RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 27:32
When will we learn not to touch ancient artifacts in abandoned temples? [Note from the Editor: NEVER!]
Thankfully, Extreme Escape makes an effort to mix up the usual “find the treasure” story we’re used to seeing in tomb-themed escape rooms. Instead, one of our unsavory companions has already found the treasures, and now we need to put them back.
It may seem pretty cut and dry on paper, but as we delve deeper into this forgotten temple, we’re met with a story that gains exponentially more traction as we meet the gods themselves – and attempt to play their games.
As we retrieve the stolen artifacts, we are tasked with placing them in their respective alcoves as offerings to each of the tomb’s gods. This provides a satisfying milestone-type gameplay that gives a physical and visual indicator of your progress in appeasing the gods and returning order to the world.
Always the brave adventurers, however, we continue into a much larger chamber that acts as the central hub for the game. It’s here that we find one of our compatriots – or what’s left of him, anyway. The poor guy appears to have fallen victim to one of the temple’s many booby traps, as he is impaled to the wall by several spikes. Oh dear. Thankfully, his equipment has not been disturbed, and we are able to raid his base camp for the supplies we so foolishly ventured into the tomb without.
Eventually, with the help of our dear departed friend’s journal, we make our way deeper into the temple. The passage narrows, eventually leading us into a cramped cave complete with sand and snakes. Although easy to miss, the image of our slithering friends on the wall is one of the coolest uses of projection you’ll see in a room, adding just a hint of realism to the situation we find ourselves in.
The Lost Tomb, first and foremost, is a tech-heavy game. While there are certainly a few physical locks to be found, the cause-and-effect of our actions was, more often than not, rewarded with an exciting change of scenery in the room. Unfortunately, the downside to these “wow” moments was that in some instances they seemed to drag on for an indeterminable amount of time. At one point, the narrating “god” of the temple informed us that we had a full minute to place an object, temporarily leaving us with nothing to do once the transformation was finished and we had completed our task.
Some of our favorite puzzles in the room are completely physical based, including a sort of “Simon Says” type game with the panther god. Each task, in one way or another, matches its respective idol, creating a rich storyworld that is enhanced by each trial you face.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the one major snag at the very beginning of the game we ran into; what should have been a very obvious and quick puzzle turned into an experienced team standing around for several minutes simply because of a massive logic leap. Look, it’s simple: if you read something from left to right, you expect to translate that into the physical world the same way you read it. This questionable design choice was, unfortunately, one of the very first things we needed to solve, and it really soured our first impression for what is otherwise a truly enjoyable game.
As a whole, The Lost Tomb offers a compelling gameplay experience, allowing its players to discover new secrets while also providing clear goals to strive towards. The overall mix of activities, despite a few hiccups here and there, not only enhance the story, but provide that feeling of exploration and wonder.
Extreme Escape’s newer Stone Oak location is full of their “second generation” of escape rooms, as they call them. Having visited both locations we can say they do feel distinctly different from the games at their Collonade games. Not only are they enhanced by the advancement in technology in terms of puzzles, but the scenic quality has also improved by several strides.
At the end of the day, even with a logical hiccup or two, make no mistake that this is still a venue worth visiting. The Lost Tomb stands out among the competition with uniquely exciting gameplay and a story that reverses everything we’re used to in the common tropes of the industry. This is one tomb we wouldn’t mind getting lost in again.
Venue: Extreme Escape
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30.99 per person
We thank Extreme Escape for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.