Escape the Netherworld – Nosferatu [Review]

Dracula’s antique lock collection.

Location: Stone Mountain, GA

Date Played: March 23, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4 or 6 or maybe 8 (an even number)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Nosferatu put an interesting twist on escape rooms by adding individual roles and goals. The set was visually impactful from the opening moments and maintained the intensity through dynamic interactions. The late game sequence brought the level of excitement we’d expect from an escape room created by a haunted house.

If you find yourself anywhere near Stone Mountain, GA, go visit this crypt.

Nosferatu team post-game photo.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Creatures of the night
  • Amateur locksmiths
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Beautiful sets (and lock collection!)
  • Exciting moments
  • In character gamemastering
  • Individual goals

Story

In Victorian London, a mysterious man named Van Helsing had hired each of us for a mysterious mission. We had arrived at his designated address, each with our own secret agenda. We learned that if we were to survive, we had to band together and determine how to slay the legendary vampire Nosferatu before he rose and feasted on us.

In-game: An Egyptian sarcophagus in a Victorian setting.
Image via Escape The Netherworld.

Setting

Nosferatu’s unique set looked almost church-like with an unusual mixture of Gothic and ancient Egyptian influences. It looked fantastic.

Gameplay

Escape the Netherworld’s Nosferatu was a standard escape room with a few twists and a higher level of difficulty.

The main twist: we each had an individual goal. While we all won or lost the escape room together, individual players could complete bonus assignments along the way. Some of these assignments put players into passive conflict with one another. This is why we recommend that you play with an even number of teammates.

The second twist: we had to make a choice.

Analysis

+ The set design was top-notch.

+ There were some brilliant effects that added a lot of drama to the immersion. This was especially true of the closing series of interactions.

+ The individual bonus assignments forced us to strategize and solve outside of the regular gameflow. This kept everyone engaged.

– One of the individual assignments was ambiguous.

+ There were a lot of carefully selected locks in Nosferatu. Some were antique; some simply looked the part. All of them fit the aesthetic of the gamespace.

– If you don’t know your way around locks, the volume of them would get annoying.

+ There was a lot to do in this room escape.

– Because there were so many interactions, only one or two people experienced many of the really cool moments.

– There was also a whole lot of reading.

+ The choice was clear. We were able to anticipate the impact of our decision on the outcome of the game.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.
  • Food: We enjoyed the nearby Metro Cafe Diner.

Book your hour with Escape the Netherworld’s Nosferatu, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape the Netherworld comped our tickets for this game.

Odyssey Escape Game – Towering Inferno [Review]

Fire drill.

Location: Alpharetta, GA

Date Played: March 25, 2018

Team size: up to 12; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Towering Inferno was dramatic. It had stakes. Despite some tedious early puzzles, it built excitement.

If you’re in the area and looking for adventure, go put out this fire.

In-game: The Theron Tower office. It looks very corporate.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The unique staging
  • Setting off the fire alarm
  • Escalation

Story

It was the grand opening of Theron Tower, a new skyscraper. As Chief Engineer, we’d detected electrical hazards throughout the tower, but the Chairman of the Board had refused to push back the opening. With the event in full swing, and fires starting throughout the tower, from our top floor office we needed to enable fire suppression, shutdown electrical junctions, and escape to the roof for a helicopter rescue.

In-game: The tower's rooftop.

Setting

We occupied an office on the top floor of Theron Tower. It had white walls, bright lights, and computer stations in cubicles. Our office had various diagrams of the facility as well.

The set nailed the big corporate office aesthetic far better than most of the office escape rooms we’ve played. As the game pushed forward, we found ourselves working through more unusual sets.

In-game: A cubical with a computer desk.

Gameplay

Odyssey Escape Game’s Towering Inferno was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

+ Despite the office decor, we were energized by the unique theme. We’ve played as Firefighters, but never as engineers fighting fires from our computers, working towards a roof-top helicopter rescue.

+ The escape room gave backstory to the impending disaster. It created our character, as well as the others at Theron Tower, with context and motives. The story made sense and our role in it was clear.

