Escape from the 6 – Volcano Views: Aerial Tours [Review]

Surprise Adventure

Location: Mississauga, Ontario Canada

Date Played: May 3, 2022

Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 CAD per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Stairs present; alert your game master if sudden movement would be an issue

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Volcano Views: Aerial Tours took us on an action-packed and momentum-driven adventure through the skies (and subsequent picturesque landscape beneath).

Set pieces were adequately-sized and creatively-used to draw attention to the height available in the experience. Effectively utilizing the scale of the space to their advantage, Escape from the 6 maximized an often un-utilized segment of room design to great impact, leading our team members to be mesmerized by the effect and immediately drawn to the target area.

A crashed plane on an island. Overhead there are clouds in the sky and there is a parachute, a propeller, and other assorted items strewn about the canyon.

One particular physical manipulation puzzle was clever in its design, but finicky in its execution; standardizing the ease of the solution for all four pieces involved would strengthen the signal, enhancing the momentum of the solve.

Suitable for beginners and a refreshing treat for enthusiasts, we would certainly recommend grabbing three friends and experiencing Volcano Views: Aerial Tours for yourself, just south of Toronto.

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Lock & Key Escape Room – The Seance [Review]

Astral Abduction

Location: Buffalo, NY

Date Played: April 23, 2022

Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $27 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Lock & Key Escape Room delivered a well-orchestrated escape room with The Seance. It used a myriad of puzzle types to build towards an escape that was both satisfying to play through and built on a logical game flow.

We particularly enjoyed a puzzle with an artistic aspect that had us mixing and matching elements in unexpected ways midway into the experience. We paused to appreciate the detailed novelty of the interaction, which underlined how set pieces found right away may take on a different context with information found later.

A seance room with a strange symbol painted on the wall.

As a note, The Seance did lose a bit of its storyline later in the gameplay. While the puzzles were clearly laid out, it wasn’t always obvious how they were driving us towards the original objective of finding a silent film star. This certainly won’t heavily impact whether some people enjoy this room or not, but a stronger narrative backbone would help tie the individual moments together.

If you’re in the Buffalo area, The Seance is a perfect weekend activity to close out a day adventuring with your family or to kick off a night going out on Elmwood Avenue with friends.

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International Room Escape AZ – Amazon Rainforest [Review]

Cool, but bumpy.

Location:  Gilbert, AZ

Date Played: March 12, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Strong motion alert – please let your gamemaster know before your game begins if you do not tolerate sudden movement.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

A strong representation of Ecuadorian culture and story is woven throughout this rainforest exploration adventure. The scenery, especially the first phase of the experience, is genuinely realistic and draws the player into the space. That strong narrative is really emphasized towards the end, and is paired with a broader sense of authenticity that underlines where the narrative is driving your team of researchers.

Deployed oxygen masks in the wreckage of an airplane.

That being said, the absolute core of this escape room is searching, sometimes for items, and sometimes for UV clues in a broad area. Accordingly, the energy level often varied wildly (and unfortunately dipped towards the conclusion instead of ramping up). On a related note, it sometimes felt as though there was not enough gameplay to go around, favoring the involvement of only one or two players at a time with limited provided tools.

In summary, you’ll most enjoy this escape room if you don’t need to be a part of every puzzle and instead can stand back and appreciate the commitment to the underlying story.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Individuals who enjoy searching
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Mixture of scenery
  • Dynamic start (note: motion-sensitive individuals should alert their gamemaster to opt out of this introduction)

Story

An abrupt plane crash forces your adventuring party of researchers to take an unscheduled layover. While tracking down the rescue rendezvous location, you further explore the Ecuadorian rainforest to reveal its secrets.

Wreckage of an airplane in the Amazon. A parrot sits on some of the debris. Above you can see drop ceiling tiles.
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Eludesions Escape Rooms – Mad Hatter’s Tea Party [Review]

Curiouser

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Date Played: March 11, 2022

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32.95 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Playing The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was an absolutely delightful stroll through the Alice in Wonderland storyline. With few nonsensical exceptions, the game flowed well and invited enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike to engage their imaginations with a myriad of spot-on Alice in Wonderland references. Beginning at the beginning, we found ourselves in a fairytale space that smoothly onboarded us into a world of croquet grounds, Cheshire cats grinning, and Queens that rather preferred you did not have your head.

As we traveled through the scenes, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party built experiences via a rich mix of puzzle types, encouraging our party of explorers to continually alter our approach. Not all who wander are lost; this escape room rewarded us for individually exploring and interacting with a space easily expansive enough to keep a group of 4-5 entertained.

A room with many colorful doors.

Our primary critique of the experience came towards the middle of our journey with a challenge that would have benefited from gating. Between the unnecessary puzzling and subsequent missing information when it was appropriate to solve, this obstacle temporarily sapped most of the enthusiasm from our group. Later finding out that difficulty solving wasn’t due to a search fail – that some of the information simply wasn’t present – only compounded our frustration.

If you are in the greater Phoenix region, this is the type of escape room that I would not hesitate to recommend that you bring your family to for a fun-filled journey through the looking glass.

Who is this for?

  • Young at heart
  • Scenery aficionados
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Lively group dynamics
  • Amusing storybook references

Story

Our jovial group of explorers suddenly found ourselves with the opportunity to explore Wonderland…what adventures to be had!

Closeup of multi-colored doors.
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PuzzlEscape Hudson – Something Wicked! [Review]

Something Wicked! is one of the best games in Massachusetts. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Massachusetts.

A Bewitching Refuge

Location: Hudson, MA

Date Played: April 2, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28-38 per player, depending on group size

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Some motion/ shaking is included; please advise your gamemaster if this is a concern.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

PuzzlEscape Hudson’s Something Wicked! never ceased to surprise, embedding a number of fascinating discoveries as we uncovered that things weren’t always as they seemed deep in the woods. The props, the setting, and the entire production underlined these eye-opening elements, leading us through an adventure designed to keep us wondering what we would uncover next as the cauldron bubbled.

This experience was perfect for 4 people in a solid game flow experience that flew by as we uncovered the magical mysteries of an enchanting cabin. Of particular note was the ending, which built off of a multi-layered finale to ramp up in excitement and leave us speechless with the unexpected conclusion.

Closeup of a mailbox that looks like a bird house.

The only time that the suspense waned was in a particularly search-heavy portion of the experience, pairing ambiguous search targets with low lighting that resulted in multiple fails that swiftly brought down the enthusiasm of our group.

With accessible game design, PuzzlEscape Hudson’s approach would satisfy escape room newbies and more experienced players alike in this fast-paced adventure that left us spellbound.

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