Epic Escape Game – Excalibur [Review]

Brave Sir Puzzles

Location:  Denver, CO

Date Played: September 7, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Excalibur was an uneven experience. This was consistent throughout the game.

If you looked in one direction you might see gorgeous set design, but turn 90 degrees and you’d probably look at something that felt pretty dated. The same was true of the puzzles. While some were thoughtful and fun, others felt half-baked.

The net effect was that the game felt average.

In-game: ruins of a castle wall.

Excalibur was a fine traditional escape room. If you’re in the area and have already played Epic Escape Game’s Wizard’s Academy (which was considerably more consistent), then it’s worth a play.

Who is this for?

  • Families
  • Aspiring royalty
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Solid gameplay
  • Some fun interactions
  • Pulling a sword from a stone is entertaining as hell

Story

With the death of the King, Merlin had traversed time and space seeking someone who might be worthy of the crown. He’d magicked us away to Camelot to see if we could pass the tests and pull the sword from the stone.

In-game: a large throne with a crown sitting on the seat.

Setting

Excalibur was primarily staged within a throne room. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it felt uneven. Depending upon which direction we looked, the set was more or less convincing.

The last act had the most elegant staging, but this area was a bit cramped.

In-game: A small round table with two chairs beside it.

Gameplay

Epic Escape Game’s Excalibur was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: A tall locked chest with a knight statue atop it.

Analysis

➕ Excalibur got rolling with a fun clue.

➕ Epic Escape Game created standard escape room-style puzzles with satisfying solves. These worked well and the game flowed from solve to solve.

➖ One puzzle was purposely designed to tangle people up. Players could solve it correctly and still wind up at the wrong solution. There would be more interesting ways to add challenge to this puzzle.

➖ There were a few too many lengthy process puzzles that were more tedious than interesting.

➕ / ➖ We encountered one tangible puzzle that was a bit too easy to bypass. Epic Escape Game didn’t mind when we bypassed, which we appreciated… but why build the puzzle without some structure to necessitate it being solved?

➕ / ➖ We have mixed feelings on the final puzzle. It relied on a type of gating that we really enjoy when puzzling at home, but don’t usually enjoy in escape rooms. While it felt ok in the context of this game, is was the type of individual solve that tends to create a bottleneck. It probably slows momentum for most teams right where you want momentum to pick up.

➕ As one would expect from a game named Excalibur, the culminating interaction delivered a strong sense of victory.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a small parking lot behind the building.
  • Enter through the front of the building even if you park in the back. It’s worth it.

Book your hour with Epic Escape Game’s Excalibur, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Epic Escape Game comped our tickets for this game.

Disclosure: Our trip to Denver was sponsored by the Denver escape room community. Contributions were anonymous.

Epic Escape Game – Wizard’s Academy [Review]

Lumos!

Location:  Denver, CO

Date Played: September 7, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Epic Escape Game’s Wizard’s Academy was an entertaining take on the Harry Potter-esque escape game. It was heavily puzzle-driven with some clever use of set design and props to build a world.

In-game: A castle wall with faux stain glass.

Wizard’s Academy was a satisfying experience and well worth visiting if you’re in the area.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Harry Potter fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Wands!
  • Strong puzzle play
  • House selection was a nice twist

Story

We’d each received invitations to test into the Altum Magicae Academia, the greatest school of magic and wizardry. Today was testing day. Could we earn our place in the school? And if we did, which of the 3 houses would accept us?

In-game: A large rock and tree before an expansive mountain/ forest mural.

Setting

Epic Escape Game’s Wizard’s Academy opened outside of the school’s walls. Surrounded by forest murals, we puzzled our way inside.

As the adventure progressed, we explored a few different spaces within, and all of them looked solid. Some details were stronger than others, but overall, this was a designed and reasonably expansive experience.

Gameplay

Epic Escape Game’s Wizard’s Academy was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ The puzzles flowed well from start to finish. They were pretty classic escape room puzzle styles, well clued, and satisfying to solve.

➖ Wizard’s Academy had some choke points. It was largely linear, with a narrow space that was crucial to gameplay. At times it was frustrating to maneuver through.

➕ We enjoyed using our magic wands to perform spells. We also appreciate that Epic Escape Game will sell customers a wand. Smart.

➕/ ➖ We loved the designs of some magical lighting moments. That said, the tech was a touch finicky.

➖ There was opportunity to incorporate a more magical hint system into Wizard’s Academy. Even with the on-screen hinting, a different tech set up would create a smoother transition into the game world.

➕ In the end, we got to make a choice, which determined our story. This was an unusual addition to the classic escape room conclusion.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a small parking lot behind the building.
  • Enter through the front of the building even if you park in the back. It’s worth it.

Book your hour with Epic Escape Game’s Wizard’s Academy, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Epic Escape Game comped our tickets for this game.

Disclosure: Our trip to Denver was sponsored by the Denver escape room community. Contributions were anonymous.