The Secret Chambers – Fort Worth – The Mafia Adventure [Review]

What happens at the jazz club stays at the jazz club.

Location:  Fort Worth, TX

Date Played: March 29, 2022

Team Size: 4-12; we recommend 2-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player (you must pay for a minimum of 4 even if fewer play)

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All players must climb a staircase. At least one player must crawl.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Playing The Mafia Adventure was like touring a historical model of the Prohibition era while getting to play with actual artifacts from the time period. All of the puzzles and activities were strongly thematic and often fully immersive, asking us to role-play actions that made complete sense in the environment. The set felt so authentic and well-researched that I wondered whether I could study it to learn about history. According to the company’s website, it seems that you can.

This escape room followed The Secret Chambers’s pattern of designing a rich scenario, filling it with delightful interactions and reveals, and then giving a path through those interactions using written notes that you discover along the way. Some of these notes were of the form “do this thing.” Others were more cryptic than usual, leaving room for more ahas on the part of the adventurer.

A pool table with red felt in a room with ornate gold ceiling tiles.

Our main critique of the experience was an occasional though significant benefit from outside knowledge that might be hard to grok from the materials meant to scaffold it in the moment. The knowledge was entirely thematic, and the room would have been drastically different without it. This design bought immersion at the expense of added difficulty for some players, but the room should still be doable either way.

The Secret Chambers is a regional must-visit company, and The Mafia Adventure stands out for its intricate attention to detail and impeccable ambiance.

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The Secret Chambers – Arlington – The Area 51 Adventure [Review]

I’m not saying it was aliens, but…

Location:  Arlington, TX

Date Played: March 29, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player (you must pay for a minimum of 4 even if fewer play)

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All players must climb 2-3 stairs. One player must climb more extensively.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

As a company, The Secret Chambers consistently offers spectacular, immersive environments and dynamic set pieces. The Area 51 Adventure met these expectations and then kept going, with abundant sci-fi references, various surprises, and one jaw-dropping reveal that made me giddy.

A glowing, futuristic periodic table of the elements in a sci-fi room with a barrel leaking green material. A door reads, "Anti-matter bomb chamber."

Beyond the set, this room offered an impressive puzzle game. A handful of puzzles were familiar, but most were fresh and challenging, usually relying on fun and thematic props. Although many of these puzzles had an extended execution phase, we were generally excited every time we realized what we needed to do. These tasks ranged from lighthearted and joyful to precise and pressure-filled, leading to a wide range of emotions throughout the experience.

Several of these puzzles also relied on an array of dexterity skills that added novelty and intensity, though these might “alienate” players who prefer more mental exercises. These elements made the room feel more interactive than many while requiring participation from multiple team members. Indeed, communication and collaboration were hallmarks of this room, truly testing our teamwork capacity.

We consider The Secret Chambers to be a regional must-visit company, and The Area 51 Adventure is one of its stand-out experiences.

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