Not Sure How I Mixed Up ‘Darkness’ and ‘Niagara’… – Room: Darkness Falls – June 16, 2018

THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’re a fan of slasher flicks and/or camping.

Avoid if… you’re scared of the dark, Friday the 13th, and/or Jason Voorhees.


THE BASICS

Locked In Escapes:

Address: 2760 N Academy Blvd, Suite 301, Colorado Springs, CO 80917 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: (719) 424-7066
https://lockedinescapes.com

The Room – Darkness Falls:

Description (from the company website): People go missing. It is a fact of life in our chaotic world. This is especially true of The Rocky Mountain National Forest. Such a vast and open area of land is bound to swallow the lost, injured, and scared. But something has been different lately, especially around the stories that have been making their way out of the forest. Some say that there is something living in the forest, a mythical creature that kidnaps hunters and hikers. Others speculate that strange weather patterns are the cause of these missing people.

To you and your team of investigative journalists, it is all hogwash. Just tall tales. You report on facts, not fiction. Your phone rings, one of your journalists has found a lead. Finally, something that makes sense! It’s a tip indicating a location in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. Rousing your team, you all pack into a car and head out. Arriving you are surprised to find an old abandoned cabin. Walking inside your team begins to look around. Wrapped up in the excitement of the discovery of the cabin, you forgot to grab your camera and notepad. Making your way back to the door you grab the handle to open it. But it doesn’t open. It won’t even budge. Locked. Who could’ve locked it?

There is more to this cabin than you first thought, it must be the epicenter of the mysterious disappearances. With only 60 minutes until the sun sets, you and your team start searching for the clues. Can you escape before darkness falls?

Note: The room gets progressively darker as the timer ticks down.

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $30

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 6

Staging Area: Small lobby with couches and lockers for your personal items

Metro Access/Parking: Don’t know much about public transit out in Colorado Springs, but there’s plenty of parking in the lot.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room is a woodsy cabin, complete with taxadermied animal heads, a fireplace, and a typewriter. Looks like someone rented it out so they could write the next great American novel. Then didn’t.

Understanding of the Mission: One of your colleagues has found a lead on what’s going on with all the missing hikers and such in the forest. You gather your things and get together with the rest of the lot and head on out to what you find to be an abandoned cabin. But…then you get locked inside, and you have 60 minutes before you are trapped forever.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:35 remaining

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 is sufficient, however you could do this with 2 if you had experienced gamers.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Mostly

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Marco, Holly, Wendy

We were able to save ourselves and radio to the Park Rangers to come get us!

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • We didn’t go anywhere after, so can’t give a recommendation.


OUR SCORING:

JASON SAYS:
Overall Expectation (Summary)
Having been here before, I was looking forward to coming back to do this room. When I first found this location, I wanted to do Darkness Falls because of the gimmick with the lights growing darker over time, but seeing as Marco and Holly were ERV’s (Escape Room Virgins) at that time, I didn’t think it was a good idea and we did Shattered Kingdom instead. They were now ERNs (Escape Room Novices), having done 3 rooms with me up to this point, but Wendy was about to get her mind blown by her first escape room.

Suffice it to say that this is their hardest room and the growing darkness as the hour progresses is a really cool feature. It’s well-built and I didn’t find any real glaring issues, but read on.

Story (Rating)
As investigative journalists, you’re sniffing around reports of missing hikers and such in the forest. Your colleague was given a voicemail that someone’s husband left about finding a cabin in the woods where he was going to take shelter for the night, but he never came back and was never heard from again.

As you’re getting ready to go check it out, you are alerted that another girl has gone missing, so you finish packing up and take off for this cabin.

I like the way they give you the extra info about the newly missing girl. Only one other location I’ve been to has done something similar. It’s a great little added touch that really helps suck you into the game.

Rating: 9/10    4/2/3

Mission (Rating)
This is one of the simpler missions at Locked In Escapes. I would have loved to have to break into the cabin and restore power first, but that’s just me and how I think (and a little bit of free advice).

The mission essentially was:

  • Get to the cabin (check).
  • Find the missing girl (working on it).
  • Get out (also working on it).

Clear and concise. However, the missing girl, well, I’ll just let you figure that out yourself.