+ Our gamemaster clearly stated that we would have to push the fire alarm as part of the game. I can’t overstate how important this pre-game preparation was.

In-game: A fire alarm push button locked behind a clear plastic casing.

– The firefighting puzzles were computer-based, tedious, uninteresting, and inaccessible to most teammates.

– The computer station puzzles were imbalanced. One could be completed much more quickly than the other. Because of this, the flow was disrupted. We spent a lot of time waiting on our teammates.

– The computers presented repetitive-task puzzles. Once we’d determined how to solve them, we had to play along as the computer continued to present versions of the scenario so that we could repeat the same solve logic. Unlike computer games, however, these didn’t reward mastery with a harder version, nor did they offer a “speed up” button as we set each version to solved. 1 person continued to plod away with this, with 1 other giving input, and the rest of the team looking on. These mini-games dragged.

+ Odyssey Escape Game had built a neat graphic to show our progress through the suppression of the fire.

– While we liked the idea for this escape room, the fire extinguishing scenarios didn’t make any sense in light of human and machine capabilities and fire safety. Narratively, it didn’t hold water.

+ The culminating scene was dramatic and exciting. We enjoyed the set juxtaposition: bright and dark, ordinary and unusual. Towering Inferno escalated well.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Odyssey Escape Game’s Towering Inferno, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Odyssey Escape Game provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Empire Rooms – Ravenwood Grove [Review]

A Hitchhiker’s Guide To Geek References.

Location: Fairfield, NJ

Date Played: April 9, 2018

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Ravenwood Grove justified this heist escape room. It was fun, puzzle-focused game in a pretty standard setting. It was even more fun for those of us who caught all the nerdy references.

If you’re in the area, check this one out, and don’t get too distracted by the Easter eggs.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Pop culture nerds
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Geeky references
  • Strong puzzle game
  • Solidly written and justified narrative that didn’t get in the way

Story

Our team of thieves had been planning this heist for months. Our tech guy would disable the security system and we would sneak in and steal a rare piece of art from a collector. The plan was perfect. What could go wrong?

In-game: A study covered in art.

Setting

We were in a home gallery setting. Our mark was a collector of rare and nerdy artifacts. The set had an office/ gallery vibe that wasn’t inherently exciting. The fun of the set came from all of the hidden and not-so-hidden nerdery laced throughout the environment. There were many entertaining details to appreciate.

In-game: a small book case with symbols on the books.

Gameplay

Empire Rooms’ Ravenwood Grove was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

+ Empire Rooms did a great job of setting up the story, justifying our presence in the game, and establishing the role of the gamemaster. It’s details like this that cost an escape room company absolutely nothing, but go a long way towards building a strong fiction.

+ There was a ton of content in Ravenwood Grove, in terms of puzzles as well as nerdy references and Easter eggs.

+ The Easter eggs were great. We probably spent 5 minutes pointing them out and explaining them to one another.

– There were a few too many locks with similar digit structures.

– One of the niftiest props in the game did nothing at all. It was the kind of prop that just screams, “PLAY WITH ME!” We wished it had been incorporated into a puzzle.

+/- There was a narrative twist that was simultaneously cool and kind of a let down.

+ Ravenwood Grove flowed well. It mixed old school play with strong, tech-driven moments.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Empire Rooms’ Ravenwood Grove, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Empire Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Salt Lake City & Park City, Utah: Room Escape Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near Salt Lake City or Park City, Utah?

During our few days in Salt Lake City, we experienced some of the most entertaining, in-character gamemastering we’ve seen to date.

Here are our recommendations for escape rooms in Salt Lake City & Park City, organized into categories.

Stylized image of the cathedral at Temple Square in Salt Lake City.

Market standouts

  1. Prison Bus Escape, Alcatraz Escape Games
  2. Mine Trap, Escape Room Park City
  3. Zombie Apocalypse Escape, Alcatraz Escape Games
  4. Reactor Room, Getout Games 
  5. Dracula’s Castle, Mystery Escape Room
  6. Sherlock Holmes and the Great Charade, Lockbox Mysteries (play at home)

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The newbie-friendly

Competitive Play

The spooky & scary

Games with actors

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Escape Plan GA – Bank Heist [Review]

Puzzle withdrawal.

