Great Escape of Central Texas – Imperial Heist [Review]

Thieves in the Night

Location:  Killeen, TX

Date Played: July 6, 2023

Team Size: Up to 4; we recommend 2

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: N/A

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Imperial Heist was a well-adorned stealth operation through a tiny museum that mixed authentic heisty antics with traditional escape room puzzling. Its strengths lay in the detail and quality of its set along with a handful of puzzles that blended seamlessly into their surroundings. At its best, this room had us in full-blown spy mode, sneaking, whispering, and being grateful for the dark.

As with all the rooms at Great Escape of Central Texas, the setting was rich and convincing as a tiny yet well-secured museum. We appreciated several technological touches that made the security feel realistic. Puzzles that involved these features made us feel like we were actually hacking our way into the museum. Also, even though I generally dislike dark rooms, the darkness here felt like a valuable enhancement. What was a straightforward space in the light became an environment dense with discovery in the dark. There were truly things I didn’t notice until the end of the game despite the small footprint, making the room feel fresh throughout.  

My main quibble with this room was the pacing. The first half of the game contained the most purpose-driven puzzles, setting the expectation that the whole experience would feel realistic and heist-y. Alas, at the midway point, the game trailed into a series of disjointed puzzles. Though perfectly fine activities, they lacked the sense of purpose from the first act. The result was still fun but a bit anticlimactic.

Art museum with an assortment of paintings and sculptures.

Nonetheless, this room upheld the quality characteristics we’ve come to expect from Great Escape of Central Texas. For small teams exploring this location on a day-trip, Imperial Heist is worth a spot on your itinerary.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Heist fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • To feel sneaky
  • To help fill a day-trip to Great Escape of Central Texas with another one of their solid games


We were the bad guys in this story, seeking to infiltrate the British Imperial Museum, steal the crown jewels, and obtain glory among the world of heisters.

Art museum with an assortment of paintings and sculptures.


Cloaked in darkness throughout the entire game, we sneaked through the heavily-secured chambers of a miniature British Imperial Museum. The space was covered with enough art and objects to feel realistic without overwhelming our search capabilities in the dark. Layered on top of the art were several technological security measures, adding to the realism.

View of an art collection through a gate. In the middle of the room is a crown in a display.


Great Escape of Central Texas’s Imperial Heist was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Gameplay consisted of observing, making connections, and manipulating props and set pieces. Most of the difficulty came from needing to execute several lengthy puzzles with precision and accuracy.


➕ A handful of authentic physical tasks added playful realism to our heisting, offering a palpable sense of purpose.

➖ The small room size and layout was difficult to navigate, even for just two players. Because the space was so tight and optimized, I was reluctant to set anything down for fear of obscuring something important.

➕/➖ The persistent darkness complemented the room design and enhanced the sense of discovery throughout. However, flashlight management remained a tedious task, especially when taking notes. 

➕ Several high-tech effects and automations made the scenario come alive.

➖ One complex mid-game puzzle made it overly difficult to track intermediate information as we gathered it. I found myself wishing I could take notes on some of the game pieces.

➕ An audio puzzle had a visual indicator, enhancing its accessibility. This is rare and appreciated.

➖ One intriguing mechanism fell flat due to ambiguous feedback from our interactions. Ultimately, it was a facade anyway, which was a disappointing departure from the realism of the rest of the room.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was plenty of parking right outside of Great Escape of Central Texas.
  • We’ve happily eaten at Arepitas and Bobby Lupo’s Pizzeria in Killeen.

Book your hour with Great Escape of Central Texas’s Imperial Heist, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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