Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Viking Raid [Review]

Bjorn to escape.

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Brief moment of flashing lights

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release (just for one player)

REA Reaction

Usually it’s the little things that make me happy, but in the case of Viking Raid, wielding large fake swords while sitting on an even heftier wooden throne really did the trick.

Viking Raid was thoroughly Viking-themed in its set and props as well as the ways in which we interacted with them. The distinctively Norse mythological objective of collecting amulets representing the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil was solid structural framing for the game, though the amulets themselves — printed stickers on flat discs — could have been better crafted given their prominence in the story.

While this room didn’t have as much of the outwardly fancy tech or flashy reveals that characterized some of Encrypted Escape Room West Reading’s other rooms, it was still quite smooth in its own right, notably eschewing standard combination locks in favor of object placement.

If you’re visiting Encrypted Escape Room West Reading, Viking Raid is well worth a play, though I’d recommend playing it before The Last Vampire and Galactic War for the optimal progression of difficulty and immersion.

A wooden throne in a hall.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Viking Raid [Review]”

Captured LV Bethlehem – The Pirate’s Chamber [Review]

Take a stab at it.

Location:  Bethlehem, PA

Date Played: July 25, 2021

Team Size: 2-5; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Game Breakage: Yes – prop maintenance issues

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Pirate’s Chamber seemed like it would have been a great room back when it opened in 2016, but in large part due to insufficient upkeep, it hasn’t quite stood the test of time. Everything about the room felt dated — from its somewhat sparse set dressing to its gameplay style. We enjoyed the puzzles in Pirate’s Chamber, but our overall experience was colored by the fact that many of the props we interacted with were literally falling apart.

A severed hand chained to a wooden gate.

If you’re in the area, I recommend checking out Captured LV Bethlehem’s newer, more polished offerings: The Haunted Theatre and The Mayan Temple.

Who is this for?

  • Any experience level
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Aspiring buccaneers
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Captured LV Allentown – Devil’s Den [Review]

Damned if we do…

Location:  Allentown, PA

Date Played: July 25, 2021

Team Size: 5-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Brief moments of flashing lights and loud sounds

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I’ll readily admit that I’m quite tired of cliche serial killer narratives, both in escape rooms and the entertainment industry more generally. That said, Devil’s Den had the potential to be an excellent escape room that happened to be serial killer-themed. With just a few small exceptions, its puzzle design was highly creative and smooth — among the best of the rooms at Captured LV’s two locations.

A fake severed hand bound to a chainlink fence in a morgue.

Where Devil’s Den fell short, however, was in the glaring inconsistency of its set design. Though it nailed the serial killer lair vibe overall, with blood-splattered walls and creepy morgue doors, a number of elements in the room felt out of place. Unless our psychopathic serial killer-kidnapper was also a novice scrapbooker, these elements felt both cheap and immersion-breaking.

We played Devil’s Den right as it was opening to the public, and I truly hope Captured LV will go the extra mile to patch these issues. Having played Captured LV’s The Island, The Haunted Theatre, and The Mayan Temple, I know the company is fully capable of building awesome sets, and with some extra attention to detail, Devil’s Den could quickly become a regional standout.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Horror fans
  • Any experience level
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Escape Room RVA – The Sacred Temple of Fluffy Sprinkles [Review]

Don’t press paws.

Location:  Richmond, VA

Date Played: July 10, 2021

Team Size: 1-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player, $80 minimum

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Stairs and crouching

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

(Reaction updated 9/8/21 for clarification)

The Sacred Temple of Fluffy Sprinkles took place in a stunning, sprawling Greek temple. As we explored the many chambers of this temple, we came across evidence of Medusa’s mythical cat companion, Fluffy Sprinkles.

Overall, The Sacred Temple of Fluffy Sprinkles felt somewhat thematically disjointed, and we left the room feeling both in awe of the set and confused by the narrative. The Fluffy Sprinkles title and cutesy cat-themed signage above doors in the temple suggested this would be a whimsical and humorous cat theme, yet the set and gameplay itself felt intense and mysterious. A number of chambers contained amusing cat-themed props, including a giant litter box, yarn balls, and a cat jungle gym, but the room was lacking in actual cats. The ending interaction focused just on Medusa and her snakes, reinforcing the feeling that this room perhaps was designed as a Medusa/Greek theme with a layer of cat tacked on later. Was this a temple dedicated to Fluffy Sprinkles or somewhere Fluffy Sprinkles actually went to play? Did other cats live here as well? Perhaps there was an intended plot at play, but it didn’t come across clearly enough through the gameplay to tie everything together for us.

Golden statue of Medusa.

This room included a number of enjoyable puzzles and interactions, all within a beautifully designed immersive environment, but it didn’t quite coalesce into the cohesive experience this unique hybrid theme has the potential to be.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “Escape Room RVA – The Sacred Temple of Fluffy Sprinkles [Review]”

Captured LV Bethlehem – The Mayan Temple [Review]

It’s not the end of the world if you escape.

Location:  Bethlehem, PA

Date Played: July 25, 2021

Team Size: 6-10; we recommend 4-8

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Brief flashing lights

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Mayan Temple was expansive, transportive, and just plain fun. This room absolutely nailed the film-like ancient temple aesthetic, with a polished, caringly hand-crafted build quality. The puzzles were solidly designed, encouraged regular collaboration and communication, and naturally kept us spread throughout the room. A few puzzles led to satisfyingly visual reveals, even when those ahas were somewhat predictable to seasoned players.

The Mayan Temple is a standout choice for large groups, alongside The Island in Captured LV’s Allentown location. Both rooms felt like party rooms — with eye-catching sets and plenty of space to move around — while also still filled with substantive and varied gameplay.

Stone walls and a maze of some sort in a temple covered in ivy.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Large groups
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
Continue reading “Captured LV Bethlehem – The Mayan Temple [Review]”