Mystery Gates is one of the best games in the New Orleans area. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms around New Orleans/Baton Rouge.
Update May 10, 2023: Mystery Gates has been renamed to Unidentified, along with a number of additional gameplay and story changes. Read our updated review here.
Rubber duck season
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
Accessibility Consideration: At least one player must crawl and walk up stairs
Emergency Exit Rating: The emergency exit was not clear, especially during one segment of play.
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Mystery Gates took us for a ride into the depths of a theme park after dark… where there was mischief afoot.
The set was tantamount to a playground, with carnival games that led us behind the scenes to unexpected spaces and mysterious disappearances.
It was an impressive build, with rough edges and a mix of big, memorable moments and smaller, confounding interactions… that felt like they belonged in a different game. It was an uneven experience that was compelling nonetheless.
While we enjoyed Mystery Gates, we greatly preferred Hide & Seek. However, you brought yourself out to Ponchatoula, Louisiana… and you should absolutely play both games. Plus, at the time of publication, The Escape Warehouse has already told us that they plan to make significant changes to Mystery Gates, so go book it. You’ll have fun, and with the upgrades that are coming, I wouldn’t be shocked if you felt compelled to leave a comment telling us that this review was off-base.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Amusement park aficionados
- Any experience level
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- The opening scene
- To play carnival games
- This set felt like a playground
We’d decided to explore the hyped Mystery Gates Theme Park. When we started poking around, it became clear that something sinister was afoot.
At the Mystery Gates theme park, the carnival games stole the show…. that is, until we made our way behind the scenes. As we played, this set continued to unfold, revealing surprises within.
The Escape Warehouse’s Mystery Gates was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, solving puzzles, and maneuvering through the space.
➕ The opening sequence took us for a ride. We just didn’t see it coming.
➕ Mystery Gates included some fun amusement park games. These were engaging interactions.
➖ One input wasn’t intuitive and we were stuck for a while even though we were taking the right action.
➕ As we solved, we opened up more of the set. Our favorite moment triggered a transition that achieved new heights. Plus, this amusement park set was like a playground!
➖ In terms of safety, we found ourselves unsure about the emergency exit availability in one segment.
➕ Mystery Gates set up early for a standard escape room trope to appear in an unusual implementation with a thematic twist. It worked well.
➕ Escape Warehouse crafted generally strong puzzle content with solid game flow.
➖ The finale puzzle was a let down. The pixel hunting was a slog. And the layout of the set made it extra cumbersome. It was a weak ending.
➖ We played Mystery Gates immediately after Hide & Seek, so we were a bit removed from the disconnected waiver experience at this point. However, yet again, the anti-fun waiver contrasted with how the game wanted to be played. And again, 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… which we did not.
➕ Players with deep knowledge of the local escape room industry will appreciate the subtle Easter eggs. We sure did.
➕ This was Escape Warehouse’s second game, but in a way it was a prequel to Hide & Seek. Both games were set in the same world, but can be played in either order. There’s no continuity of story, and either way, cross-game references will feel like extra Easter eggs.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- We recommend Roux & Brew for a nearby meal.
- Both Hide & 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 Mystery Gates, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: The Escape Warehouse comped our tickets for this game.