Trapped! Escape Room Las Vegas – Pandora’s Box [Review]

Curiosity rewarded

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Date Played: November 28, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $45 per player for 2 players to $39 per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Crawling (at least 1 player)

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Pandora’s Box (quite literally) blew us away with a wide range of special effects and a showstopper central set piece. This was a fantastic experience — especially for smaller teams — and it was, without a doubt a must-play within the local Las Vegas market.

Thematically, this room felt like a crossover between Greek mythology, Indiana Jones, and the large puzzle boxes from The Room (the video game, not the terrible film.) While a tad jarring at first, this stylistic juxtaposition was consistently implemented and made for an exciting adventure.

Pandora’s Box took place in a fairly small space, but some clever game mechanics repeatedly transformed the atmosphere. With a beautifully designed and fabricated Pandora’s Box in the center of the room, our time was largely focused on interacting with the many details on this prop. Targeted spotlights directed our attention as needed on the box’s faces and around the room.

This game was fully linear and contained a few puzzle types that may mildly frustrate certain players. The narrative felt a bit fuzzy by the ending, and ultimately I found this to be more of an adventure-driven than story-driven experience, despite some strong story elements in certain moments of the game.

Pandora’s Box was one of the most immersive escape room offerings in Las Vegas, and it’s well worth a play if you’re in the area.

An attic, in the middle is a box covered in a white sheet and spot lit.
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NorCal Escape Co – Escape Truck [Review]

Cons and Pros

Location:  Yuba City, CA

Date Played: November 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-4; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 41 minutes

Price: $100 for 2 players, $120 for 3-4 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release

REA Reaction

The 41-minute-long Escape Truck packed an impressive amount of gameplay into a tiny space.

When approaching a mobile escape room, I look for a game that utilizes clever workarounds to compensate for a compact set and that tells a story appropriate for the mobile vehicle format. Escape Truck checked both of these boxes.

The premise was straightforward: we were convicts being transported to a new facility, and we had a brief window to escape after our truck crashed. When we were first led onto the truck, it felt wholly convincing as a prisoner transport vehicle. We were led to understand our roles in the story before we went on to discover the layers of secrets concealed in this environment.

The gameplay in Escape Truck was subtle yet exciting. A split-team start helped move players around the space efficiently and largely avoided single-player bottleneck puzzles. Escape Truck would be a great introduction to escape rooms for players new to the medium, and with a solid smattering of sneaky little reveals, it would be equally enjoyable for more seasoned enthusiasts.

Note: We played the 41-minute version of the Escape Truck. NorCal Escape Co also offers a different 15-minute version of the game for events, which features an entirely set of puzzles.

Unlocked handcuffs hanging from a metal bar.
Image via NorCal Escape Co
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Enchambered – Apart in Time [Hivemind Review]

Apart in Time is a 2-player point-and-click game created by Enchambered in Sacramento, CA.

This game is in a similar style to Enchambered’s other digital games: Alone TogetherTogether Apart, and Together At Heart.

Key art for Apart in Time features a broken mirror with a haunting face in the shards.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection. Each player needs their own computer.

Recommended Team Size: exactly 2

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: pay what you want, minimum of $10

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Apart in Time is a two-person, cooperative game where each player has partial information and needs to communicate with the other person to solve the puzzles.

Omescape Sunnyvale – Kingdom of Cat-tastrophe [Review]

Meow-velous mayhem

Location:  Sunnyvale, CA

Date Played: November 12, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $50 per player for 2 players to $45 per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Crawling and climbing (some players)

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release

REA Reaction

Kingdom of Cat-tastrophe told an utterly absurd story about warring factions of a cat kingdom. This game wholeheartedly committed to its bizarre, cat-filled weirdness, and it really worked.

Kingdom of Cat-tastrophe was more of a standard escape room compared to some of the more experimental offerings at Omescape Sunnyvale. Whereas Undercooked, Midnight in Hong Kong, or Chaos in the Galleria each offered innovative gameplay elements and were best suited for players with at least some experience, Kingdom of Cat-tastrophe was an excellent more accessible choice for beginners — while still showcasing the large, beautiful sets and distinctive narrative flavor that characterizes all Omescape Sunnyvale experiences.

For new escape room players, Kingdom of Cat-tastrophe would be a stellar introduction to the joy of escape rooms. For enthusiasts, it would be a fun warmup before playing Undercooked, Midnight in Hong Kong, or Chaos in the Galleria, but if you’re short on time and looking to play Omescape Sunnyvale’s most unique offerings, I’d recommend skipping straight to those rooms.

Castle interior with a large wooden door and stone walls.
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San Francisco, California: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: January 5, 2022

Back in 2012, San Francisco was home to the first escape room in the United States. Today, it’s a destination for innovative tech and brilliant puzzles. Here is our guide to the best escape rooms in San Francisco and Oakland.

If you’re in the area, check out our guides to San Jose and Sacramento as well (coming soon).

Image: Golden Gate Bridge Text: "San Francisco, California Escape Room Guide"

Market Standouts

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Newbie Friendly