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Review: Escape the Hydeout

RATING: 4 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 4:13

Head to head with Mr. Hyde, it’s time to prove we’ve got the brains of Dr. Jekyll.

Story

   The good Dr. Jekyll has been acting strangely for weeks and has gone missing. A crazy fellow has been causing chaos in town so you’ve been hired to investigate. Can you find out what happened to Dr. Jekyll before it’s too late?

We have been hired to investigate the disappearance of the Doctor, and as such have gained access to his home. Unfortunately, it is a stormy night and a strong gust of wind slams the door shut behind us, trapping us inside his study! We must uncover the secrets hidden throughout his home to figure out exactly what horrors have been occurring around town.

If we don’t hurry, the nefarious Mr. Hyde will catch us in the act and we’ll likely be murdered. Not a great outcome there, so let’s get a move on it!

The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is unquestionably a unique thematic premise to see an escape game in. While the story of The Hydeout doesn’t fully transition into an active narrative, the game successfully becomes more about the mood and the mystery that swirl around the Mr. Hyde transition.

Scenic

Escape the Hydeout recently went through it’s own Jekyll and Hyde transition of sorts. What originally launched as a game with somewhat modest scenic decor has just completed a full face lift truly launching it to a whole new level of immersion.

Theatrical-quality set dressing has completely changed the feel of this already great game, making it a compelling and authentic Victorian-era environment to tackle the challenges left behind by the brilliant Dr. Jekyll, while new effects and other surprises from Mr. Hyde will certainly catch your attention (and catch you as well if you’re not lucky!)

The game begins in a nicely appointed study. Walls are adorned with portraits of what appear to be loved ones… or reminders of what evil can do.

Thematic lighting syncs up with an ominous soundtrack to strongly set the mood. Booming claps of thunder, lightning strikes outside the windows, and the dim chandelier above all work together to transport us to a stormy night in an eerie home.

The ceiling is not in theme with the rest of the scenic, which works against the immersiveness of the space. However, the remainder of the room is so intricately detailed that it becomes easy to not ever notice the fluorescent emergency lights and piping above.

Best of all, Dr. Jekyll has some hidden secrets in his home that tie the set and storyworld into the gameplay beautifully.

Puzzles

We’d heard a lot about some of Mission Escape Games other games, such as Escape the Darkest Hour Part II: Slaughterhouse and Escape the Nemesis, but honestly found very little hype surrounding Escape the Hydeout. As such we entered this one with a bit lower expectations – but after conquering the Hydeout, we were more than pleasantly surprised.

This game is packed full with a non-stop flow of logical, intuitive puzzles that were each fun to tackle. But what impressed us the most were some clever puzzles – or unique approaches to puzzles – that we had never seen before – making Escape the Hydeout a very memorable experience.

Investigators will need to do some abstract thinking in order to get inside the mind of Dr. Jekyll. He has scattered plenty of locks and mysterious props around his home to help obfuscate his deepest, darkest secrets. Every single puzzle in Escape the Hydeout stayed true to the storyworld and fit the setting perfectly.

 It wasn’t until we got the post-game walk-through that the depth of meaning behind some of the puzzles became apparent. Dr. Jekyll has a few demons he carries with him, and some that he tries to keep locked away.

Solving the riddles in time will help save the good Doctor. Investigators who fail to do so will still receive Dr. Jekyll’s appreciation… so much so that he may forever memorialize them on his wall for their good natured intentions.

Overall

It’s no secret that we were already fans of the Mission Escape Games product. Their games create a satisfying challenge while carrying out some fairly unique themes. It’s safe to expect smooth and intuitive game play that builds to a solid payoff.

But it’s this recent transition of Escape the Hydeout that perhaps most impresses us. Mission Escape Games had a fine room on its own with Hydeout’s original version – but to them, good is simply not good enough. They clearly spent a great deal of time and money to further improve the guest experience, showing their standards to be of exceptionally high levels.

We’ve been told that this updated version of Escape the Hydeout is the new brand standard moving forward. Not only will all future games be produced to this level of excellence, but existing games will one by one be updated and plussed as well. Very few places are likely to operate outside the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but Mission Escape Games proves soundly that to them, the quality of guest experience surpasses all else.

Venue Details

Venue:  Mission Escape Games

Location: Philadelphia, PA

Number of Games: 1

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

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

Cost: $30 per person

EAR Disclaimer

We thank Mission Escape Games 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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Mission Escape Games - Escape the Hydeout
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