Grapevine Escape – FocusTec Labs [Review]

Fix it…if you dare

Location:  Grapevine, TX

Date Played: March 28, 2022

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

FocusTec Labs delivered a well-paced, polished experience that combined classic escape room tropes with some special touches that distinguished it from average experiences.

Enthusiasts will recognize the lab as a common environment, and this room indeed relied on mainstays of that genre. However, the lore around this lab was less typical, and the evolving narrative raised the stakes as the game progressed. A curated, voice-acted hint-and-narration system added both reassurance and intrigue to the experience.

Wide angle view of a lab with man many locked cabinets, lab coats, and lab equipment.

The puzzles were fairly straightforward and well-clued. They were at their best when they required interactions with props or served a narrative purpose. Even though they didn’t break new ground, we legitimately had fun collecting quick wins and interacting with the set.

Like the other rooms at Grapevine Escape, FocusTec Labs is a solid, enjoyable play for local enthusiasts and escape-room curious individuals.

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Grapevine Escape – The Wine Vault [Review]

The Wine Vaultย is one of the best games in the Dallas area. Here are our other recommendations forย great escape rooms around Dallas.

A Harmonious Blend with a Smooth Finish

Location:  Grapevine, TX

Date Played: July 19, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 2-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: some interactions require height, though the room includes a step stool

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Grapevine Escape’s The Wine Vault was a solid escape room with a classy set designed to honor the surrounding locale, the northern Texas wine country. The environment and props paid due diligence to this context, particularly with the interactive casks, wine bottle-based puzzles, and a display of local wine selections. I found myself wishing I’d paired the room with a local wine tour; it mimicked that aesthetic well.

Gated and padlocked divider in a wine cellar.

The puzzling leaned more into the “vault” aspect of the title rather than wine, so expect to be opening locks more than stomping grapes. The puzzles often used wine paraphernalia, but they didn’t require reasoning about wine and could have been adapted to other themes. Several puzzles involved pleasant variations of familiar mechanics, with the best examples resulting in satisfying interactions with set pieces. All were fairly clued.

One of the more distinctive aspects of The Wine Vault was an expansive back story that we uncovered throughout the course of the experience. This narrative progressed in parallel to the puzzle flow, with each new clue contributing either to that story or to a different puzzle. Ultimately, the back story added flair to the experience, but had no effect on our success or failure. I wished that some part of the puzzle-solving had forced me to think more deeply about the back story. As is, it felt more like a distraction to wade through than a critical part of the room. However, it did provide an interesting payoff for players who invested in processing it.

Overall, if you’re interested in savoring everything Grapevine, TX, has to offer, add The Wine Vault to your list!

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Wine enthusiasts
  • Best for players with at least some experience
Continue reading “Grapevine Escape – The Wine Vault [Review]”