“There is no beauty without some strangeness.” – Edgar Allen Poe
Location: Arlington, TX
Date Played: July 18, 2021
Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $35 per player (you must pay for a minimum of 4 even if fewer play)
Accessibility Consideration: at least one team member must be able to navigate stairs and tight crawl spaces; the gameplay included dexterity challenges
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
As soon as we stepped into the lushly decorated Poe manor and met our disembodied gamemaster, it was evident that The Secret Chambers was deeply invested in delivering a haunting and haunted experience. The décor and gameplay delivered an immersive exploration of the world of Edgar Allen Poe that, while suitably chilling, was not overtly terrifying. Anyone comfortable with Poe’s works would be comfortable with this room.
Small design details contributed enormously to the smooth flow of this experience. Sound effects drew our attention to the next points of interest, clear labels helped us associate information efficiently, and there was even a way to track our progress. Being comfortable with our pace was invaluable because it gave us permission to fully absorb our surroundings. The main detriment to the room’s flow was a bottleneck in the middle of the experience; spatially, there was only room for two players to participate, leaving larger parties with little to do.
From a gameplay perspective, the puzzles and tasks were simple yet satisfying. Indeed, experienced players shouldn’t expect a challenge here; this “adventure” (like others we played at The Secret Chambers) was more about participating in an immersive environment and delighting in its revelations. Our favorite puzzles delivered joy via interactions with one-of-a-kind set pieces that required unusual feats of collaborative dexterity.
Despite the extensive thematic coherence of the props and puzzles, there wasn’t a strong rationale for why things were happening. Regardless, this room’s impeccable atmosphere and captivating interactions make it well worth your time if you’re near the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Scenery snobs
- Fans of Edgar Allen Poe
- Any experience level (but must be older than 10 to play)