ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you enjoy horror, children, and horror movies with children in them.
Avoid if… you don’t like kids, dislike being scared, or have any sort of mental illness.
Address: 44920 Valley Central Way, Unit 106, Lancaster, CA 93536 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 661-547-8602
Room – Voices:
Description (from the company website): Thirty years ago, the Richardsons moved into this house only to be driven away by pure evil. Upon putting boxes in the attic, the Richardsons’ daughter Evilyn, stumbled across a beautiful doll. In the weeks following their move into the new home, the family started being terrorized by a spirit trapped in the doll. But little Evilyn refused to be parted from it. Fed up, her parents decided to do away with the doll, but soon realized they had made a grave mistake.
One night the Richardsons went into their daughter’s room to say good night and found her dead at her vanity. In shock and – as they cradled the lifeless body of their daughter – they heard a distant voice whispering “I told you not to throw me away.” They ran from the house leaving everything behind and never returned.
You and your team will have to summon all your courage to rid the house of the evil that has held it for the last three decades. But the task won’t be easy. You need to find the spirit’s name to chase it from the house, but you have to work quick. When the spirit gets bored or thinks you may be getting too close to revealing its name, you may not be able to leave the house. You may join Evilyn and be trapped for the next 30 years. (ERG note: edited for case, grammar and punctuation).
Difficulty (1-10): N/A
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: $25 (Use code ERG10 for 10% off your booking)
Party Size: Up to 10
Staging Area: Small area with counter and several chairs.
Metro Access/Parking: This location is in a shopping center, but this was my first visit to CA so I drove everywhere.
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 off in the Richardsons’ living room (tv, lamps, couch, coffee table, etc.) and have to make your way through a locked door to Evilyn’s room. That’s where it gets weird…
Understanding of the Mission: Figure out who the spirit really is and why she’s haunting the house. Then, of course, get out, unless you want to remain trapped for eternity with her.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 10 minutes even
Our Suggested Party Size: I would say 4-6 is fine. While 10 will by no means be cramped, some of you may get bored.
Did the room challenge the entire team? It was only me (Jason), so yeah.
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason. (I did not take a picture at this room. Totally forgot because I was talking with Greg for a while.)
Worth the time and money? Yes. Absolutely.
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- The Thai Restaurant – Little hole in the wall that was quiet and had good food.
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|Having just escaped The Apartment, I was riding an escape high when I drove over to Twisted Exit and met Greg, one of the owners, for this game. I was greatly looking forward to it based solely on the experience in The Apartment. (Ok, not *solely*, but still.)
This room sounded creepy on paper so I was curious how well it would play out. While I chatted with Greg a bit before finally entering the room, I remarked about how he was able to GM the other room going on, on the fly from his phone, while talking to me in the lobby. There’s a lot of tech used in the rooms at this location and I was interested in how well it would mesh, as I’ve only really experienced one true Gen 3/4 room (not that I really care what generation it is as a well-crafted story is what makes/breaks a good room in the most raw sense). Read on, friends!
|You and your team (of what I can only assume are paranormal investigators as it’s never explicitly stated) go into the Richardsons’ house to try and rid it of the evil that took their daughter and has been there for the last 30 years.
“I told you not to throw me away”, she said. Well, you’re getting wiped the f#$*out, spirit!
The story was good and the details were plentiful; enough that it kept you engaged throughout. It’s interesting to see what you find out about the spirit as you progress through the room. (And it gets a bit creepier…)
|Rid the house of evil by finding out the spirit’s name to chase it from the house. If the spirit gets bored, however, or thinks you’re getting too close to finding its name, you may never leave at all. (Better to err on the side of caution and hurry the hell up.)
There’s plenty of searching the room for clues (yay!) and there were plenty that eluded me (dammit…). After all, I was doing this by myself.
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|There was a metric shit-ton of tech in this room. However, it’s mostly behind the scenes, controlling everything that goes on. There’s a lot of cool stuff here, though.
What you do get to interact with in the room are things that progress you straight through puzzle after puzzle after puzzle. There’s deciphering, a riddle, combination locks, directional locks. Hell, there’s even ping pong balls! (Yes, for real.) My favorite was probably the vanity, the one that Evilyn, the Richardsons’ daughter, was found dead at.
From what I recall, there were a good number of locks, but the puzzles that you had to work through to get to the combinations for them were more involved and different than I’ve encountered before. That’s saying a lot, though, because we generally frown upon anything over like, 4 locks.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|There were a few things that tripped me up at the start, and one that I just should have worked on immediately but didn’t (and got me a deserved prod over the walkie).
As you move on through the escape, there’s nothing specifically that throws you off; however, there’s plenty to keep you guessing. The puzzles are unique and perfectly fitting to the scope and theme of this room. And…they get more difficult as you go on (and they were pretty tough to start!).
My favorite part was the second half of the escape, and I’ll get to that in a moment, in the next section. But what I want to point out is that, while I can say there were some things that were new to me, I was more concerned about how the things I’ve seen before were used. The way they used the blacklight, the RFID items, (and the better way their tape recorder was used than the last time I saw one) were what *really* momentarily distracted me.
Oh, and the difficulty range was something like, 4-9 (for me at least, but again, was by myself).
|This is literally the easiest rating I’ve ever given.
When I was done with this room and talking to Greg, the manager that I interviewed, the one thing that stuck out to me was how perfectly this room flowed.
The first half of the room is what you’d expect from what is obviously a multi-room escape. (I mean, there’s a door and seemingly not a lot of stuff in the room, so that immediately tells me additional room.) You do a bunch of searching, solve some story setup puzzles, and funnel down into a linear ending. Pretty standard.
There was just something about the second room that KILLED it. The way the story moved and flowed from one thing to the next was just perfect. At some point I was like, ok, I know I have to open that lock, but how the hell do I get there? Ok, let’s get this one open first since I have a clue for it then BAM, next thing is unveiled, then another, and another. Puzzle after puzzle after puzzle, back to back to back. Fantastic.
|I was a little frustrated at first because I knew I was missing something as I was stuck so early. But once I got out of that initial slump, I felt I did pretty well and I definitely had an even better time as the room went on.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Greg was on the walkie while keeping a watchful eye and offering a nudge here and there when I asked. Very clear and concise.|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|I got at least 1 clue and a good handful of nudges because I was headed in the right direction on this but just got stalled.|
|I was just a little bit annoyed with myself for missing some very obvious things in the room (and not searching hard enough for some things early on…).
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING 8.6/10
Final Thought: Before Greg and I actually started the interview, he, Matt, and I were shooting the shit and I thoroughly enjoyed their banter back and forth about how they start with a simple puzzle and it immediately snowballs out of control. These are people who enjoy what they do and it comes through into their games. I’ve played 2 of their games so far and cannot wait to get back there to try their others. Highly recommended.