Location: Loganville, GA

Date Played: March 23, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per adult ticket, $22 per military/police/fire/teacher tickets, $20 per child ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Bank Heist was a challenging search-and-puzzle escape room. Play this one for the puzzles. It was uneven in set design and game flow. Not recommended for newbies.

If you’re nearby and want a challenge, go take it on.

In-game: A lectern that reads, "Next Teller Please."

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players who want a challenge
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Some neat moments, especially in the last act
  • A stiff challenge

Story

We were robbing a bank to initiate ourselves into the mob, as one does.

In-game: A bank safe beside a paperwork table.

Setting

The gamespace was fairly tight and crammed a number of different bank-esque set pieces into the room.

Our robbery began in the office-like space in front of the bank vault door. The carpeted room consisted mainly of a large desk, lectern, some wall hangings, and of course, the entrance to the bank vault.

The set design was inconsistent with a few gems, particularly in the late-game, and a lot of stuff that just felt more or less recognizable as belonging in a bank.

In-game: A telephone and calculator on a desk.

Gameplay

Escape Plan GA’s Bank Heist was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

Bank Heist was a difficult search-and-puzzle game, with satisfying finds and solves. It was a challenge, even for our experienced team. We comfortably escaped, but we had to work at it.

– This was a heavily adapted N.E.R.D. escape room. At times, it felt like the clue structure had been edited incompletely, with remnants of previous puzzles remaining in the props. In one case this really tipped the scales a bit too far towards confusion.

– Escape Plan GA didn’t “ask why” quite enough. One of the bigger moments in Bank Heist involved doing one of the few things that I know I would never do if I were attempting a bank robbery… And I don’t know a lot about robbing banks.

+ Escape Plan GA did a fantastic job of selecting some of their locks and staging a number of the later interactions.

– Some of our teammates missed the most visually impactful moments because the most cinematic part of the experience was too closed off for the entire team to view it.

? This was a difficult game (arguably the hardest we encountered in Atlanta). We enjoyed the challenge, your mileage may vary.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.
  • Escape Plan GA has a comfortable lounge area.

Book your hour with Escape Plan GA’s Bank Heist, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Plan GA provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Escape from the Room – The Curse of Old Maid Milly [Review]

Crazy cat lady puzzle book.

Location: at home

Date Played: March 2018

Team size: 1 -¯\_(ツ)_/; we recommend 1-2

Price: $16 per copy

REA Reaction

Escape from the Room: The Curse of Old Maid Milly was a charming and generally straightforward reimagining of a real-life escape room as a puzzle book. While it wasn’t a challenging game, it captured the quick-hit escape room puzzle style quite well.

If you’re looking for a puzzle book to push the boundaries of your puzzling ability, there are more challenging options out there. If you’re looking for a puzzle book that captures the feel of an escape room, this a great choice. We loved carrying it with us on our travels.

Escape from the Room: The Curse of Old Maid Milly being held up beside an airport window.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Travelers
  • Crazy cat people

Why play?

  • It’s cool to see an actual real life escape room adapted into a book.
  • The puzzles play well.
  • It’s inexpensive and fun.

Story

This real life escape room-turned-puzzle book casts the reader as Dr. Alan Harris, a professor of paranormal activity. Dr. Harris was investigating a room where a mysterious reclusive cat lady named Milly had died when he was suddenly locked in.

Could Dr. Harris uncover the secrets that have kept Milly’s soul trapped in her home and escape?

Setup

The Curse of Old Maid Milly began its life as an actual escape room in the United Kingdom (review by Ken Ferguson at The Logic Escapes Me). After closing the real life escape room, the creator converted it into a book-based escape game. According to Ken, roughly 50% of the puzzles were changed in the shift to print.

