Can someone find the breaker box?
Location: Orlando, Florida
Date Played: July 21, 2023
Team size: 2-4; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $35.99 per person for teams of 4+ (more per person for smaller teams)
Accessibility Consideration: Note that the majority of this game takes place in complete darkness.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Ironically, the nicest set in The Escape Ventures building is the opener to their fully dark experience Outage: No Vacancy.
This small, detailed and weathered room set the creepy tone for our foray into darkness.
We’ve played half a dozen dark escape rooms and each one has its own style. Outage: No Vacancy relied heavily on touch and communication. It was well constructed to avoid light bleed (which is the most common problem in these games). The puzzles were fair, tactile in nature, and provided the right amount of challenge and uniqueness.
All that being said, we weren’t thrilled with some of amount of puzzle and prop debris that eventually cluttered the dark space, especially late-game.
Note that Outage: No Vacancy was creepy, not scary. And really, at the point where players are in the dark, it’s a challenge room; the creepiness doesn’t factor in. Rather than lean into the character-driven experience they are known for, with this game, The Escape Ventures leaned into the gameplay constraint. It’s a different style and they do make it work.
Play Outage: No Vacancy for the novelty of the set up. If this appeals, you’ll have a lot of fun.
Who is this for?
- Fans of fully dark games
- Scenery snobs… for the first few minutes
- Best for players with at least some experience
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- The lit portion was beautifully constructed with well clued gameplay
- Unusual dark escape room puzzles
- To experience the dark escape room style
Back in 1969 there had been a massive power outage at Madame Locktane’s Inn & Suites. The Inn’s janitor had attempted to fix the issue. Power was restored… but the staff was never heard from again.
Now, 50 years later, we’d been hired to repair any issues before the Inn’s grand re-opening… hopefully we wouldn’t be plunged into darkness and lost forever.
Outage: No Vacancy began in the hallway of a beautifully rundown hotel. The first 10 minutes had all the detail… and from there we transitioned into a fully dark room where we explored by touch.
The Escape Ventures’ Outage: No Vacancy was a dark escape room with a moderate level of difficulty. The majority of the gameplay took place in complete darkness.
Core gameplay revolved around searching and observing with our sense of touch, communicating well, and solving puzzles.
➕ The opening set was small, but strong. It was incredibly detailed and transported us to a creepy old hotel. It had the right vibe.
➖ The story didn’t make a ton of sense. The audio volume in the first scene was too low, which might have contributed to this. But once we got into the dark room, any story became irrelevant. While this wasn’t inherently bad – at that point players are focused on the novelty of solving in the dark – there was opportunity for the story to be more fully integrated into the experience.
➕ The Escape Ventures subverted expectations with an early reveal, that only later showed its true nature.
➕ The puzzles in the opening scene flowed well and included delightful ahas.
➖ We encountered some heavy wear on some of the touch puzzles that made them less distinct and therefore unnecessarily challenging. A lock with stiff buttons added the same type of unnecessarily obstacle.
➖ Many of the interactions in the dark produced obstacles that littered the dark set. We spent extra energy calling out these obstacles and avoiding running into them.
➕ The puzzles in the dark portion of the game were fair. They worked well given the sensory constraint. They were fun to solve.
➕ The Escape Ventures managed light bleed well. Outage: No Vacancy was well sealed. It provided a truly dark escape room experience.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a large parking lot.
- There are many restaurants close by. We enjoyed Vespr Coffee Bar, just across the parking lot.
Book your hour with The Escape Ventures’ Outage: No Vacancy, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: The Escape Ventures comped our tickets for this game.