RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 10:00
We’ve been trapped by yet another serial killer, and this time, we’re really into it.
While the serial killer storyline is one of the oft seen tropes of escape rooms, Captured takes what is normally a superfluous story beat and makes the previous murders a key element in the experience.
Through piecing together names of victims, where and when they were murdered, and other details of their life, players can get a sense of the killer’s motivations.
Captured takes place in a relatively small space, but it’s densely packed with props and dressing that add to the creepy aesthetic. This patchwork lair feels like a space inhabited by a demented individual.
Lighting is minimal with only the faintest glow present. The majority of the game is played by flashlight with players finding more flashlights as boxes are unlocked.
Lighting with darkness is a fantastic way to hide any imperfections that might exist, and for this particular theme works well to reinforce the intended mood.
The puzzles and gameplay at Captured was the main selling point for us. Often players will feel that they are actually working to escape captivity. This is a sticking point with some other venue’s kidnap-style rooms that simply contain random challenges.
Two standout moments involved creating makeshift tools to unlock doors and retrieve far off keys. There was also one of the more clever hidden room reveals we have seen in a game using a piece of puzzle tech we hadn’t seen yet at the time of playing.
Working to get out involves a progressive unlocking system. The door to escape is barred by four locks of different varieties. As players progress, they’ll get combinations or keys that unlocking pieces of the door. This gives a nice progress indicator as to how much gameplay is left and can increase the stress factor that comes with a diminishing game time if not enough locks have been removed.
Captured LA’s original location was in a seemingly abandoned office building downtown. The kind of place one might expect a body would be dumped in. Walking in and seeing the dilapidated nature of the existing space around the venue we didn’t have the highest of expectations. To the contrary, this actually ended up being one of the venue’s biggest pluses.
This escape room captured us and is among the most enjoyable games we have played. It succeeded at creating an uninviting atmosphere that felt lived in with puzzles and challenges that brought us into a story world and showed us some surprising and new pieces of gameplay.
Venue: Captured LA
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 1
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.