Each 2-page spread of the book presented either puzzle and story or a black and white sketch of the game environment.

Puzzle and story pages would deliver most of the content as prose. Light gray text was explicitly for story and could be ignored by the more puzzle-minded. Black text was necessary for the completion of a puzzle.

Gameplay

Maps

Map pages depicted a larger area. The map would be labeled with corresponding pages that contained illustrations of what we would see if we looked in that direction.

Location Illustrations

The black and white sketches filled us in on the aesthetics of the room and contained observable clues for solving puzzles.

Puzzles

Puzzle pages contained a page number (more on that in a moment), light gray story text, and black puzzle text. Some puzzles also contained additional graphics.

The answer converter the allows players to translate directions and letters into numbers.

Inputting Answers

Puzzle solutions came in the form of page numbers. To verify an answer, we had to flip to that page and see if we should be heading there. If we were correct, the page we flipped to had the next segment of story and a puzzle.

Not all of the puzzles initially resolved to a number. There was a consistent translation mechanism that enabled us to convert directions and words into numbers.

Satchel

Occasionally the book would inform us that Dr. Harris had decided to save an object in his satchel. This news was always delivered in black puzzle text and satchel was bolded for extra effect. Whenever this happened, we needed to log the item, as we would eventually need to recall it in order to solve certain challenges.

Analysis

+ This was a good beginner puzzle book. The puzzles resolved cleanly. Few offered serious challenge. When we were stumped, it was usually because we had failed to notice a detail.

+ The page jumping mechanic was an interesting approach to answer checking.

– Because we were constantly jumping from the back of the book, to the middle, to the front, and back again, at any given point in time, we had little concept of how deep into the game we were.

– We did not enjoy the satchel game mechanic. It made a good effort at recreating the feel of using found objects to solve puzzles, but it wasn’t exciting. These “puzzles” felt more like throwaway moments. It was more effort to track satchel items than it was worth.

+/- The story was good, but entirely too wordy. There were times where if felt as if the story text may have been added simply to fill white space on the page.

+ The light gray vs black text to separate story from puzzle worked well.

+/- Old Maid Milly had a cute print-based take on escape room search puzzles. We didn’t love these puzzles, but they absolutely captured the right vibe.

+ The hint system was structured and easy to use.

+ This book was fun to carry around on a trip. We would make a little progress here and there. It was easy to put down and pick up again.

Tips for Playing

  • You will want some sort of bookmark.
  • You need to log all of the satchel items. Failure to do so will result in annoyance and backtracking later on. We might be speaking from experience on this.
  • It is possible to play this game without writing in the book, but requires extra effort.

Book your hour with Escape from the Room’s The Curse of Old Maid Milly, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape from the Room provided a complementary copy of this book.

 

Time to Escape – King Tut’s Tomb [Review]

Read like an Egyptian.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Date Played: March 24, 2018

Team size: 1-10; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Time to Escape loves minding the little details of period accuracy when crafting their historical escape games; King Tut’s Tomb was no exception. While we enjoyed the details and overall concept, the gameplay was rocky. Some of the puzzles suffered from wear that muddied our ability to accurately perceive clues and we had to read a ton of material to make progress.

We left really wanting to like this escape room more than we did. It had a lot going for it, but it had too much unfulfilled potential. King Tut’s Tomb could be further refined into something great.

If you’re a local seeking an adventure through ancient Egypt, check this out. Ultimately I’m much more eager to recommend Time to Escape’s Al Capone’s Speakeasy.

In-game: A wall of hieroglyphs and a cartouche.

Who is this for?

  • Amateur Egyptologists
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Surprising reveals
  • Layered puzzles

Story

It was 1922 and we were part of Howard Carter’s crew searching for a burial chamber. We had received word that Egyptian authorities were on their way to shut us down. Time was of the essence.

In-game: a large wooden crate and a brush.

Setting

We entered a dark chamber in a tomb with one flashlight fewer than the number of people in the group. The set was fairly Spartan, with a few puzzle interactions. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling with accurate recreations of Egyptian tomb wall carvings and art.

