13th Gate Escape – Spellbound [Review]

Spellbound is one of the best games in Baton Rouge. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms around New Orleans/Baton Rouge.

Magical upgrades

Location:  Baton Rouge, LA

Date Played: November 12, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  All players needs to be able to go up and down a few steps to fully experience the game.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We reviewed Spellbound in its original location at RISE Escape Rooms back in 2017 and loved it. In 2017, the greater New Orleans area was the hottest region in the North American escape room scene. Spellbound easily ranked among the finest games in that scene.

A lot has changed since 2017 and today Spellbound is owned and operated by 13th Gate Escape. The question is, what did 13th Gate do with this iconic game and how does it hold up today?

A pentagram with glowing orbs and candles.

The answer is pretty straightforward. From a gameplay standpoint, 13th Gate left Spellbound largely unchanged. There were a few adjustments early in game, and a couple near the end, but mostly, it was the same game.

The biggest changes were in the aesthetics and a few interactions… again mostly early- and late-game. These improvements were categorically for the best, particularly the finale.

A large dead tree beside a wooden cabin.

Spellbound is a classic for a reason. The game holds up. It is one of the strongest games in the famous 13th Gate Escape facility. If I were to have a critique of it in late 2022/ early 2023, it’s that there was room to further improve the gameplay and its link to the story. This game was among the best at delivering this connection in 2017, but a lot of new tricks have entered the escape room creator’s toolkit since then. I would love to see 13th Gate explore them.

If you’re visiting 13th Gate, and you should, Spellbound is one of their many must-play games.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The set design
  • An exciting transition reveal

Background & Updates

Spellbound was originally created by RISE Escape Rooms in Tickfaw, LA. When RISE closed, 13th Gate Escape purchased this game and enhanced it. Here is our original review from 2017.

13th Gate Escape upgraded the set. The opening scene in the forest was especially impressive. 13th Gate Escape’s talent for set construction shined in this experience.

A page of palm reading information with a wand sitting atop it.

They also added dramatic flair to the ending sequence, creating the finale that the original Spellbound lacked.

There was still room for better feedback for some of the solves. At times we continued fiddling with objects we’d already used because we didn’t connect triggers to reveals.

Additionally, a long decoding sequence in the middle was a drag, especially for a larger team. Providing more of one magical prop would enhance the experience.

While there was room to improve the flow of the gameplay, the upgraded Spellbound still provided strong puzzle design. The dramatic upgrades elevated the game, giving more weight to an already exciting adventure.

Trees beside a wooden outhouse. A handprint is carved into the tree trunk.

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 Spellbound, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: 13th Gate Escape comped our tickets for this game.

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