The Escape Warehouse – Hide & Seek [Review]

Ready or not, here I come!

Location:  Ponchatoula, LA

Date Played: November 11, 2022

Team size: 3-9; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32-35 per player depending on the day of the week

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  At least one player must crawl and walk up stairs

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Hide & Seek brought a classic childhood game to life with a bit of a thrill. It felt familiar… but twisted.

The set was believable and expansive. It really felt like we were exploring someone’s home. And that exploration gave way to one of my favorite spatial aha moments in a long time.

Like in anyone’s home, some of the furniture and other items shown a lot of wear. In one instance, this led us to discover the house’s secrets too easily. In another, we were too delicate to move forward without external confirmation. Maintenance will improve the flow and safety of the game.

Hide & Seek was creepy, but not terrifying. The Escape Warehouse turned up the intensity in the final moments – even though we had plenty of time left on the clock – which upped our energy levels dramatically. While they can further finesse this sequence, they know how to deliver moments that matter.

A large chair in a living room, beyond it is a wall that has the words, "You can't hide" written repeatedly on it.
Image via The Escape Warehouse

The Escape Warehouse is a newcomer in one of the country’s top escape room regions. They’ve learned from their neighbors and have come out of the gates with big sets, strong interactions, and wow moments. And we weren’t the only ones impressed. The post-event survey for our November 2022 Escape Immerse Explore Tour to New Orleans ranked their games pretty highly. With Hide & Seek and Mystery Gates (review coming soon), The Escape Warehouse has secured themselves as a stop on an escape room player’s trip to Louisiana.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fans of light horror
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The haunting vibe
  • Smooth gameplay
  • A dramatic ending sequence

Story

We’d been captured and locked up in an abandoned house to play a sadistic game of hide and seek. Now we needed to escape.

Setting

We we locked in a manor. As we moved through the game, we unlocked different rooms of the house.

The set had a cozy, but creepy vibe, with old wooden furniture and props. It looked great, but some of the props were excessively worn.

An old bed, with a cracked frame. The wall around the bed has mad writing scrawled across it.
Image via The Escape Warehouse

Gameplay

The Escape Warehouse’s Hide & Seek was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.

An ugly old bathtub with a couple inches of dark, gross water at the bottom.
Image via The Escape Warehouse

Analysis

➕ /➖ We entered the game blindfolded. While this made sense narratively, and created a strong opening reveal, we would have felt better about this if the blindfolds had been newly unpackaged, or clearly just laundered. (Update: Escape Warehouse confirmed that they are always freshly laundered.)

➕ The starting set was unexpected. This was just the tip of the iceberg. Throughout the game, the set opened up in delightful ways.

➕ The atmosphere was creepy, but not scary. The decor looked great. Furthermore, decor was well secured to avoid red herrings.

➖ The set was well worn. One major set piece was falling apart. Two transition sequences lost some of their magic due to wear – one because it was so obvious and the other because it jammed up. The set construction was not polished. We ran our hands over some rough edges.

➕ Our gamemaster was attentive. For example, they stepped in immediately when we broke sequence by luck, and later found an object we wouldn’t need. They also stepped in when we interacted too gingerly with the set. We really appreciated this guidance.

➕ The puzzles made sense and overall, the gameplay flowed well. Our favorite puzzles required collaboration, including a cooperative dexterity challenge.

➖ A water feature had damaged a lock. They need to service this prop more often or replace it with a marine lock.

➕ One especially satisfying aha gave us a new understanding the space, and foreshadowed where the next sequence would take us. This meta puzzle also artfully tied the story into the experience. This was brilliant.

➕ /➖ The ending was dramatic. Even though we were escaping well under the hour game clock, Escape Warehouse amped up the intensity. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite understand what to do in this moment. A few options seemed narratively justifiable.

➖ The tone of the onboarding was… not friendly. The waiver asked us to agree to a long check list of “don’ts” leaving us with the impression that we’d need to be especially delicate. Then the gamemaster immediately told us we’d need to really explore the space and take some unusual actions to solve the game… which was completely in contrast to the waiver. Furthermore, our gamemaster expected us to have read the story of the game on the website… and to remember it well enough to know the set up for the experience. He seemed flummoxed that he’d need to set the stage for us, and implied that the website would do a better job than he could.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • We recommend Roux & Brew for a nearby meal.
  • Both Hide and Seek and Mystery Gates were set in the same world, but you can play them in any order.

Book your hour with The Escape Warehouse’s Hide & Seek, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Escape Warehouse comped our tickets for this game.

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