The Asylum is one of the best games in Baton Rouge. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms around New Orleans/Baton Rouge.
A Mouse in the walls
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Date Played: November 12, 2022
Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-6
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $32 per player
Accessibility Consideration: One player needs to crawl.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
With The Asylum, 13th Gate Escape returned to their roots: haunted attractions.
After taking players to a bunker of a former Nazi inventor, ancient Egypt and pirate caves, it was time to up the intensity in the classically haunted setting of an abandoned insane asylum.
The set stole the show. It was grim, creepy, and expansive. It was an uncomfortable place to explore, by design.
Was Asylum scary? Yes.
Was their haunted house scarier? Yes.
While Asylum was designed to keep players on edge, it didn’t have actors. It was unsettling, and it had jump scares, but it wasn’t terrifying. Most players will be able to solve puzzles in this environment.
To that end, Asylum offered the strongest puzzle flow we’ve seen to date from 13th Gate Escape. It wasn’t perfect, and more than ever we find ourselves hoping that 13th Gate levels up their game and narrative design to match the level of quality of their set design. Too many active 4-digit locks tripped us up more than once. However, it generally was well-clued.
With the exceptional staging and the gameplay improved, there was room to enhance the storytelling, especially in the final moments, to punctuate our escape.
If you can handle horror (and you’re ok with an asylum theme), your trip to 13th Gate Escape won’t be complete without playing The Asylum. It doesn’t have reveals on the same scale as some of their other games (i.e Tomb of Anubis or Cutthroat Cavern), but from start to finish, this set was exquisite in the horrific way 13th Gate has truly mastered.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Horror fans
- Any experience level
- The beautifully creepy setting
This abandoned asylum had a storied past: countless deaths, human experimentation, and the alleged murder of the doctor in charge. Our friend, a local reporter, had broken into the asylum to capture footage for a story about haunted places. When she didn’t return, and a storm threatened, we entered the asylum to find her… and became trapped ourselves.
We entered a gritty, bare patient’s room. With tall ceilings, weathered walls, and painted grime, it was a foreboding setting.
The set opened up, revealing multiple rooms, with exquisite detailing that made the haunted, long-abandoned set come to life.
13th Gate Escape’s The Asylum was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connection, solving puzzles, and not being scared by the creepy atmosphere.
➕ The set was gorgeous… not in a beautiful way, but in a “wow, look how the creepy asylum comes to life” way. 13th Gate is world renowned for their set construction and horror sets are their bread and butter. The detail was exquisite.
➕ 13th Gate constructed one portion of the set specifically to be an unnerving, dramatic reveal. It delivered, and then remained atmospheric. It was also key to a strong solo moment.
➕/➖ The intensity of the space and design of one part of the set provided a thrill. We also enjoyed a jump… gag. We aren’t fans of startling loud noises. And looping soundtracks quickly lose their creepiness. It’s hard to keep players on edge for a prolonged time and while Asylum did this better than most, it could intensify in new ways in the later portion, as players become comfortable.
➖ There was opportunity to do more with video to make the space come alive even more.
➕ We typically dislike overlocking (multiple locks gating a single reveal), but in Asylum this built dramatic tension for the finale. It worked because the gameplay didn’t bind up on account of it. There was always another puzzle thread available to unravel.
➕ Asylum offered some of 13th Gate’s strongest puzzle design to date. While most of it tied back to locks, this made sense for the set. We liked when a thematic item forced us to take an unnerving action, revealing an appropriately enciphered puzzle. We also enjoyed a visual challenge and a layered communication puzzle.
➖ With lock-centric gameplay, more varied inputs (rather than 4 digits), would improve the gameplay, so that players never doubt where to try a solution. Furthermore, the locks were pretty worn.
➕ The character who provided hints elevated the experience. It grounded the story, and connected us more to the world.
➖ There was an opportunity for a narrative payoff in the last sequence, with a final reveal, that would have given more weight to our escape.
❓ Asylum didn’t offer any one truly jaw-dropping moment of the type 13th Gate has become known for. While we didn’t feel anything was lacking because of it, if this is your expectation, your mileage may vary.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- For meals nearby, we recommend Elsie’s Plate & Pie and Parrains Seafood.
Book your hour with 13th Gate Escape’s The Asylum, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: 13th Gate Escape comped our tickets for this game.