RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 9:10
By now we’re basically renowned Egyptologists – so if you think a little ancient curse is going to keep us from getting our hands on a whole bunch of priceless artifacts, it’s time for you to get a Clue!
After months of piecing together ancient clues and scouring the desert, we’ve finally found it: the Pharaoh’s tomb! Glittering with priceless relics and untold secrets, it’s everything we dreamed, but something is wrong…
As our team uncovers artifacts, they begin to piece together a mystery detailing an ancient curse. Sand begins to trickle down through the cracks in the ceiling, and with a low rumbling underfoot, we realize that the tomb is beginning to collapse! Now we must work quickly to collect as many artifacts as we can, solve the Mummy’s mystery, and escape with your lives.
If we succeed, we’ll have recovered some of history’s most precious items. If we fail, we’ll be trapped under the sands forever.
Clue Chase crafts a pretty solid narrative to create a sense of urgency prior to stepping foot in the ancient Egyptian tomb, laying out clearly defined consequences and an equally clear motivating goal.
Egyptian Tomb is scenically the shining star of Clue Chase’s offerings. They truly go to great lengths to establish a mood that carries the clear flavor of ancient Egypt – frozen in time for centuries untouched by man.
Egyptian artifacts and large scale stone statues line the space. A Pharaoh’s throne sites empty. sarcophagi line the stone-looking walls, each hiding messages encoded in lost hieroglyphs.
One really neat surprise that cannot be overstated is Clue Chases consistent use of some pretty cool tech. Some of it was completely wireless, creating a pretty big wow moment when our experienced group assessed the surroundings and quickly deemed something couldn’t be a puzzle trigger since it wasn’t connected to anything, only to actually trigger our next step much to our surprise and delight.
Clue Chase’s biggest weakness is unquestionably the way in which it handles game master interactions. Clue Chase is only the second venue we’ve encountered across the entirety of the United States wherein the game master regularly enters and exits a room mid-play to check on progress and offer hints. This type of thing is a massive distraction, and very quickly takes players out of the reality of your storyworld – a shame here because Clue Chase actually puts a decent amount of effort into creating one.
The truth is this type of game master operation just does not work – and as a testament to that, as we mentioned Clue Chase being the second venue we’d experienced this style of game management – well, the first has since completely changed their policies going to a much more professionally appropriate camera / microphone means of monitoring. It is our hope that Clue Chase soon follows suit, as the yo-yo style of running a game is a massive disservice to both their guests as well as to their staff.
Another point of contention I have after my visit to Clue Chase also connects to their game master – but this one is a bit more about the individual that ran our game more than it was about company policy. There’s a fine, fine line between giving hints that are helpful and coming across as though you’re talking down to a player or trying to make them feel stupid. Sure, you may know an answer that they haven’t figured out yet, but the fact of the matter is that doesn’t at all make you smarter than them; but rather it shows you’ve been trained to run the game you get paid to run. It certainly felt to me like our experience, already hindered by the yo-yo operating policy, was only further tarnished by a rather condescending and at times rather rude game master. There’s simply no world wherein that style of guest interaction is acceptable.
At the end of the day, with a bit of polish, some improved operations and perhaps a bit of refresher training, Clue Chase absolutely has the tools to become a pretty viable player in the NYC market. Improvements come with time for venues that wish to grow – and it is my belief after getting the opportunity to meet this venue’s owner that it is his sincerest hope to deliver the best product he can. You certainly have to respect that.
Venue: Clue Chase
Location: New York, New York
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $29 per person