Pizza Arcade + Ghosts
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Date Played: December 15, 2021
Team size: 2-8; we recommend an even number of players, either 2 or 4 adults (+ any kids)
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $25 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Puzzah! is a unique beast in the escape room world. Their games are heavily puzzle-focused, with adaptive difficulty, and they are fully automated. In Knight Shade, the outcome of this approach to design was a game with a wide range of challenges that can be enjoyable for both groups of children and groups of experienced escape room players.
What stood out to me in Knight Shade was the number of different challenge types that Puzzah! was able to fully automate. There was at least one challenge for everyone in our group.
The cost of automation, even automation that was as branching as this, was rigidity. Knight Shade adapts to how well the team is playing, not necessarily to how much they are enjoying or getting out of an individual challenge. The net effect was challenge spikes that might vary from team to team.
Additionally, we were aware that there was a story in Knight Shade, but at the end of the game, no one in our group could articulate what that story was or agree on what had happened.
Overall, I’m a fan of Puzzah!’s (?) unique approach to escape game design. This set of constraints produces games that feel different, and after a few years of making these kinds of games, Puzzah! has learned how to do it well. If you’re in Santa Fe and looking for an escape room fix, give Knight Shade a try. It’s especially fun to keep an eye on the ways that Puzzah! automates their games… it feels like its own puzzle side quest.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Any experience level
- Lots of puzzle and challenge content
- Deeply adaptive difficulty that can keep a group of children or experienced escape room players engaged
- Automated escape game design
Rumor had it that the local pizza and arcade, Sir Pizza-Lot, was haunted by a spirit known as Knight Shade. We decided to go for a late-night investigation and see what we could turn up.Continue reading “Puzzah! – Knight Shade [Review]”