Scenario Escape Room – Dr. Hader Loses [Review]

Keeping the puzzles in ‘toon

Location:  Brea, CA

Date Played: October 7, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35-50 per player, depending on team size

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  At least one player will need to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Full of character, from the narrative design to the hand-painted artwork, Dr. Hader Loses was a beautiful and adventurous experience. Scenario Escape Room went about designing this game as a whole, including pre- and post-game content, for added excitement. The detailed set was brilliantly graffiti-inspired, the puzzles were layered and exciting, and the game flow was clean and punchy.

The audio engineering and narration during the experience were impressive. This was accompanied by goofy and cute animation. The sound effects paired well with the rewarding step-by-step feedback given for puzzle solves. That said, we wished the audio carried better in the game space, as it was difficult to hear in later parts.

For the overachievers, there was bonus content for players who breeze through the main game. These puzzles were a ton of fun for our group and we hope most players will be able to see and solve them. It is unfortunate that hints are not allowed for the bonuses, as the hint system was adorable, and the puzzles have the potential to frustrate a team that otherwise excelled in the game.

A secret lair-environment with sci-fi blasters on the walls and experiment stations.

Dr. Hader Loses feels right at home in Los Angeles with its time-period specific puzzles and narrative. If you’re at all in the area, be sure to check it out along with their first game, The Mad Rapper. Both games were designed with love and portray unique stories fitting for the city.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Animation fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Amazing graffiti-inspired art from floor to ceiling
  • Fantastic audio and visual design spanning the pre-game sequence all the way through the post-game closure

Story

The animators who wrote the beloved comic “Dr. Hader Loses!” had gone missing, and our team was sent to retrace their steps through their animation studio.

R&B Animation studio with a large glowing purple station.

Setting

Dr. Hader Loses was set in the R&B Animation Studio in 1980s Los Angeles, full of incredible art and animation equipment, accompanied by a great soundtrack. The game transformed before our eyes into a gorgeous comic- and graffiti-inspired adventure covered in hand-drawn art.

Gameplay

Scenario Escape Room’s Dr. Hader Loses was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

There was bonus content available after the main game that had a higher level of difficulty.

Gameplay revolved around observation, making connections, puzzling, searching, and communication.

Analysis

➕ The absolutely mind-boggling attention to art, aesthetics, and detail in Dr. Hader Loses was impeccable. The set was made to last, and the visuals were stunning, with hand-painted artwork on every surface. The story’s goofy nature fit the comic-style art perfectly.

➕ The introduction was clean, punchy, and memorable from arrival to the start of the game clock. We really were on an investigative adventure. Scenario Escape Room’s thorough thought process both in and out of the experience was stellar.

➖ There were two objects our team spent time analyzing and ended up irrelevant to any solves. While these fit in the aesthetic of the space, they seemed unnecessary and confused us.

➕ One mid-game puzzle was cleverly clued and paired especially well with an incredibly enjoyable input mechanism. This design style permeated throughout the experience, which involved a high level of physicality expressed through inputs and objects.

➕/➖ One input sequence was satisfying to solve and had a great lead-up, but the technical execution of the buttons was lacking. Some inputs were double pressing, forcing the long input to be wrong and requiring a frustrating restart. This frustration could be relieved with a longer pause integrated in the tech.

➕/➖ The bonus puzzles were rewarding to solve and contained some of the strongest solutions in the game. The areas used for these puzzles were clearly marked, but the items for the solves were not marked as well, causing confusion. It is unfortunate that the bonus puzzles lack hints, because even though they are meant to be extra, players will likely leave disappointed if they do not get to them all. In this set up, players who win can still walk away feeling like they’ve lost.

➕ Scenario Escape Room was able to strike a perfect balance of the storyline between the artists and their characters. The duality of the narrative was adorably blended together while being functional and easy to follow. The story truly felt like it belonged in Los Angeles.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is plenty of parking on-site.

Book your hour with Scenario Escape Room’s Dr. Hader Loses, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Scenario Escape Room provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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