Extreme Escape – Master of Illusions [Review]

Is this your card?

Location:  San Antonio, Texas

Date Played: February 3, 2019

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 2-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30.99 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Master of Illusions was a beautiful escape room. It combined ambiance with puzzling. It all came together like magic.

Master of Illusions played well, but it didn’t rock the boat.

If you’re looking for a straightforward, puzzle-focused escape room with thematic decor and a few little tricks up its sleeve, this would be a great choice. Extreme Escape’s newer and more epic games were at their other location; The Cursed was a must-play.

We recommend Master of Illusions for anyone visiting San Antonio, regardless of experience level.

In-game: A magic prop with the image of a queen on it beside a gold art deco statue of a nude woman and the stage door.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Elegant environment
  • Fun puzzles 
  • Opening and closing moments

Story

It was 1929 and the greatest illusionist since Houdini was suspected of sabotaging and murdering one of his rivals. We had to investigate the magician and learn the truth.

In-game: A locked trunk and milk can in a room surrounded by other magical props.

Setting

Wide open with selective spotlighting and lightning effects, Extreme Escape’s Master of Illusions embodied the golden age of magic.

The set was detailed without being extravagant or massive. Simply put: it felt right and got the job done.

In-game: An ornate chandelier with magical props illuminated in the background.

Gameplay

Extreme Escape’s Master of Illusions was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ Master of Illusions began and concluded with a clever and elegant trick. It was a nice touch and set the tone for the game.

➕ The gamespace felt comfortable and believable. It was beautiful and thematic. The lighting and music added ambiance. It was a fun space in which to solve puzzles.

➖ Extreme Escape presented us with a discard box, specifically for used puzzle elements. Then they reused a key component. Clue reuse is fine, as are discard boxes… but they don’t mix well. This felt needlessly deceptive.

➕ The puzzles were on-theme and solved cleanly.

➖ Many of the props were secured with multiple locks. This meant that opens would frequently yield nothing new. It was frustrating to repeatedly reap no reward from a solve.

➕Extreme Escape encouraged us to Instagram our experience! Master of Illusions was a beautiful room and highly Instagrammable. It’s smart marketing! We didn’t actually Instagram during gameplay – we were too focused on playing – but we did shoot a little video for our Patreon supporters from the room at the end of the game.

Tips For Visiting

  • There are plenty of food options in Extreme Escape’s plaza.
  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Extreme Escape’s Master of Illusions, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Extreme Escape comped our tickets for this game.

Extreme Escape – The Cursed [Review]

Voodoo so well.

Location:  San Antonio, Texas

Date Played: February 3, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30.99 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Cursed impressed us with a detailed environment, a solid puzzle game, and one hell of a moment. Extreme Escape sold us on the place, the story, and our role within it.

Although they could tweak some aspects of this escape room to improve the puzzle flow, we throughly enjoyed solving our way through this dramatic adventure.

If you’re anywhere near San Antonio, The Cursed is a must play.

In-game: A series of wooden doors linked by a heavy steel chain.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Cinematic moments
  • Gorgeous set
  • Interactive puzzles
  • Memorable moments

Story

We were trapped in a witch’s cabin. We had to break her curse before she stole our souls.

In-game: closeup of a human skull.

Setting

The Cursed had us venture into a witch’s cabin. It really sold the illusion. From the dramatic lighting to the wooden construction and the mystical props, Extreme Escape built a believable world.

As the experience progressed, audio and visual effects served to create an epic moment.

In-game: A shelf with a human skull and other idols.

Gameplay

Extreme Escape’s The Cursed was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

In-game: small alligator heads and candles arranged in a shrine.

Analysis

➕ The set was gorgeous. The wood-paneled cabin was dramatically lit with voodoo-esque decor. It felt magical.

➖ The Cursed was dimly lit. Our team of 5 was only provided with 1 hand-cranked flashlight. Although Extreme Escape nailed the ambiance, the gameplay suffered for it. Strategically lit work spaces would help the puzzle flow.

➕ The puzzles generally involved large, tangible prop interactions. These were a lot of fun.

➖ Secondary spaces felt underused. The decor was less detailed and the they were light on gameplay. These spaces were fun to open, but felt like missed opportunities.

➕ Extreme Escape seized their window of opportunity for a dramatic and memorable moment.

➖ One interaction wasn’t firmly secured. It would be easy for one player, taking a specific and well-intended action, to inadvertently injure another unsuspecting player who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Yes, this happened. Extreme Escape was quick to provide a Band Aid.)

➖ We spent a long time on just a few puzzles. Additional cluing or intermediary confirmation would help the gameplay flow more smoothly

The Cursed told a story through the set and many of the puzzles. It was a ton of fun to puzzle our way through this tale, which culminated beautifully.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • They are on the top floor of the plaza.

Book your hour with Extreme Escape’s Cursed, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Extreme Escape comped our tickets for this game.