Premier Escape Rooms – Table 4 2 [Review]

A glass of wine and a cigar.

Location: San Antonio, TX

Date played: January 7, 2017

Team size: 2; we recommend 2

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $63.60 per team

Story & setting

It’s your typical love story: Boy meets girl. Boy and girl go out on a date to the local Italian restaurant. Ants cut the restaurant’s power, locking them in. It happens all the time.

Played in part in darkness, Table 4 2 was about the size of a small walk-in closet and lightly decorated to look like an intimate Italian restaurant. Visually, there wasn’t a lot going on.

In-game: A table with a red & white checkered table cloth and two chairs. A bowl of fruit and cheese along with a pair of candle sticks rest atop the table.

Puzzles

Designed for two players, Table 4 2 wasn’t overflowing with puzzles, but it didn’t need to be.

It had a typical escape room feel with scavenging, deductive connection building, and a bit of reasoning.

The first half of the game was a lot more cohesive than the latter portion.

Standouts

We rarely find games designed for two players; I love that Premier Escape Rooms created one with some leftover space.

The first half of the game was straightforward and enjoyable.

There was a simple physical interaction that was well built and far more satisfying to complete than it probably should have been.

Shortcomings

The second half of the game wasn’t as cohesive as the first half. The clue structure became a little more haphazard and it built to an ending that didn’t feel particularly satisfying.

Aesthetically, the space felt like an Italian restaurant only in the most abstract way.

Premier Escape Rooms built a solid tech interaction into Table 4 2. However this interaction was tied to a puzzle that didn’t feel anywhere near as satisfying as it could have.

This last bit of criticism wasn’t really Premier Escape Rooms’ fault: Table 4 2’s far wall butts up against a neighboring cigar shop and the game smelled of cigar smoke. I know some folks enjoy that smell, but we’re not among that group. Maybe a HEPA filter would help?

Should I play Premier Escape Rooms Table 4 2?

I cannot claim that Table 4 2 brought a lot of excitement. Its draw is the 2-player, private experience. For a pair of less experienced players, I think it’s a good, intimate room escape.

If you’re experienced players, take a pass unless you’re really keen on playing something small with a partner.

Book your hour with Premier Escape Rooms Table 4 2, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

 

Escape Haus – Kid’s Classroom [Review]

If the teacher doesn’t show up, how long do we have to stay?

Location: New Braunfels, TX

Date played: January 8, 2017

Team size: 6-12; we recommend 6-12 (mostly kids)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket, $20 per ticket if booking for 5 or more players

Audience: children

Story & setting

The teacher went home sick, the substitute no-showed, and we were locked in the classroom. We had to puzzle our way out in time to make the school bus.

Kid’s Classroom looked like a classroom for young kids. The decor included tiny desks, small chairs, little lockers, and all of the brightly colored educational wall hangings that you expect in an elementary school classroom.

It wasn’t a fancy looking game, but to the best of my memory, they nailed the look.

In-game, small school desks set in a classroom with brightly colored posters on the walls.

Puzzles

I think there were 21 puzzles in Kid’s Classroom. There was a lot to do; especially for our 2-person team. The good news was that all of the puzzles were designed for children, so they were fast solves… unless we overthought something… which may have happened a few times.

The few interactions that took some doing were process-driven. For most teams, these would occupy lots or all of the children for a little while.

Standouts

I have no problems imagining a small hoard of older elementary schoolers having a blast in this room escape that was clearly designed for them.

Kid’s Classroom was, for all intents and purposes, a classroom.

In game: The wall displays the alphabet and also reads,

There was one larger prop that was used brilliantly in a few ways. It was simple, clever, and slick.

Shortcomings

Kid’s Classroom was not a game for adults. This isn’t so much a shortcoming as it is a warning.

One item in the room perpetually seemed like it should hold the right answer to a puzzle. We kept returning to it and inspecting closely. That grew old fast.

The game was broken up into a few tracks and it was challenging to identify where the tracks began. Especially in a game for kids, stronger cluing could remove unnecessary uncertainty.

Children spend a lot of time in classrooms. I can imagine far more fun environments designed for children to investigate. An escape room is an opportunity to explore something fantastic, rather than the all-too-familiar classroom.

Should I play Escape Haus’ Kid’s Classroom?

We saw a group of tween girls leave Kid’s Classroom and they were all smiles and exuberance.

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly escape room, Kid’s Classroom would be a great option. If you’re adults looking for an escape room at Escape Haus, I’d suggest you explore their other offerings. Kid’s Classroom is not designed for adults.

Book your hour with Escape Haus’ Kid’s Classroom, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Haus comped our tickets for this game.

Escape Haus -Egyptian Mysteries [Review]

The name “Isis” has been seriously ruined.

Location: New Braunfels, TX

Date played: January 7, 2017

Team size: 6-12; we recommend 2-8 (depending upon experience level)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket, $20 per ticket if booking for 5 or more players

Story & setting

A renowned egyptologist had made a key discovery and was promptly abducted by individuals who wanted to keep his discovery a secret. We had an hour to piece his work back together in order to learn his discovery before those who had captured him reached his office and destroyed his work.

If the Egypt section of a children’s history museum had a baby with a Franklin Mint store, it would be Egyptian Mysteries. Made up of display cases of artifacts, a massive wall mural, and a Sphinx that was larger than the smallest escape room I’ve ever played, Egyptian Mysteries was vibrant, inviting, and academic yet playful.

In-game, the walls are painted in hieroglyphics, small locked boxes lay about, and a massive sphinx statue sits in the middle of the room.

Puzzles

Egyptian Mysteries was a large game that was designed for player friendliness. There were a ton of straightforward puzzles to solve. None of them were particularly challenging nor did they overstay their welcome.

This was Escape Haus’ style for their large games: Everything was eminently solvable, so long as we observed the room carefully and kept organized.

Standouts

The mural and sphinx were pretty damn cool.

The puzzling was fun and uncomplicated.

Everything was thoughtfully designed.

The Escape Haus facilities and staff were caring and friendly.

Shortcomings

Egyptian Mysteries felt a little heavy on boxes. It would have been great to see more of the game built into the set.

Similarly, a lot of the puzzles felt small and disconnected. A few more puzzle interactions involving the large set pieces would have gone a long way.

The story lacked gravity and had nearly no impact on the game.

Should I play Escape Haus’ Egyptian Mysteries?

Escape Haus was located between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. We had to go out of our way to visit them, 50 minutes in each direction from Austin. Amanda Harris (who played her 400th escape room on this trip to Texas) and I did it twice because we wanted to go back to Escape Haus for more.

Egyptian Mysteries was simple, but we left the game feeling joyful and energized. Everything from the waiting room, to their games, to the staff felt welcoming.

I am legitimately not sure how many people would make an ideal team size for Egyptian Mysteries. Amanda and I plowed through everything in approximately 40 minutes, but this wasn’t a company designed to accommodate seasoned room escapers.

It was, however, an exceptional game for newbies. On the drive back to Austin, I told Amanda, “It wasn’t hard, and I wouldn’t recommend someone fly across the country to play it… but I would be happy if that was everyone’s first game. It would be good for the industry.” New Braunfels, Texas. Who knew?

Book your hour with Escape Haus’ Egyptian Mysteries, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Haus comped our tickets for this game.