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Review: Escape Artist

RATING: 5 Keys           RESULT: Win           REMAINING: 8:55

No, we aren’t trying to summon the spirit of Houdini just to see if he’s a fan of Escape Authority. I mean, there’s… other reasons too! Shut up!

Story

During his lifetime, Harry Houdini aka “The Escape Artist”, discovered a great power source that allowed him to become the greatest magician the world has ever known. And even in death he is still the ultimate showman. Find a way to communicate with Harry and see if you can reveal his best kept secret.

After restoring the power of the Aeon Spark back in Egypt (as seen in our review of Get Out!’s first game, Origins – which you do not have to play first to understand this one), we are sent back to Hollywood, 1936 in order to try and recover the Gate Spark at the Knickerbocker Hotel- the very location where Harry Houdini’s widow, Bess, had attempted to communicate with him in the afterlife. It is up to us, on the night of the 10th anniversary of Houdini’s death, to try and find the location of the Gate Spark, and see if we are able to contact the most famous escape artist himself.

Magic is such an exciting subject to tackle, however it can be a very risky one when you incorporate into an immersive experience such as an escape room. Luckily, Get Out! does it right. What really stands out with the story of Escape Artist, is that it is very well researched. It is clear that they have gone above and beyond in reading into the life of Harry Houdini and his relationship with his wife Bess. What results is a fascinating experience that allows players to see this history utilized and incorporated so well in the storyworld of Escape Artist itself, while seamlessly blending it into the broader tale of the entire Get Out! venue.

Scenic

After traveling through time, agents step through the front doors and into the lobby of the Knickerbocker Hotel more than eighty years ago. A quaint concierge desk with some sitting areas are spread around. The lobby itself is decorated for Halloween, with pumpkins lining the candelabras around the perimeter. Behind the check in desk, there are key slots for the different hotel rooms, and next to it, a chalkboard welcoming us personally into the Knickerbocker Hotel on this fateful night.

After stepping into the next room, we find ourselves in a lounge complete with a fireplace, a portrait of Houdini himself,  a wine cabinet, and a large circular table set for what would become Bess’ final attempt to contact her dear husband from the great beyond. There were some respectable nods to Houdini’s most famed tricks in here, creating a truly compelling environment in which to be able to actually interact with various items once belonging to this legendary master of illusions.

Should you be able to restore the Gate Spark and ultimately contact Houdini, you will be rewarded with a satisfying, story-driven finale that caps the whole experience off quite well.

Puzzles

Escape Artist’s solid flow creates an immersive adventure that allows us to travel back and forth between the two rooms in order to continue on in our quest. Not only did the puzzles flow well, but they also aided in further progressing the story as we went along.

Tasks inspired us to believe we were conducting a very real investigation of the Knickerbocker Hotel, discovering clues that would ultimately help us to unravel the greatest mystery of all. But more importantly, many of the puzzles felt magical. Like “how did they do that?!magical. And if done properly, some might even bridge contact into the spirit realm.

Get Out! does an excellent job of incorporating Houdini’s history into the puzzles without actually making the player sit down and read passages upon passages of text. The pure ingenuity of the puzzles as they worked in conjunction to both the story and scenic design of the room only assisted in immersing us further into Harry and Bess Houdini’s world.

Overall

Get Out!’s second installment in their saga shows that they continue to evolve in creating a memorable experience rich with solid puzzles that lead us through a vastly different world than the one before it. Their attention to detail and depth understanding of Houdini is admirable and shone through in this experience and we ended up walking away learning something new about Houdini as well. Between the puzzle flow, their attention to scenic detail, and a compelling story to boot, Get Out! has added a memorable room to their roster.

But Escape Artist is merely the second chapter of what will be Get Out!’s five part story. To be continued


Venue Details

Venue: Get Out!

Location: Orlando, Florida

Number of Games: 2

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

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

Cost: $32 per person

EAR Disclaimer

We thank Get Out! for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.

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Get Out! - Escape Artist
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