Escape Games at the River
Playing this Baker Street Mystery game was a throwback to the early days of escape rooms. It was the type of first gen game that would’ve impressed up when we started playing escape rooms, however felt a little lackluster now.
We ran into a few small glitches in the game. There was a problem with one of the puzzles not working as well as it could physically that caused us to waste some time and get annoyed. The final lock was jammed. Honestly my biggest problem was the final puzzle’s logic, it felt misleading. Everything else was fine.
They did have one really clever puzzle I hadn’t seen before, but it didn’t really fit the decor of the room as well as some of the other puzzles. The room looks nice, nothing fancy but certainly clean and well kept.
If you’re in the area I would say check it out.
ARCANE ESCAPE ROOMS
Arcane’s Hideout is one of the most innovative and creative rooms I have experienced. It is very different in style not only from other escape game companies, but even from the original game at this location. The use of physical puzzle locks instead of the standard padlock is refreshing. They use some really unique contraptions that require players to solve puzzles in order to figure out how to move the devices properly to unlock the next step in the path. It is an escape room with some of the most out-of-the-box thinking I’ve encountered.
The story is a continuation of their first room, The Agency. Your brother has left you a note that will give you guidance to begin your adventure in The Hideout. The puzzles don’t really seem to move the story forward, so to speak. At times I wasn’t even clear on why the puzzles connected to the story, but there were also times I could see they made a strong attempt.
The decor is well done. The room really does feel like a strange little hideout. There is a strong wooden scent in the room. The props are good, as well. Everything seemed to work correctly as well as look nice.
Overall, I think the room is a very creative and well done room. I myself didn’t click with the puzzle style or theme, but that’s a personal preference. It is a good room.
OPEN DOOR ESCAPE GAMES
I know your works. See, I have set before you an OPEN DOOR, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.-Revelation 3:8
Open Door Escape Games is a family friendly game created by a husband and wife team. Their idea in opening this company was to be a light to downtown Redlands and to support world and local missions. Matt is an assisting pastor at Wildwood Calvary Chapel and Angela is a Sr. Sales Director with Mary Kay. In my opinion they have successfully created a fun escape room that you could bring any of your family members or friends to play and enjoy. However, I do want to be clear that this room is not a “kids” room, the minimum suggested age is 13 because of the complexity of the puzzles.
The Study is a first generation game with a solid story and clever low tech puzzles. I liked that since they don’t really lock you in the room, the justification for the “escape” is done seamlessly through the story. The Study has a super creative hint system that made me smile. The puzzles are complex and great for groups. The decor is nice. It feels like you are in a lived in study, which is spot on for the theme and story. Overall it’s an enjoyable game.
- Restaurant Suggestion: We ate at Crepes of Wrath and it was amazing! They offer wonderful gluten-free crepes and are great about other food allergies as well. Also very nice staff. We walked past it on our way to the room from the parking structure.
Congratulations to all of the 2016 Skeleton Key Award winners!
The following games are all incredibly fun and unique in their own ways. Below you can see them listed by the category in which they shine especially bright.
Puzzah! Tick Tock
So I’ll admit up front that I may be a bit biased in this review since I absolutely loved this room as it felt like it was made for me. I played alone and took third place on the leaderboard. I studied music so I related to the theme. Also the puzzles played to my strengths with logic puzzles and such.
I loved the story of a mad composer hiding an explosive device and you must crack his puzzles to find the device and disarm it. It is a heavy audio and music based room. The hints and some of the puzzles are actually given through the speakers, so if you have difficulty with audio puzzles this may not be a room for you. I happen to love audio and music related puzzles.
I am also fascinated by the unique way this game guides players along. The gamemaster doesn’t even need to watch the game because the hints are automated. Everything works together to tell the story. It’s very clever and unlike anything I’ve seen.
The game itself takes place in a fairly small room. I would recommend playing a different game at this location if you have a large group. They have several games at the location and to my understanding they all use the same hint system automated technology.
I have never been aboard the Titanic, but I have explored the Queen Mary ship while ghost hunting and let me say that when I entered this Titanic themed escape room I felt like I was actually below deck on a real ship. The set design is incredible. I really did forget that I was in a building in Marina Del Rey during game play because it is so well decorated. The puzzles are integrated into the story seamlessly. This game has very few traditional locks. Instead you are solving puzzles in a way that feels organic to the storytelling. The puzzles are challenging and unique enough for experienced players, but logical in a way new players can still solve and enjoy. I love the creativity they use in creating puzzles that are actual activities you might do on a ship. I also quite enjoy the way they took a common puzzle I have seen a hundred times and recreated it as a large prop that belongs on a ship. Overall the room is well designed, immersive, used creative puzzles to forward the storytelling and has beautiful set decor. It is everything you could ask for in an amazing escape game.
60out is one of the top escape room companies in the nation and they keep expanding, creating new games that are each more impressive than the previous. I highly recommend this and their other escape rooms.