Wicked Escapes – The Hole [Review]

No light is better than low light. Who knew?

Location: Saugus, MA

Date played: April 9, 2017

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 30 minutes

Price: $20 per ticket

Story & setting

Captured by a madman and locked away in complete darkness, we had 30 minutes to escape his trap.

In-game: A completely black image with nothing visible.
Actual game photo.

The “you’re playing this game in the dark” pitch wasn’t an exaggeration. It was pitch black. The only illumination that we could see was an ever-so-faint emergency exit sign above the door and the LEDs around the gamemaster’s camera.

The Hole was entirely designed around playing in darkness. The puzzles were solvable via touch only. While there were zero jump scares, there were a few things that felt a bit icky.

Although the room escape was a little unnerving, it was exceptionally safe. There were no tripping hazards; it had ample padding along the floors and walls.

Puzzles

The Hole was an adventure through the darkness, not a puzzle game.

While there was plenty to keep our team busy, there was only one interaction that I would call a puzzle.

Standouts

The Hole was a wholly different escape room. It forced us to explore, communicate, and interact in new ways.

It was fair and it was safe.

Opening locks in the dark was strangely satisfying.

Shortcomings

There was only one true puzzle in The Hole. I wished there’d been even one more.

One early challenge greatly overstayed its welcome.

Elements of this exploration were a little more icky than they needed to be. Note that it wasn’t scary or dirty, just a bit gross.

Should I play Wicked Escapes’ The Hole?

If you’re interested in a different sort of challenge, I highly recommend The Hole.

Bring the right team. Everyone needs to be calm and communicative in darkness. You should also be comfortable with each other because you will touch, bump, and awkwardly interact.

If you’re looking to solve intricate puzzles, The Hole won’t be for you.

If you’d rather embark on a story-driven adventure, this room escape won’t be for you. The story is just a setup for the dark escape.

And, of course, if you want to gaze upon a beautiful set, this won’t be your game; there is literally nothing to see.

Beginners can absolutely attempt The Hole, but I’d recommend that they play at least one other game first, just to get a handle on how escape rooms work.

Experienced players should dive in, so long as they aren’t repelled by the darkness, ick-factor, or minimal focus on puzzling.

The Hole takes room escapes somewhere else. It’s a different type of challenge. The puzzle is in exploring, navigating, communicating, and putting all of that together. We really enjoyed it.

Book your half-hour with Wicked Escapes’ The Hole, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Wicked Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

Wicked Escapes – The Great Museum Heist Caper Job [Review]

The Great Heist Caper at the Marginal Museum.

Location: Saugus, MA

Date played: April 9, 2017

Team size: up to 12; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

Our first night as rent-a-cops guarding the Kuddelmuddel Museum of Marginal Curiosities got off to a rough start: a cat burglar made an attempt to steal the Museum’s most prized artifact, The Sultan’s Lock. After removing it from its display, he stashed it elsewhere in the museum, triggering a security lockdown. We had an hour to find the lock and return it to its display before the crime was pinned on us.

If it’s not clear from the description, The Great Museum Heist Caper Job was a funny room escape. Set within a modest museum, the game looked and felt the part.

In-game: An engraved human skull rests in front of a stone wall with symbols carved into it

Puzzles

The puzzling centered on the various exhibit displays; they looked great. They were large and they felt it. Everything was tangible and responsive.

Wicked Escapes used technology thoughtfully throughout the puzzling and did a great job of breathing life (and humor) into the various interactions.

Standouts

The Great Museum Heist Caper Job was full of hands-on interactions. We picked things up and moved them around. These items had heft, size, and polish.

The puzzles were responsive. With every correct solution, the set revealed new objects or information. This design built forward momentum.

The setup was humorous. Everything from the premise to the exhibit names to the display descriptions made us laugh, if we read closely enough.

Shortcomings

While the reading was entertaining, at times a substantial block of text would halt the flow of gameplay.

The initial set was not particularly impressive or interactive. Fortunately it quickly opened up. The starting area felt like underused space.

Should I play Wicked Escapes’ The Great Museum Heist Caper Job?

The Great Museum Heist Caper nailed so much of what makes for an excellent escape room. The puzzles were big, built into the set, and had gravity. Moreover, accomplishing things felt like an accomplishment.

The Great Museum Heist Caper is a fun and worthy room escape for newer and experienced players alike.

If you play escape rooms because they bring you to new places and give you puzzling you can’t recreate at home, you will enjoy The Great Museum Heist Caper.

Book your hour with Wicked Escapes’ The Great Museum Heist Caper Job, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Wicked Escapes comped our tickets for this game.