RATING: 2 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 28:00
They warned us not to enter this place, and for once it wasn’t a cliché attempt at world building, but an actual warning to not play this game.
A scientist. A missing child. Experiments and exorcisms. There’s a story here somewhere, but its lost in the quick briefing from the game master and not really described on their website either. The only clear story beat is that a ritual or scientific procedure was once performed to demonically posses a baby, and an exorcism must be performed to save the child.
Demon Hunter does deliver on its promise of a creepy and unsettling atmosphere un-safe for the little eyes in anyone’s family. The story told here plays out more in spaces and environmental elements than documents or more explicit forms of narrative. Its few instances of required role-play bring a fun element of “player action as story” to the experience.
Other than the cool light-up pentagram seen in the room photo here, the scenic quality was very cheap feeling. There’s blood haphazardly spread around the room and scrawled on the walls. Spartan decorations in each of the three rooms gives it all a very “escape room set” feel. Almost everything here is used in a puzzle step without much left to just create the environment. The lighting of the space does create an eerie atmosphere though and hides some of the space’s imperfections.
We encountered some issue with tech based effects not properly working. Either cues did not trigger at all and were already in their second state upon entering a room, or would fire at incorrect and unpredictable times completely unrelated to the puzzles they were associated with. The effects that did work fell into a “B-movie” level of cheesiness, but that’s an aesthetic the game should embrace.
If it worked correctly, Demon Hunter has some interesting and fun tech based puzzles. However, most did not function as intended, and the ones that did work “correctly” had to be manipulated in odd ways that didn’t seem to be the logical way to do things.
In the list of “not working right” we also had a couple puzzles that only required partial inputting of the correct solution before unlocking, and one puzzle that was already unlocked upon entering the room.
With a heavy pass on correcting and properly maintaining the effects and puzzles this could be a really fun gameplay experience.
Even with the spotty nature of the puzzles, we really enjoyed the game. It was easy in difficulty, but allowed a great flow from step to step once we got over an initial hurdle in the first room. Although, our enjoyment of the puzzles could be because of the low expectations we had coming into the game.
Maze Rooms Los Angeles venues are spread all across the city. This particular one is a bit difficult to find. It’s in an office space on the second floor and down a long corridor of a mixed-use strip mall. We also had a strange issue with our game master arriving 20 minutes late to our game time.
Since we visited the venue, the owners have stated they have made modifications to the game to improve the reliability of its tech based puzzles. We have not personally seen the changes and don’t know any more details than that. We can’t say if the experience future guests will have is more in-line with the game we had or how the game is meant to run.
We hope Maze Rooms has and will improve this game to bring it up to the same standards as its other experiences.
Venue: Maze Rooms
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $33-$49.50 per person depending on group size
We thank Maze Rooms for inviting us to review this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.