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In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Aunt Carolynn’s Closet

RATING: 2 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 1:02

This is one closet that will not take you to Narnia.

Story

Your late Aunt Carol has left you, her favorite nieces and nephews, her inheritance but it’s been hidden and locked away in a way that only Aunt Carol could come up with. Can you find it before her home is torn down at the end of the night?

Aunt Carolynn was a peculiar lady with a weird obsession with ancient artifacts. She has left these prized possessions for us, but with one small caveat – we have to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to gain access to them.

Aunt Carolynn’s Closet was often random and felt disjointed, and it took a couple of unexpected turns without really answering “why”.  Most families have that one oddball relative, so maybe no explanation is needed. However, it felt as though two escape room concepts were mashed together instead of providing one cohesive experience.

Scenic

Aunt Carolynn’s Closet starts in her well decorated, albeit oddly decorated, living room. There are numerous hangings on the walls and knickknacks scattered throughout. Clearly, she was an eclectic lady.

There were a few things that reminded us that we were not in a real house. The ceiling is made of office tiles, and a window is painted onto the wall instead of being made out of glass. Additionally, the room is square without any defining characteristics.  Despite these negatives, we appreciated that North Texas Escape Rooms utilized an in-theme tube television to keep track of time.

Once we found our way into her closet, things started getting a little… strange. There are some typical things you would expect to find in a closet like clothes and shoes, but the back wall has an Egyptian sarcophagus standing upright along with hieroglyphics on the walls. It seemed rather out of place from the rest of the closet.  Were we duped into visiting another pyramid? It seemed possible because escape room.

The closet led us to a room that looked like a wooden cabin, so it felt like a completely different game.  There are random artifacts from all around the world and framed photos with strange phrases on them. It feels chaotic to say the least. However, on the bright side, it looks less like an office than the first room!

Puzzles

Aunt Carolynn’s Closet followed a linear game play with several bottlenecks where only one or two people could work on a specific activity. There were many puzzles for puzzle’s sake. However, the last action seemed like something a crazy aunt could possibly devise to conceal her possessions.

The flow felt off and often times clunky. There were several occasions where we were completely stumped on what to do next. One deciphering puzzle in the middle of the game drastically impeded our momentum. Not only was it tedious, but it was the only thing that could be solved at that given time.

In the final area, it was hard to tell what was a puzzle and what was just decoration, so we often focused on the wrong things.

Overall

Aunt Carolynn’s Closet was a disappointing experience, especially since we have enjoyed other offerings at North Texas Escape Rooms. At times, it felt like it was in beta testing, but it was not advertised as such. It was not always clear what the next step was for claiming the inheritance.

North Texas Escape Rooms tried to create a unique theme away from all of the jails and laboratories. However, it did not quite work here. Instead of being one cohesive adventure, it felt like two conflicting designs were mashed together. Unfortunately, this caused a disjointed and often confusing experience. When we enter Aunt Carolynn’s Closet, we were hoping to find treasure. What we found instead was a couple of mothballs and a whole lot of dust.


Venue Details

Venue: North Texas Escape Rooms

Location: McKinney, Texas

Number of Games: 7

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 6 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: $21 per person

 

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