Chapter 1: Room 303 is one of the best games in Denver. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Denver.
Location: Thornton, CO
Date Played: November 3, 2022
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: from $40 per player for teams of 2 to $30 per player for teams of 5-8
Accessibility Consideration: Players may turn on fluorescent lights for vision needs or to remove the fear
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Every once in a while an escape room company opens up and I can immediately feel that the creators behind it did their homework. Everything about 303 Escape made it clear to us that an abundance of thought and craft went into their work.
In Chapter 1: Room 303, we saw a clinic in thoughtful design. This included the location and manner that the story was delivered in; a game world that started in the lobby, extended through the hallways, and into the game; and a level of care that almost no one puts into cluing and interaction design.
Seriously, the amount of care that 303 Escape put into their interaction design was so great that it actually pulled me out of the fiction a few times because I was filled with so much appreciation for their thoughtful work.
Where I felt 303 Escape could improve Chapter 1 was in closing the story. The narrative came on strong at the beginning, but felt less relevant at the conclusion.
Overall, Chapter 1: Room 303 was a fantastic game and a remarkable achievement for a company’s first escape room. If you’re in the Denver area 303 Escape is a must visit, and you should play both Chapter 1 & Chapter 2, in order.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Serial killer and HH Holmes fans
- Any experience level
- Compelling set
- Novel puzzles and interactions
- Smart design choices when it came to prop builds and modifications
- You’re drawn to approachable horror
Serial killer and hotel owner Robert Quinlan had specially designed one room in his hotel for murder. And he’d checked us in.
We were in a creepy murder hotel room. It was packed with detail everywhere we looked. It was a well-built game in a well-thought-out world. The lobby, hallways, and second game were all part of the world.
303 Escape’s Chapter 1: Room 303 was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty and a bit of horror.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ The intro was delivered via recorded audio in the lobby. This was well executed. By doing it this way, 303 Escape was able to hold our attention. The intro didn’t compete with the escape room, and we couldn’t be half listening/ half looking for puzzles to solve.
➕ The inclusion of a “turn it on if you want it” light switch to essentially remove the horror was a clever idea. If you flip that switch the fluorescent lighting immediately annihilates the scary atmosphere. Seeing it both ways, it really was comical how drastically lighting can change an environment.
➕ 303 Escape’s set design was strong, there was a ton of detailed work on display throughout the lobby, hallways, and game environment, all of which were in-world.
➕ A remarkable and obvious amount of thought went into the puzzle and interaction design. There were points where you could feel the experience that the game’s designer had as an escape room player. This was expressed in affordances like a custom reset button on what would otherwise be a lockout safe.
➕/➖ 303 Escape was leaning heavily into storytelling, and they told the setup well… but I didn’t feel the same level of storytelling in the conclusion of Chapter 1.
➕ The phone interactions were a joy.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot. After parking you have to you walk around the building to enter.
- Both Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 were set in the same world, and I strongly recommend playing them in sequential order. (The experiences don’t flow straight through, so you don’t need to book them immediately back to back.) There will be a Chapter 3.
Book your hour with 303 Escape’s Chapter 1: Room 303, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: 303 Escape comped our tickets for this game.