Lucky Penny Puzzling
Location: Sacramento, CA
Date Played: November 27, 2022
Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $83 for the first 2 players, $32 for each additional player
Game Breakage: A well that was originally the hint mechanic was nonfunctional at the time of playing; another reveal was jammed
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Fortune’s Favor was centered around a delightfully uncommon theme: luck.
Throughout the room, we encountered various symbols, rituals, and superstitions that are tied to both good and bad luck. Fortune’s Favor presented something closer to variations on a theme than any coherent story, yet that theme was compelling and the gameplay flowed fairly well.
At first glance, Fortune’s Favor was set in a cozy forest with alluring textures. Yet as we explored the details, it quickly became evident that much of the set was in need of a facelift. Many of the textural details around the room were worn down or falling apart. Some puzzle components were broken or faded away beyond easy readability. A large well had previously functioned as a thematic hint system, but now just housed a visibly broken TV, with no other meaningful interactivity.
The new hint system that replaced the well was intriguing yet wildly over-engineered, warranting a lengthy pre-game explanation. We wished the hint system’s interface could have been more self-explanatory, especially for teams such as ours that end up not even using this hint system.
Through all this, the puzzles were lovely. There was a high density of delightful and whimsical interactions that matched the intimate tone of the space. And in a perpetual flow state, we mostly looked past the room’s aesthetic flaws while playing.
Luck has not yet run out for Fortune’s Favor; the positives outweighed the negatives, and I found the game to be thoroughly charming on the whole, even if it’s not quite fulfilling its full potential in its current state. If you are in Sacramento, do yourself a favor and give Escape Sacramento’s good luck charm a visit.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs (who have some tolerance for maintenance issues)
- Any experience level
- The enchanting forested setting
- The unique theme
Someone or something had stolen all the good luck from the world. Equipped with the notes of an enigmatic researcher, we entered a magical grotto and attempted to find a way to return our luck.
Fortune’s Favor began in a cozy forest, with a small copse of trees surrounding a stone well. With shadows around every corner, it felt like the fairies might emerge at any moment.
Escape Sacramento’s Fortune’s Favor was a standard escape room with moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles, searching, and making connections.
Upon solving specific puzzles, we obtained tokens corresponding to those puzzles. We inserted those tokens into a hint console so it could keep track of our progress throughout the game. These tokens also gave small time bonuses to incentivize us using them. To take a hint, multiple players were given a different type of token which all needed to be inserted simultaneously, indicating agreement on taking the hint from all players. There were multiple views on the console for different functionality, including viewing uncompleted hints, taking the next hint in the sequence, or requesting custom assistance from the gamemaster.
➕ Fortune’s Favor was based around a strong thematic premise. Variations on good and bad luck tied together a wide range puzzles and interactions based around superstitions, symbology, and folk tales.
➕ The scenery was enchanting. A mossy forest accomplished a lot with a little in a rather small footprint.
➖ The set and props showed significant signs of wear. Chunks of carved foam were visibly crumbling away. Paper clues had seen better days. The signage on one compartment was all but invisible. One puzzle had a broken piece. Close inspection of nearly any area of the set took away from the overall magic.
➕ Despite having no real narrative progression, the puzzles all flowed well. There was a nice variety of mechanics, inputs, and environmental presentations.
➖ An overly complicated hint mechanism led to an overly lengthy pre-game explanation from our gamemaster. Though the concept behind this hint system was unique, it provided more confusion than value and could have been significantly simplified and streamlined.
➕ I can’t knock the game for the reliability of its tech. We were provided with clear instructions to ensure that an uncommon input worked on our first try.
➖ There were some missed opportunities in lighting. The forest was appropriately dark, and though the small flashlights we were provided were mostly sufficient to navigate and solve puzzles, thoughtful spotlighting could have much more effectively set the right mood for the setting while also alleviating the need to tote around our flashlights for the duration of the game.
➖ A translation task was unnecessarily long, especially in the setting and lighting in which it was presented. Thankfully, we were able to shortcut some of the busywork upon recognizing the expected format of the output.
➖ The penultimate interaction triggered prematurely before we knowingly attempted it, and the game lacked any real finale.
Tips For Visiting
- Metered and non-metered street parking is available nearby.
Book your hour with Escape Sacramento’s Fortune’s Favor, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.