Thoughts on the Escape Room Sports Movement via Escape Buzz

At Escape Buzz, they are musing on the question of escape rooms as sports in advance of the World Escape Room Championship (ER Champ), taking place virtually on November 5, 2022.

Jakub Witosławski recently interviewed REPOD co-hosts David and Peih-Gee on this topic. These two are pretty competitive (and I saw this come out during The Trust Experiment, let me tell you!) but their thoughts on competitive escape rooming are more nuanced.

Reality Escape Pod mission patch logo depicts a spaceship puncturing through the walls of reality.
Continue reading “Thoughts on the Escape Room Sports Movement via Escape Buzz”

Albuquerque Escape Room – Becoming Houdini [Review]

Houdini’s Puzzle Collection

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: June 4, 2022

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $22 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock [A]

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Becoming Houdini is the most challenging of the three games currently offered at Albuquerque Escape Room. It has the most puzzles, and the most layered complexity. That said, it’s a traditional escape room, and a well sign-posted one, so don’t let this designation scare you if you’re new to escape rooms.

Apart from the puzzles, the highlight of Becoming Houdini was a magic trick that added a bit of pizzaz to a late-game solve.

A coffin with Houdini's painted portrait on it.

There’s opportunity for Albuquerque Escape Room to create an even smoother experience by eliminating reading material meant only as decor, and better connecting puzzles to inputs.

That said, Albuquerque Escape Room offers affordable puzzle-focused escape games and we recommend it for players of all levels (including newbies!) most interested solving puzzles.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Magic fans
  • Newbies
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Fun puzzles
  • The late game magic trick

Story

Becoming Houdini was Albuquerque Escape Room’s tribute to Harry Houdini. Our goal was to escape, just as Houdini always did.

Continue reading “Albuquerque Escape Room – Becoming Houdini [Review]”

Bust Out Escape Room – Camp Crystal Lake [Review]

Camp with the fishes

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: June 3, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We’ve already reviewed Bust Out Escape Room’s newer games. We played Camp Crystal Lake mainly to see where this company started. Plus, this game caterers to fandom and still quite popular.

Camp Crystal Lake was a fun old-school escape room. The jump scares created fun moments (and not terrifying ones) and with each act, the scene changed in ways were didn’t see coming.

We expect that the third act impresses many newer players, for whom the novelty outweighs the lack of polish in execution.

Camp cabin interior with a furnace, a sleeping bag, and a fishing net.

Play Camp Crystal Lake for the theming, but know that it doesn’t quite capture the Friday the 13th slasher horror vibe that well. It’s an escape room through and through, with a bit of adventure tossed in. It’s was a strong early outing from a company who went on to up the caliber of both puzzles and adventure.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Friday the 13th fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Dramatic scene changes
  • Playful mid-game sequence
  • The jump scares

Story

Camp Crystal Lake was finally reopening after being closed for 16 years. We’d volunteered to help with the reopening… when the wrath of Jason Voorhees descended upon us.

Continue reading “Bust Out Escape Room – Camp Crystal Lake [Review]”

Bust Out Escape Room – Curse of the Mayan Temple [Review]

Curse of the Mayan Temple is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

Adventure by torchlight

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: June 3, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Curse of the Mayan Temple shouldn’t be a particularly challenging game. It had less content than Bust Out Escape Room’s other experiences. The puzzles were varied in style and well clued.

That said, two unusual game design decisions make this a rather variable escape room. Either one can sink a team of even experienced players (we’ve seen it happen), causing them to spiral into the depths of frustration.

Our advice for Bust Out: add gating for one early solution so that a team cannot progress to the next unusual section without completing it.

Our advice for players: If the game feels inordinately frustrating, it probably doesn’t need to be. Search harder.

A large human skull surrounded by plants.

We enjoyed Curse of the Mayan Temple because it looked great, played well, and took risks. Although Rattlesnake Bend and Jumanji are our favorite games from this company, if you have time to add on another adventure, we recommend Curse of the Mayan Temple.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Indiana Jones fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who communicate well

Why play?

  • The unexpected mid-game introduction of a new mechanic
  • Momentum-building final sequence

Story

Legend told that the temple had been cursed… but we were determined to uncover the truth of whatever lay within.

A glowing torch hung from the wall.
Continue reading “Bust Out Escape Room – Curse of the Mayan Temple [Review]”