Rating: 7.5/10     4/1.5/2

Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
There was a lot going on here for being in such a small space. There was also a lot hidden (and a good amount that was hidden in plain sight). I happened to notice right at the beginning something very…what’s the word I’m looking for…let’s go with “odd.” I happened to notice something odd about some of the wall hangings and “accidentally” got us further along in the room right off the bat than I should have. That actually ended up screwing us up a little more than we needed.

There was a good variety of puzzles in the room, ranging from an actual puzzle to some deduction, and great use of the typewriter (that was probably my favorite part for whatever reason). A handful of locks (directional [great job on putting that puzzle together, hoo-boy] and 3-4 digit combos mostly, if I recall correctly), some light puzzles, and 1 puzzle that required some outside knowledge, which is a big no-no in my book. (And while yes, you can argue that it’s something you may learn in grade school, it’s also something most people just don’t need to know on a daily basis, so none of us really knew if we had it right and we asked for a clue and a clarification on it.)

Additionally, there was one puzzle that I’ve only ever seen in 1 other escape room (and I still don’t like it). The issue here was that earlier in the game you are told to touch something that, if you touch it too hard, will move, and and up throwing off the later use. We had NO idea if the first touch triggered something or if that was sheer coincidence based on time, but it really did throw it off and we had to get a clue which prompted me to make a really good guess at what the answer should be. Obviously I’m not going to tell you what this was, but we were all flummoxed. (That’s right, I said FLUMMOXED!)

Oh, and when you see the fish…don’t be shy.

Rating: 7.5/10    4.5/3

Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
There were some hard puzzles. Normally I don’t say that. Everything was well done, but I think the biggest boon to our experience was the fact that I opened that one puzzle early, and so we ended up having MORE things to dick around with instead of only what we should have had up to that point.

My bad.

Anyway, I’d give the puzzles here a spread of 4-8. There wasn’t anything  that was super easy and some of the harder stuff was more perception, or lack thereof. (Except the two puzzles I wrote about above.)

The whole group was challenged and we did well working together. There were times that you will absolutely need 2 people, so I suggesting bringing at least one friend. And if you don’t have any of those, just kidnap someone off the street because that’s kind of the theme of the game anyway. (Just kidding, don’t actually kidnap anyone.)

Rating: 9/10

Flow/Cohesiveness/Uniqueness (Rating)
This was also one of the very few rooms (might be the 3rd out of 100-ish) that actually got me with a jump scare. I hate to say it, but when it’s true, it’s true.

That said, from the second we got in the cabin to the moment the Park Rangers said they were coming to pick us up, there’s a constant feeling of dread (especially once the tv kicks on…) that permeates through. You continually get updates from the missing girl, begging you to help her (ok, so more like pleas). It’s pretty damn creepy (and you know exactly where she is, too…).

Good use of the decorations and things you’d expect to find in a wooded area (taxidermy, wooden chair, tree branches, fireplace). Makes me (not) want to go camping.

Honestly, it looks like a frickin’ cabin in the woods. Very well crafted, and enough to make Marco keep saying “We DED!”

Rating: 9/10      4/4/1

Fun/Amusement (Summary)
Oh, I had a good time alright. Whether it was Marco telling us we were all going to die or the look on Wendy’s face when something happened, it was fun.
Game Master (Summary)
The GM in Locked In Escape is not very interactive, listening to you and watching through a camera, while the time and clues are displayed on a TV mounted in the corner of the room. But it works.
How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
We asked for at least 2 clues and 1 clarification about the puzzle one of the clues was for. Still not too happy about that one with the outside knowledge, but I’m also not losing any sleep over it.
RAGE Meter 
This one’s getting rated as “Annoyed”. Partially with myself, partially with that one damn puzzle, but I swear, that’s the last I’ll say about it. :p

Rating: 👊👊

ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 8.4/10 

Final Thought: Well, I just realized I got all the way through the review and never really talked about the whole ‘darkness falling’ thing. So they use a wifi-enabled lighting system to essentially dim the lights in the room X % every Y minutes. It’s pretty cool and also exactly what I expected. However, don’t let this deter you from the room (it’s a feature, not a bug!). This is a great room for several experienced escapers and really does work pretty well for itself. That’s 2 rooms at Locked In Escapes down, and 2 more to go!

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