As we explored the game further, we found light among other elegant props.

In-game: A mural on the wall of an Egyptian tomb.

Gameplay

Time to Escape’s King Tut’s Tomb was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and puzzling.

Analysis

+ This game was well researched. It accurately depicted tomb art.

+ There were some interesting puzzles.

– A lot of those puzzles, however, were really best for a solo solver, maybe two people together.

– Puzzle solving required a lot of reading, much of this in low light.

– Portions of the set and props needed some touch-up paint. The problems caused by the worn paint were amplified by the dim lighting.

– I had an encounter with a reasonably potent laser at eye level.

+ The conclusion and the corresponding props were solid.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking in their lot.
  • Time to Escape is located on the second floor behind the building. There is an elevator in the middle of the building and stairwells on the sides.
  • This game does require a little bit of crawling or crouching. I suspect that if you have accessibility needs, Time to Escape would be able to accommodate them.

Book your hour with Time to Escape’s King Tut’s Tomb, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Time to Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Massachusetts: Room Escape Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near you in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has a lot of great escape rooms outside of Boston. You don’t even need to know how to pronounce the names of the towns to play the games!

Drive west, past Route 495 to find many of these gems. There lies an awesome escape room day trip.

We’ve covered Boston recommendations (inside Route 95) separately.

A covered bridge over a stream at the peak of fall.

Market standouts

  1. The Assistant, Gate Escape
  2. The Dollhouse, Curious Escape Rooms
  3. Escape the Video Store, Curious Escape Rooms
  4. The Titletown Ring Thief, Escape Room Westford
  5. Secret Society, Winchendon Escape Room
  6. King Arthur’s Quest, PuzzlEscape

The set & scenery-driven adventures

The puzzle-centric

The tech-heavy

The newbie-friendly

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Mystified – Rendezvous With The Renaissance [Review]

Leonardo the mystic.

Location: Mystic, CT

Date Played: April 1, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Rendezvous With The Renaissance was a puzzle-focused, challenge-oriented escape room. While at times the cluing was a bit imprecise, the puzzles generally flowed well. It may not have been a fully immersive environment, but the staging added to the experience.

If you’re in the area and you want to puzzle, give Rendezvous With The Renaissance a try.

In-game: A door with moon cycles painted on it, a clock face around it, and large gears above.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Puzzle quality
  • Puzzle quantity
  • The steampunk, in-character vibe of Mystified

Story

After arriving at our hotel in Victorian Italy, we found that we’d received someone else’s luggage. We snooped, of course. They had a mysterious little notebook and a letter suggesting an impending rendezvous to uncover artifacts. We decided to find these artifacts first.

Setting

Our artifact search began at the church square. We were surrounded by imposing walls with slight ornamentation and a decorated, locked door. Folks had left a few odds and ends in the square for us to poke around in. It was a relatively empty space.

The set design was solid, but fell short of serious immersion.

Gameplay

Mystified’s Rendezvous With The Renaissance was a standard escape room with a higher level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

+ We love the name Mystified. We love the pun. Need a name? Check out our Escape Room Name Generator.

Mystified's steam punk-ish lobby.

+ We enjoyed the vibe of Mystified. It had a steampunk flair that carried through to staff costumes. Our gamemaster was rocking one seriously cool corset… I was envious.

+ We enjoyed the challenging, complex, and structurally varied puzzles presented in Rendezvous With The Renaissance.

– A couple of early puzzles suffered from inconsistencies. These differences in iconography and alignment added unnecessary uncertainty. Later in the escape room, one icon symbolized multiple things. Given the number of open puzzles, this icon choice convoluted the gameplay.

– Rendezvous With The Renaissance followed a run book, and a tiny one at that. While Mystified had worked this prop into the narrative, it was still frustrating to follow. Only one person could read it at a time. With a larger team, this frustration would have been magnified.

+ While the narrative only loosely carried the experience, it culminated well with a satisfying final series of solves.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Mystified’s Rendezvous With The Renaissance, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Mystified provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Project Escape – Saw [Review]

How did one team win by 6 seconds?! Read the epic tale.

