ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you enjoy freaking people out, like word play (the actors are clever), or are into S&M.
Avoid if… you have claustrophobia, hate clowns, or don’t like sci-fi.
Address: 3021 N Hancock Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 719-650-4483
Room – The Elevator:
Description (from the company website): THE ELEVATOR IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST ESCAPE ROOMS IN COLORADO AND ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE IN THE WORLD! YOUR ADVENTURE WILL START IN AN ELEVATOR WHICH WILL TAKE YOU ON A THREE LEVEL JOURNEY THROUGH 6,000 SQUARE FEET OF HELLSCREAM. YOU WILL NEED ALL OF YOUR WITS AND SKILLS TO GET OUT AND ESCAPE WITHIN 60 MINUTES.
Difficulty (1-10): Medium or Hard (you get to choose, along with “Scary” or “Not Scary”)
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Party Size: Up to 6
Staging Area: This whole place is also a haunted house, so there’s a queue outside where everyone can line up then they bring you in. Once you get in, there’s a small area where you get the briefing before they start your game.
Metro Access/Parking: Drive or get a Lyft/Uber
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.
Description of the room: You start trapped in an elevator and need to make your way through the lab and basement before making your way out of the mansion.
Understanding of the Mission: Dr von Heltin does all his evil/crazy experiments in his home. You make your way from his lab to his basement and then you need to figure out how the hell to get out of his home. It’s fucking creepy (and, as I said, in a haunted house).
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 7:19 remaining (LEADERBOARD) and used only 1 clue (ALSO LEADERBOARD) (they have multiple boards, one based solely on time and the other time+clues used)
Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Marco, Holly, Steph, Dillon
Worth the time and money? HELL YES
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|There are few things more entertaining to me then seeing someone freak out in a haunted house (or on a roller-coaster). So the thought of doing an escape room in a haunted house has continually piqued my interest. I’ve done it in one other place, multiple times, but when I was out in Colorado on vacation and saw this room, I had to reach out.
Additionally, and I’m not one for buying into a gimmick, I was very curious about doing an escape room with an elevator. They billed this as several thousand square feet of escape room with a working elevator, so who am I to judge. (Right, I’m writing this up and grading it. I guess that’s who I am to judge…)
The room is a sprawling layout across multiple floors and includes live actors, should you choose to have them. You have the option of choosing the difficulty as well as how scary you would like your experience to be. We chose medium difficulty and medium scary, fyi.
|The lord of the manor, Dr Stuart von Heltin (no idea if I spelled that right), is essentially a mad scientist. You manage to find your way into his home and end up having to make your way through the building, finding your way out of the elevator you’re locked in, through the “screamatorium” (his lab where all of his crazy experiments take place), into the “catacombs” (where the rejects from said experiments roam free), and back into the lobby so you can get out of the building.
All the while, we had at least 1 actor with us at all times. And he was great. At one point, Steph said “… Marco …” and he looked at her and said, “MARCO???”, and took off after him! No clue where Marco was or where he went to look for him, but it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
(Note that when you exit the elevator for the last time and step foot in the lobby, that is where the timer stops.)
|The mission for this room was pretty simple. Escape the elevator, make your way through the “screamatorium” and “catacombs”, and GTFO, otherwise be trapped and subjected to the evil/crazy doctors “experiments”.
Judging by the creepy things we saw in his home, I’m going to say it’s a safe bet you don’t want to get stuck there. (But I’m also 100% sure Marco really wanted to stay the night…)
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|I know for a fact I didn’t see everything we worked on (maybe 85 or 90%, but still) especially in the basement/catacombs, but The Elevator had a plethora of puzzles waiting for us. There were standard alpha-locks in the elevator, there was an actual game that led to something in the kitchen, logical deduction, colors, electronics, keys, stuff with skulls…I could probably go one for another 2 lines but I’ll stop before I give anything away.
One thing to note is that you will constantly be working on something in The Elevator. There were 5 of us and we were never not busy.
