Be good for goodness sake
Location: Boerne, TX
Date Played: August 27, 2023
Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 75 minutes
Price: $36 per player
Accessibility Consideration: At least one player needs to be able to crawl through tight spaces
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
This room took the concept of an Advent puzzling calendar and exploded it to the size of a full escape room. The use of straightforward puzzles and room design make this most appropriate for a younger or newer puzzling audience, though experienced players may enjoy rapid-fire solving that is well-suited for a speed-run. That said, kids likely have an advantage for some of the required activities.
The premise of the game was that Santa’s workshop had lost its magic at the height of Christmas mayhem. The set itself felt a bit run-down and ghost-puzzly, but this matched the “missing magic” theme and accentuated certain pockets of wonder. Indeed, a highlight of the game was one particularly cozy experience. Not everyone will tolerate the convolutions necessary to access it, but the charm in the concept should be evident. It was one of my favorite parts of all the games at Boerne Escape Rooms.
The puzzles themselves upheld the Christmas theme in cute ways. That said, they didn’t really further the narrative in any way. This was a collection of individual puzzles rather than a story-driven experience.
Along with Seasoning of the Witch, this room would make a good family double-header at Boerne Escape Rooms, especially during the Christmas season.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Santa fans
- Groups with kids
- As part of your family’s winter holiday countdown
- As part of a double-header family outing along with Seasoning of the Witch
With just an hour* left before Christmas, the North Pole ran out of magic, so everything ground to a halt. It was our job to help the elves fix the problem so that present delivery could commence on time.
*The game was actually 75 minutes.
We found ourselves in Santa’s de-magicked workshop staring down a wall-sized Advent calendar, several present-oriented work stations, and some Christmas-y algebraic expressions. We puzzled away to a soundtrack of Christmas music.
Boerne Escape Rooms’ Santa’s Helpers was a standard escape room with a low-to-moderate level of difficulty.
Gameplay involved observing, making connections, math, and logic.
➕ Even though the set felt somewhat worn and homemade, it still captured plenty of Christmas charm to delight fans of the holiday. We felt joyful while playing, spurred on by the soundtrack.
➕/➖ The set design created a positive anticipatory feeling by giving a preview of a later space. However, gaining access to the space was somewhat underwhelming.
➖ There seemed to be evidence of ghost puzzles, a lock that didn’t offer value to solve, and another lock that we never used. These didn’t distract too much from puzzling, but did rob the set of polish.
➕ The Advent calendar presentation of the lock boxes gave a satisfying physical sense of progress in addition to the digital progress tracker.
➕ There were good opportunities for parallel puzzling.
➖ There was an over-reliance on one puzzle type. The repetition wasn’t obnoxious, but it filled time that could have been used for more variety.
➕/➖ The best part of this room was a positively cozy, magical puzzling setup, especially for kids. However, the relevant puzzles might be the least approachable for them, and the setup itself won’t be accessible to all adults.
➖ The climactic puzzle required some physical maneuvers that might be difficult for some statures.
Tips For Visiting
- There was a parking lot.
- If you opt to bring kids to this experience (which you should if they’re 7 or older), think ahead about how to help kids enjoy escape rooms.
Book your hour with Boerne Escape Rooms’ Santa’s Helpers, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Boerne Escape Rooms comped our tickets for this game.