RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 7:55
Although The Kill Room has a very Saw-like feel to it, escape is possible while also keeping all body parts intact.
You’ve been kidnapped and wake to find yourself staring out from behind cold steel bars. Ronnie “The Vantucky Ripper” Watts has brought you to his kill room, and you may be his next victim. Ronnie has given you 60 minutes to find your way through his maze of puzzles, clues, and codes. If you can decipher his madness, you may just escape with your life.
We’ve been locked in yet another basement by a psychotic killer. Thankfully, NW Escape Experience goes above and beyond the usual tropes with their story, fully fleshing it out (pun intended) as you discover Ronnie’s dark past and follow his descent into madness.
The Kill Room functions as a sort of “game within a game”, where Ronnie acts not only as your captor, but also as your game master. It’s a little weird when you stop to think about why the person who’s kidnapped you is willing to give you as many clues as you need to escape, but the bottom line is that it actually works wonders for the story that’s being told: while you may not always see him, you know that Ronnie is watching, and it adds an additional level of paranoia to a game that’s already terrifying to begin with.
There’s just the right amount of skulls, blood and, um, “family heirlooms” to make The Kill Room as frightening as it is intriguing. Better yet, the manipulation of lighting and sound gives this game a distinct flare that many others in the area lack.
Even items that are not used for puzzles help to expand the narrative, giving us a glimpse into the mind of the Vantucky Ripper. Family portraits and childhood toys are found on the walls, on desks, and in chests, all of which tie back to Ronnie’s horrific childhood.
You’ll essentially relive Ronnie’s experience as you progress through the game, a wonderful touch that helps to further immerse the player in the expertly told story.
One example is a ring of keys that includes dozens of possibilities: a classic escape room joke that was funny the first time, but not the second or third. I’m a big fan of the “one and done” rule that most locations tend to employ, especially when it comes to time sink activities such as this.
The inclusion of some very classic puzzles that I haven’t seen in years is a welcome addition, however, and help balance out some of the more mundane moments that players might encounter.
Although the game is relatively straightforward, there are just enough branching paths to keep everyone in your party occupied, especially during the middle stage of the game. It should also be noted that The Kill Room is somewhat lock heavy, though this in no way detracts from the experience. On the contrary, I would even say that it comes across as natural (given Ronnie’s child-like state of mind.)
The Kill Room’s first impression blew me away. The story was dark. Maybe too dark, honestly, considering I found myself wondering if my teammates and I had signed up for a slaughter. Thankfully, we did indeed make it out alive, and I’m happy to say I still have two hands, two feet, and two kidneys. Although The Kill Room remains a strong contender in the area with its story and scenic quality, however, an update to a few puzzles wouldn’t go amiss in earning this game its fifth key.
Still being new to escape rooms in the northwest, I wasn’t expecting the Vantucky Ripper to be our Gamemaster. Having your kidnapper explain the rules to his twisted game is an extra touch that really brings the game to life, making your quest for escape all the more urgent (though I’ll be honest, opening the door he disappeared through was definitely not at the top of my list of things to do when we played.)
There’s nothing quite like the combination of haunts and escape rooms to really get your adrenaline going. NW Escape Experience strikes a great balance between scary and fun, as evidenced by the smiles on our faces following our escape. I think the awesome team photo below shows just how much passion the owners of this venue put into their product. Although we weren’t truly featured on the local news, I will definitely be tuning in again to see what else NW Escape Experience has up their sleeve. Now, back to the weather!
Venue: NW Escape Experience
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $29 per person
We thank NW Escape Experience for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.