Location: Marietta, GA

Date Played: March 24, 2018

Team size: up to 6 per room; we recommend 3-5 per room (book both copies and put even teams in each room)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Project Escape’s Saw looked as good as it played. This team vs team competitive game wasn’t particularly challenging, but the intensity of the competition amped up the excitement of the experience.

Lisa and I once again played against one another and my team won by 6 seconds. For those keeping score at home, we are now 2 & 2 against one another.

If you’re anywhere nearby and have enough people to play Saw competitively, I’d encourage you to do so.

In-game: A rundown white tiled room with a big slop sink and a toilet.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Competitive escape room players

Why play?

  • Competitive gameplay
  • Great set design
  • Strong puzzles

Story

We woke up handcuffed to our friends in a strange room. In the next room, another group of victims were locked up in the same manner.

Only the first group to escape would emerge unharmed.

It was Saw staged as a team vs team battle… and without all of the blood, screaming, death, and dismemberment.

In-game: A rundown white tiled room with lockers and a maze along the back wall.

Setting

Project Escape did a great job of capturing the dirty white-tiled aesthetic of the original Saw film. The gamespace was detailed and eerie, without instilling terror. It was well lit and easy to focus on gameplay.

In-game: An exit door with 5 glowing lights above it.

Gameplay

Project Escape’s Saw was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty and a team vs team twist.

Competitive play was handled Race To Escape style. Two teams competed in mirror image rooms. Each room had five different paths of puzzles that resolved linearly. At the conclusion of each puzzle path, we earned a key that would turn on a light. Both teams could see their own lights as well as the opposing team’s lights. The first team to trigger all five of their own lights won.

When a team requested a hint, both teams received the same hint.

Core gameplay revolved around observing and puzzling.

Analysis

+ The competitive gameplay was exciting. This was especially true given the two overpowered teams we fielded. We created our own pressure to succeed. It was real and exhilarating.

– When the opposing team triggered a light, it was too subtle. We frequently didn’t realize it had happened until quite a bit later. Project Escape missed this opportunity to add drama to the experience.

+ The puzzles were well executed. Some offered unique challenges; others allowed us to build skill and mastery.

– One team (the winning team) had some seriously weak batteries in a handheld light. This was a significant annoyance and could have turned into a game-breaking barrier.

+ The handcuffed opening limited our access to the scope of the room until we had earned our freedom. This provided a good on-ramp for teams to learn the basics.

+ The set looked great and was easy to operate within. We weren’t straining for light and even our most nervous players were unaffected by fear. This was a concern for some going into a Saw-themed game.

– If you’re expecting horror from a Saw-themed game, your undead princess is in another castle.

? There were no opportunities to interact with the opposing team during gameplay. The effects of this were mixed. On one hand, it was a clean race. On the other hand, this limited the tension, strategy, and tactics available.

+ Hints were fair and designed to prevent blowouts by helping keep a team from falling too far behind.

– The light indicators were laid out in a peculiar and confusing manner. The teams were labeled “Team A” & “Team B.” One would assume that Team A’s lights would be on top, and Team B’s the bottom. Strangely each room had the same layout of “us” on top and “them” on the bottom. Clue indicators, however, followed the more comfortable A on the top, B on the bottom layout. This was all especially annoying for Team B. Consistency and better labeling would have helped.

+ Each room had its own gamemaster overseeing the experience.

– The system didn’t know which team had won. In the case of our game, the 6 second difference in escape times meant that both teams were initially told that they had won. I suspect that Escape Room Master doesn’t have proper functionality for managing these aspects of competitive gameplay.

+ Both teams are allowed the full hour of gameplay. When one team wins, the other team is still allowed to play out the experience.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.
  • Note that if you book multiple games at Project Escape, you might have to drive/walk around the building complex between games because they aren’t all located at the same entrance.
  • Food: We enjoyed the Marietta Diner.

Book your hour with Project Escape’s Saw, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Project Escape comped our tickets for this game.