Time Emporium – Wizard’s Tower [Review]

Spellbound secrets.

Location:  Loveland, CO

Date Played: September 26, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player for 2-3 players, $28 per player for 4+

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  At least 1 player needs to fit through a small opening

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Time Emporium’s Wizard’s Tower took us back in time to the library/ workshop of a mystical wizard. With an aesthetic loosely reminiscent of the 1963 Sword in the Stone film, this room was full of wonder: magnificently twisty bookcases lined with colorful books, drawers, and vials; a hefty dose of wand-driven spell casting; and a sword embedded in a stone.

Our experience in Wizard’s Tower oscillated between wondrous and convoluted. This largely stemmed from Wizard’s Tower‘s approach to difficulty and signposting. The individual puzzles in Wizard’s Tower were excellent overall — varied, fun, challenging but fair, and on-theme — and many led to satisfying environmental ahas.

Yet much of the room’s difficulty also came from having a ton of puzzle elements visible from the start of the game. It was tricky to find where the threads for each of multiple parallel puzzle paths started, especially without any initial onboarding sequence to orient ourselves in the space. While we still enjoyed the challenge of many of the puzzles, the relative lack of a difficulty ramp-up or narrative progression somewhat undermined the game’s high ambitions.

Wizard’s Tower had a fantastic set and some standout gameplay mechanics. It was a really interesting game with some flaws which has the potential to be amazing with further refinement.

The doorway into a wizard's study, a window looks out over the countryside.
Image via Time Emporium

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
  • Aspiring wizards
Continue reading “Time Emporium – Wizard’s Tower [Review]”

Mystic Escape Room – The Book of Souls [Review]

Locks and monk-keys.

Location:  Littleton, CO

Date Played: September 27, 2021

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player for 2-3 players, $31 per player for 4-6 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: 1 player needs to fit in a small space

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Mystic Escape Room’s The Book of Souls was a lovely take on a traditional escape room format, elevated by polished puzzle interactions, subtly magical tech, and a transportive set.

When Lisa and David reviewed Mystic Escape Room’s older room The Amulet of Time in 2019, they commented that “one or two reveals were screaming for some magic.” In The Book of Souls, Mystic Escape Room significantly upped their tech and production game, and there were mounds of magic to go around. We played The Amulet of Time and The Book of Souls back-to-back, and while we enjoyed both rooms, we were astounded by just how much Mystic Escape Room refined their designs with The Book of Souls.

The Book of Souls is a hidden gem and regional must-play escape room. Escape room enthusiasts would especially savor The Book of Souls as a duo or trio given the intimacy and flow of the experience.

A large cross on a plaster wall, below it is a set of dials with different symbols.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Small teams
Continue reading “Mystic Escape Room – The Book of Souls [Review]”

Rabbit Hole Recreation Services – Frost Base Z [Review]

The cold never bothered me anyway.

Location:  Louisville, CO

Date Played: September 26, 2021

Team Size: 2-7; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $40 per player for 2 players to $30 per player for 4+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: all players need to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Rabbit Hole Recreation Services has concocted some chillingly beautiful magic with Frost Base Z (pronounced “zeta”).

This room was a heavy hitter in every dimension. With clever puzzles, a stunning set, and a clearly communicated story, I don’t think it’d be too polarizing to assert that Frost Base Z has something for everyone. It combined the best of both Paradox (a 2019 Golden Lock Award winner), which stood out for its depth of puzzles structured around engaging interfaces, and Mystic Temple, which had a gorgeous set and exhilarating, diegetic gameplay.

Frost Base Z was a true premium experience, and if anything, it was limited only by its 1-hour clock. I yearned for more time in this rich, compelling, gorgeous world, and for a game themed around cold stuff — an arctic research station and an ancient ice core sample, my team walked away with the warmest, fuzziest of emotions, feeling like heroes.

An imposing base set within an ice cave.

As with Mystic Temple and Paradox, Frost Base Z is unequivocally a regional must-play. And with this trio of standout rooms, Rabbit Hole Recreation Services is well worth a visit for any escape room enthusiast able to travel to Colorado.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Adventure seekers
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
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Conundrum Escape Rooms – Path of the Gods [Review]

Ready, senet, go!

Location:  Arvada, CO

Date Played: September 25, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $80 for teams of 2 to $165 for teams of 6

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  Crawling (for all players), low lighting

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I often avoid ancient Egypt-themed escape rooms as many tend to feel quite similar to each other, but Path of the Gods differentiated itself from the pack. The puzzles in Path of the Gods included some substantial layered solves which meaningfully drew from ancient Egyptian culture and mythology as inspiration. Though the core premise — hieroglyphs that translated to English and the presence of puzzles in an ancient Egyptian tomb — was still quite fantastical, the puzzle and interaction mechanics themselves strongly reinforced the ancient Egypt theme in interesting ways.

When David and Lisa played Conundrum Escape Rooms’ Experiment C73 in 2019, they noted how it “took some design risks that paid off profoundly.” Upon playing Experiment C73 myself, I similarly marveled at its humor and bold experimentation. And with Path of the Gods, Conundrum Escape Rooms demonstrated a new facet of their scrappy ingenuity. Whereas Experiment C73 played mind games with its innovative game structure, Path of the Gods put some innovative twists on the classic escape room theme of an ancient Egyptian tomb.

Path of the Gods was fun, exciting, and novel to my team of experienced, slightly jaded escape room enthusiasts. If you are visiting Colorado, make sure to play both Path of the Gods and Experiment C73 at Conundrum Escape Rooms.

An Egyptian tomb with art on the walls depicting constellations.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
Continue reading “Conundrum Escape Rooms – Path of the Gods [Review]”

Trivium Games – Ghost Patrol [Review]

That’s the spirit!

Location:  Emeryville, CA

Date Played: September 21, 2021

Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $275 for 4 players, $30 for each additional player, discounted on weekdays

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Trivium Games’ Ghost Patrol was a spiritual experience. I mean this both punnily — the room was brimming with ghostly interactions — and sincerely — this premium game so beautifully embodied the delight, whimsy, and abundant moments of revelation that I seek in an immersive puzzle-driven experience.

Ghost Patrol had it all: a touching narrative, meticulously clever and satisfying puzzles, loads of magical custom tech, impeccable lighting and sound design, and expertly fabricated props and set pieces. Moreover, Ghost Patrol demonstrated exceptional intentionality and thoughtfulness in every single element of its design.

This comes as no surprise: while Ghost Patrol may be the first brick-and-mortar escape room from Trivium Games, its creators have extensive experience creating long-form events in the puzzle hunt world, as well as professional backgrounds in tech, design, and audiovisual engineering. They are pros, and it showed.

An elegant old study with zodiac symbols painted on the walls.

More subtle than showy, Ghost Patrol contained many wondrous little innovations and perfectly designed puzzles that are still at the forefront of my mind days later. Ghost Patrol was unabashedly a puzzle-forward experience, and it will be best appreciated by puzzle lovers with a moderate amount of escape room experience.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Story seekers
  • Best for players with at least some experience
Continue reading “Trivium Games – Ghost Patrol [Review]”