towards the right solution or not.
There were several charming surprises throughout the experience and a delightful ending that left us with just a bit of childlike wonder. This game made me happy. If you are in the area exploring Grapevine, stop in and help Mrs. Claus with Rudolph’s Gift.
Who is this for?
- Story seekers
- Young escapers
- Players who need a dose of Christmas spirit
- Cute holiday theme
- Magical moments
- To help out Mrs. Claus
To celebrate Rudolph’s work anniversary, Mrs. Claus was making him a set of golden hooves to protect his tootsies when he lands on rooftops. Unfortunately, many of the elves have come down with a bad case of Mistletoe Mumps, and she needed our help to finish the gift before Santa would arrive for his Christmas Eve deliveries.
The game took place in the elves’ playroom/ workshop, with a large work table, a few toys and books, presents, and festive Christmas decorations.
Grapevine Escape’s Rudolph’s Gift was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ The intro video was amusing, with a welcoming tone aimed at younger players. It drew us into the spirit of the mission. This same mechanism managed time checks in a unique way that kept the storyline front and center.
➕ Rudolph’s Gift took place in the space previously used by The Chapel. One puzzle involved a unique set piece from that experience in a very creative – but completely different – way, which was exciting to discover.
➖ The set decor was festive and provided a nice backdrop for the puzzles. However, there was room to improve immersion and better define what the space was supposed to be.
➕ Most puzzles were approachable and easy to solve with a little creative thinking and imagination; this would be a good room to introduce both kids and adults to escape rooms. As a team of two enthusiasts, we still enjoyed playing, although we did try to overcomplicate one puzzle, with rather amusing results.
➖ Although some puzzles had effective signposting, others did not. We found this confusing and somewhat frustrating, especially when one input device was used more than once. Additional lock-mapping to let players know which puzzles go with which lock/ input device would be helpful and improve player experience.
➕ One special touch towards the end of the game caught us off guard and brought huge smiles; we would have liked for it to last longer than it did.
➕ The ending was delightful! We are still talking about it.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- You will find many cute shops and restaurants nearby; we enjoyed lunch at Napoli’s Italian Kitchen & Market and then stopped by Dr. Sue’s Chocolate (because we couldn’t resist).
Book your hour with Grapevine Escape’s Rudolph’s Gift, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Grapevine Escape comped our tickets for this game.