Additionally, I enjoy having to traverse the entire area multiple times, and I was definitely doing that, especially in the basement (catacombs). The floors get progressively larger (not to mention more difficult), and as time goes on the actors become more of a hindrance than a help (but still hilarious).
No lock type was repeated, that I can recall (other than the hasps in the elevator), which is a feat in itself.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|Let me start by telling you this: I thought there was going to be a lot to do since we were going to be travelling through 3 floors. While I was not wrong in that initial assumption, it was less than what I expected. (When we escaped from Hellscream’s other room, The Pen, a few days later, it felt like the amount of things to do in that room dwarfed The Elevator. That’s not to say I was disappointed here, because I wasn’t.)
The first puzzle, yes the very, VERY first puzzle, should not have taken us as long as it did to solve. We were bickering among ourselves as to the answer and it really boiled down to word play. Much like this. (Pretty sure I’ve mentioned that riddle in another post, but here it is again because I like it.)
Regardless, once you get out into the first floor you can really see where these guys excel over many other escape rooms. (In case you were wondering or you didn’t gather from the rest of the post, aesthetics and visuals.) They really made every room look the part (kitchen, lab, catacombs). Remember, this is a haunted house too, so I can only imagine what that looks like (hoping to check that out in 2019).
As you progress through the levels of the building, however, the puzzles get more difficult and more spread out, meaning you have to cover more ground finding objects to use to solve the puzzles. The range was from reading comprehension (a 1), to mini-games, to low-tech, to high-tech (a 9). There was something for everyone and, again, we were never not busy.
|I’m not sure if I would have preferred making my way into the elevator and getting locked in or starting in the elevator and making our way out as we did in this escape. Regardless, the elevator aspect of it is totally unique. I have often wondered if there were any rooms that made use of multiple floors, and this is a real first.
Once you got out of the elevator and onto the first of the floors, everything you did led you back to the elevator, as the floor buttons were all covered with a lock and hasp that you need to open to access the button for another floor. Every floor essentially filtered you to a final combination which, when you couldn’t find where to put it you would say “Oh yeah, the elevator!”. Unlock it, go to the next floor, repeat. It was a really simple mechanic that worked perfectly.
The live actors definitely helped make the room more enjoyable, appropriately in costume for the locale they were in, and the commentary they provided throughout, whether it be just snarling over your shoulder or cracking an opportune/inappropriate joke, was clutch.
The puzzles themselves were appropriate for the space they were in as well, using items in the immediate surroundings. Nothing felt out of place that I can recall and I essentially felt comfortable feeling uncomfortable the entire hour we were there. (I can only imagine what Marco, Holly, and Dillon were feeling, as Steph and I enjoy haunted houses and the like.)
|A lot of the entertainment for me in this room was Marco and Holly freaking out (sorry…). Aside from that, the live actors were on point, the puzzles fun to solve, and the running around solving things put to good use (I mean that literally, we were running around all the time, back and forth around the floors).|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|We had Vince on a walkie in our ear, as well as the “clues” the actors were giving us. I say “clues” because they were more harmful than helpful at times. Vince was helpful, asking if we wanted help or providing a nudge if we were on the right track but struggling.|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|No help given was overly blatant in what he told us, which is the way we like it.|
|There is nothing bad I can say about this experience. I loved every minute of it, and as we have said time and again, the experience makes the room (the immersion factor) just as much as who you play with. They (the team) made it so much more fun while relying on me for guidance.
Rating: 0 of 5
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING: 9.0/10
Final Thought: I am so glad I found this place and that they were accommodating to us. This is easily one of the most fun-to-play rooms I’ve escaped and I immediately wanted to do another (we played The Pen two days later). These guys fill a very unique niche and they do it extremely well. I can only imagine what the haunted house looks like. Still have another room to do, though, The Manor. Guess I’ll have to go back after all, and I suggest you do the same!
One last thing: Don’t forget about the discount code they provided: “Escape2018” gets you 50% off bookings on Thursdays and Sundays.