Time Emporium – Secrets of the Pharaohs [Review]

S&Y.

Location:  Loveland, CO

Date Played: September 26, 2021

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

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

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: The floor is covered in sand

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Time Emporium’s Secrets of the Pharaohs was a classic take on an ancient Egyptian tomb escape room. The set was well built, with a layer of sand covering the floors for extra immersion.

The puzzles were designed around fun ideas, though some of them could have benefited from a bit more polish in implementation. This room contained some exciting reveals and interactions that would especially be a hit for newer escape room players.

If you’re passing through Loveland, Secrets of the Pharaohs is a solid newbie-friendly choice for a traditional escape room. And if you’re looking for a challenge, make sure to check out Time Emporium’s Wizard’s Tower and Murder in London for even more expansive sets and more innovative gameplay.

A pair of skulls in the sand pillar in an Egyptian tomb.
Image via Time Emporium

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Newbies
Continue reading “Time Emporium – Secrets of the Pharaohs [Review]”

Time Emporium – Murder in London [Review]

Murder in London is one of the best games in Fort Collins, CO. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Fort Collins.

One pint of blood, please.

Location:  Loveland, CO

Date Played: September 26, 2021

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

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

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: at least one player must climb through a small opening

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Time Emporium’s Murder in London was a bloody interesting game. (I hope you read that in a British accent!)

This room stood out most for its set, which did not feel at all like a “room” or even like it was fully indoors for that matter. A narrow street wrapped around a classic London pub. A red telephone booth immediately signaled our location (though a non-rotary phone threw us for a loop given the historical setting). The facades of other residences and businesses made the world extend beyond what we could see. The build quality wasn’t always consistent, but it sure as heck was transportive.

As much as we enjoyed the set, though, my team had a hard time syncing with the game flow of Murder in London. The puzzles that were centered directly around solving the murders that we were investigating made sense, while others stuck out as less diegetic escape room filler.

Murder in London is worth a visit, even just for its set, and it’ll appeal to puzzlers of any experience level. If you’re passing by Loveland, check it out!

A bar with puzzle piece coasters.
Image via Time Emporium

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Anglophiles
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “Time Emporium – Murder in London [Review]”

ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms – Tiger’s Eye [Review]

Tiger’s Eye is one of the best games in Fort Collins, CO. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Fort Collins.

A diamond in the rough.

Location:  Fort Collins, CO

Date Played: September 26, 2021

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26 per player for 3+ players, $37.50 per player for 2 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Tiger’s Eye presented a non-standard take on a heist theme that showcased ConTRAPtions’ expertise in building impressively large-scale tech.

Tiger’s Eye was a room of stark contrasts. Whereas the vault door and diamond enclosure were imposing metal mechanical marvels, much of the rest of the set felt sparse and underdeveloped. Certain puzzles were unique, satisfying, and unconventional, while some others had more questionable solutions. Overall, the gameplay was choppy but interesting, and there were enough magical highs to make up for the disappointing lows.

For escape room enthusiasts, Tiger’s Eye is a solid warmup before playing the more strenuous 3-hour Plight of the Margo (2019 Golden Lock Award winner). For newer players, Tiger’s Eye is an excellent way to experience ConTRAPtions’ intriguingly idiosyncratic approach to tech and escape room interactions through more accessible gameplay than that of Plight of the Margo.

The front desk for the Princeton Bank & Trust.

Who is this for?

  • Technophiles
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms – Tiger’s Eye [Review]”

Time Emporium – Wizard’s Tower [Review]

Wizard’s Tower is one of the best games in Fort Collins, CO. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Fort Collins.

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, but 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]

The Book of Souls is one of the best games in Denver. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Denver.

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]”