Mission Escapes – Treasure Hunt [Review]

It was better than it looked.

Location:  Aurora, CO

Date Played: September 7, 2019

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $76 per team for teams of 2 to $184 per team for teams of 8

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Stepping into Treasure Hunt felt like entering a time warp to the early days of escape rooms. The first act looked and played aggressively old-school.

In-game: An old and worn office setting with mang pictures hung on the walls.

As the second act unfolded, Mission Escapes presented something more dramatic and interesting.

Overall, Treasure Hunt was a standard, traditional escape room that played smoothly and had a couple of interesting moments. It was a solid game because it played well… and that’s still something. If you’re in the area and want to explore something a bit old-school, check out Treasure Hunt. That said, Lunar Mission was a considerably more intriguing game.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level
  • Newbies

Why play?

  • Solid yet traditional escape room gameplay
  • A strong reveal
  • A few novel puzzles
  • The treasure was well chosen

Story

The office of a deceased wealthy man seemed to contain a wide variety of puzzles hiding his most treasured item. His heirs couldn’t solve them, so we were brought in to figure out what was going on.

In-game: a cabinent locked with 6 differend padlocks.

Setting

At first glance, Treasure Hunt looked like escape rooms did in 2015. It was an office filled with used furniture and padlocks.

The second act put a different twist on this experience. In a lot of ways, it felt like Lunar Escape, Mission Escapes’ other game. This shorter segment was where Treasure Hunt shined and justified its existence.

In-game: A long wooden cabinet covered in black and white blocks of wood.

Gameplay

Mission Escapes’ Treasure Hunt was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕/➖ Treasure Hunt felt like the type of escape room that got us hooked on these things back in 2014/15. That also meant that it felt dated in many places.

➖ The first set didn’t look like much. It didn’t instill any energy or a sense of adventure.

➕ The puzzles flowed well from start to finish. They were well clued and resolved cleanly.

➕ Although the set and props were basic, Mission Escapes added some details, like using cloth instead of paper to deliver written clues.

➖ We encountered wear on a later puzzle that caused issues in both the cluing and the triggering of an otherwise solid puzzle.

➕ The second act felt so unlike the first. This was surprising and intriguing. Treasure Hunt shined most in this segment.

➖ Although the transition space looked neat, the construction was messy. Players will move through this space in the dark. It needed better padding and the ceiling height shouldn’t change; it was too easy to hit one’s head too hard. I know because I bashed my head pretty badly.

➕/➖ We liked how Mission Escapes added pressure to the final moments, whether or not a team had been racing the game clock. That said, the “puzzle” felt cheap and its resolution even less satisfying. This was a case of a great concept, but rough execution… although I imagine it might feel different to a newbie.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • Mission Escape is on the third floor, Suite 390.
  • Players need to be able to crawl to play this game.

Book your hour with Mission Escapes’ Treasure Hunt, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Mission Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

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

Mission Escapes – Lunar Escape [Review]

Hit way above its weight class.

Location:  Aurora, CO

Date Played: September 7, 2019

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $76 per team for teams of 2 to $184 per team for teams of 8

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Lunar Escape was a fun game that could be transformed into something spectacular with a bit more investment. The puzzles and gameplay were buckets of fun. The set and set pieces’ construction left a lot to be desired.

In-game: Closeup of a maze.

Mission Escape (no relation to Mission Escape Games) has a talent for puzzle and game design. If they level up their presentation, they could build some truly special experiences.

So long as your enjoyment of an escape room isn’t tied directly to set design, we strongly recommend Lunar Escape if you’re in the area; it plays far better than most escape games.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Great early game reveals
  • Some clever, weird, layered puzzles
  • There wasn’t much searching at all
  • A phenomenal final act

Story

A curse had been cast on the earth so that it only received light from the moon. We had to break the curse by completing the Magic Circle.

In-game: a gray-scale clock depicting the Earth

Setting

Lunar Escape had a smart, dramatic dark opening. As the set began to reveal itself, it quickly became clear that most of the set construction was aggressively subpar.

There were bright spots, but overall, looking closely at most items didn’t improve the experience… and there were some set pieces that you didn’t have to look at closely to get a sense that construction wasn’t Mission Escapes’ strong suit.

In-game: Two locked compartments built into a bench surrounded by old shag carpet.

Lunar Escape was fun in spite of its build… and honestly… that was impressive in its own right.

Gameplay

Mission Escapes‘ Lunar Escape was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around making connections and puzzling.

In-game: closeup of a red on/ off switch.

Analysis

➕ Lunar Escape opened dramatically, in darkness. It used lighting as gating, which was elegant, unusual, and safe.

➕ There was essentially no searching. The escape game showed you where to focus.

➖ The build quality was sub-par. Although much of this was obscured by darkness, as we interacted with the set, we could tell that Mission Escapes had a long way to go in construction.

➕ We enjoyed one simple escape room trope executed about as smoothly as we’ve experienced it.

Lunar Escape stalled when we had inadequate tools and the challenge became the execution. In two instances, we knew how to solve the puzzle, but we struggled to succeed at it due to construction or prop quality.

➕ In Lunar Escape, we built mastery through solving, which enabled us to solve a more complex, layered puzzle late in the game. This felt fantastic.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • Mission Escape is on the third floor, Suite 390.
  • Lunar Escape is also available is Mission Escapes’ Seattle location.

Book your hour with Mission Escapes‘ Lunar Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Mission Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

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