RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 11:26
The dark, ominous lair of a vampire hides many secrets – some of which we must keep even from our own teammates if we hope to survive.
It is the 1900s in London England. You and a group of strangers have been hired for a mysterious mission and sent to a dingy basement apartment in a very old section of the city by your employer, a cloaked and hooded figure known only as Van Helsing. The details of the job will be revealed when you arrive, the only information you have so far is that you need to work together with the assembled team, it pays very well and involves dangerous and possibly illegal activities. Armed only with candles you descend to the cellar one hour before night falls filled with apprehension and foreboding! You see that the thick iron bound door has been opened and that a case with a note has been left for you by Van Helsing but there is no sign of your employer! As you enter the room you see a single word carved into the door – NOSFERATU!
Describing Nosferatu’s lair as simply a “dingy basement apartment” is downplaying things to say the least. Entering with expectations established from the game’s own narrative, we were immediately blown away.
The space is gorgeous. Far more ornate mansion or elaborate museum than basement apartment – every inch of the initial chamber is intricately detailed from floor to ceiling. Lavish furnishings and opulent finishes scream of wealth and high standing in society, while dim lighting casts shadows in every corner clearly implying something fare more sinister is afoot.
As if the bloody corpse on the floor wasn’t enough to tell that story on its own.
Naturally this finely finished room hides a dark, dank tomb to serve as the suitable resting place of any self-respecting vampire. Disguised by a hidden passage, it creates both a flowing mood that is both a juxtaposition to the first room while at the same time a logical extension of where the storyworld would naturally end up.
The Netherworld, at its core, is a seasonal haunted attraction just outside of Atlanta, GA. It’s almost as if stating their location is a moot point, though, as this venue has garnered a reputation to be known across the country as one of the greatest haunts in existence.
What this does, however, is sometimes set rather lofty expectations for everything they do. Escape the Netherworld comes pre-programmed with some mighty big shoes to fill. Thankfully, they not only meet those expectations, but in some cases actually manage to exceed them.
Each of their games carries the layer of impeccable scenic quality you would obviously come to expect from this venue if you’d had the opportunity to visit even one of their annual haunts – but the layer of story immersion is significantly greater. Where the Netherworld is experiential, things happen more around you than to you. Escape the Netherworld makes you the star.
Each game conjures a unique storyworld to drop players into- and each narrative builds to a surprising climax – both in story and in action that physically plays out right in front of you. Admittedly, while Nosferatu – Van Helsing’s Secret had perhaps the weakest ending of the three original Escape the Netherworld games, when comparing it to the broader spectrum of offerings in venues across the United States, it still stands tall.
But it’s the added layer of story, casting players into unique roles with abilities and consequences the likes of which we’ve never seen before that truly sets this game apart and makes it another worthy jewel in Escape the Netherworld’s dark crown.
Venue: Escape the Netherworld
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Can be booked either Public or Private.
Cost: $28 per person (public) / $35 per person (private, requires a minimum of four)
We thank Escape the Netherworld for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.