The truth is in here.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date Played: July 4, 2023
Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $37 per player
Game Breakage: One of the key puzzles was broken, but a workaround was provided.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Having played several games with the Area 51 theme, I absolutely expected to see some sort of creature from outer space…eventually. What I didn’t expect was to walk in and immediately see one front and center – chopped in half and lying on an autopsy table – along with a vending machine, advanced computer displays, and other strange equipment. Then again, who really knows what’s in the real Area 51? Maze Rooms did a great job taking a fairly common theme and doing some interesting things with it.
While the story didn’t really click at first – why exactly did we break into this weird lab, and why couldn’t we get out the way we came in? – enough narrative was eventually provided to make it work. There were a few puzzles I hadn’t seen before, and even the ones that were familiar felt fresh with their alien ‘skin’ (not actual skin.)
The variety of puzzles was good for both new and experienced players; some were task oriented, while others required more thinking. Several required at least two people working together to solve. I enjoyed these the most. Unfortunately, one intriguing puzzle was broken the day we played. The gamemaster was ready with a workaround, but missing out on the intended experience was a real disappointment.
Area 51 managed to provide creative, high-tech puzzles that matched the alien theme, without using typical locks. In fact, their concept of a directional lock was especially illuminating. If you are in Los Angeles looking for something fun to do and want to know what might be hidden in a certain section of the Nevada desert, check out this game.
Who is this for?
- Sci-Fi fans
- Players of any experience level
- Fun teamwork moments
- Hands-on, interactive puzzles
- To see the creepy alien prepped for autopsy
Our team had broken into a lab in the mysterious Area 51 looking for evidence of alien research and experiments. But once inside, we realized that the scientists had gone missing and we couldn’t get out. We needed to discover the secrets hidden in Area 51 and figure out a way to leave before we became trapped forever!
The set was futuristic and sleek, with strange equipment and a tiny enclosed room we could only peek into through a glass door. However, it was the upper half of an alien lying on an examination table that immediately grabbed our attention.
Maze Rooms’ Area 51 was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections and puzzling.
➕ The set design was typical of a lab researching alien life forms with gray tones, clean lines, odd machines, science-y props… and the previously mentioned alien life form. As the game progressed, however, we were surprised and delighted by design choices that enhanced both the atmosphere and story. A prop later in the game was inventive, visually striking, and macabre all at the same time.
➕/➖ The story was light, especially at the start, though we were eventually provided additional story beats and a dramatic conclusion.
➕ Puzzles were thematic and creatively implemented, with a fresh spin that made the familiar seem new and exciting. Several required sharp observation, challenging our team to pay closer attention to details, large and small.
➖ A highly-anticipated puzzle was non-functional. Our team ignored it and looked for other puzzles, not realizing there was a problem. Once the gamemaster realized it was broken, they pushed a laminated sheet under the door with the necessary information. While impact to gameplay was minimal, we were thoroughly disappointed that we had to bypass this puzzle.
➖ One puzzle required a team member to use trial and error to get the solution instead of logic or cluing. Though it was the intended method to solve the puzzle, it felt inelegant and time consuming.
➖ Our team struggled with some of the audio in the room, including not being able to hear critical dialogue. One puzzle contained distinctive audio which turned out to be a red herring.
➕ A quirky prop played an integral part in the experience, even providing a touch of humor; we wanted to interact with it more!
Tips For Visiting
- There is street parking only
- This game is at the Robertson Blvd location of Maze Rooms.
Book your hour with Maze Rooms’ Area 51, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Maze Rooms comped our tickets for this game.