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In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Madame Neptune’s Voodoo Curse

RATING: 5 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 17:41

With a seamless story and naturally flowing puzzles, you won’t need a crystal ball to see why this room stands out from the crowd!

Story

Have you ever wondered how close you are with the spirit world? Here at Madame Neptune’s we bring your fortunes to life, be they good or evil! You and your friends will have 60 minutes to explore Madame Neptune’s Cabin! Working together, navigating the spirit world and breaking the spell may be enough to escape… The Voodoo Curse!

The game begins innocently enough with one of the members of your party receiving a tarot reading from Madame Neptune’s great great granddaughter. Things quickly go to hell–literally–and you’re locked in the shop and told to break the curse.

Of course, you’re not left to do it alone. You and your group will call upon the spirits of the dead to assist you in removing Madame Neptune’s curse, with some being slightly more living than others.

The addition of live actors in the room was, surprisingly enough, extremely well implemented. They were serious when the situation called for it. They cracked the occasional joke at our expense. It was something I wasn’t really used to… And I loved every second of it.

Scenic

Portland Escape Rooms strikes a good balance in each room of Madame Neptune’s shop, adding just enough detail to make every area unique and believable, without being too overwhelming.

You begin the game in your typical fortune teller’s shop, complete with skull wallpaper, crystal ball, and the color purple literally everywhere you look. Hey, it works!

Throughout the game, the mood becomes much darker as you discover some of the more sinister magic that is practiced inside the shop. There are skulls everywhere, including on an ornate chair that looked like it might be of better use in a torture chamber than a voodoo shop.

I only have one real qualm with Madame Neptune’s Voodoo Curse, and that was the inclusion of the Portland Escape Room logo in the first room. While it might make a good backdrop for pictures, it certainly did distract from the total immersion the game might have otherwise offered. Thankfully, there were plenty of other things in the room that more than made up for this slight oversight.

Puzzles

The most distinguishing feature of Madame Neptune’s are its brilliant puzzles that, while not necessarily anything we haven’t seen before, are implemented so well that the majority of them barely feel like puzzles at all.

Every single puzzle connects to — and even furthers — the story in one way or another, something that is always refreshing to see (and something I don’t seem to get to say very often.) You’ll find yourself communing with the spirits (in more ways than one), and solving puzzles involving items one might actually expect in a fortune telling parlor.

Throughout the entire game, everyone on the team always had something to do, which was astonishing considering we each also got to see essentially every puzzle be solved. I simply can’t gush enough how about well this room flowed. Everything made sense. Everything felt natural. Best of all, everything was just plain fun!

Overall

It’s been awhile since I walked out of a room with a grin on my face, and I have to thank Portland Escape Rooms for putting it there. Although Madame Neptune’s Voodoo Curse certainly had some moments that could be described as creepy (or even jump-scare worthy), it still managed to not take itself too seriously, even taking on some almost comedic tones at certain points of the game. Nothing about the story or the puzzles felt tedious, difficult or time consuming, yet it still remains a challenging room for newcomers and veterans alike.

Admittedly, after games like Imprisoned Creatures and Magic Mirror, I was a little skeptical of having actors in the room with us. After playing some of the escape rooms around Portland, however, I now know that it can not only be pulled off, but done in a way that actually adds to the theme of a room. In the case of Madame Neptune’s, the actors certainly played their parts well enough to elevate this game to a five key rating!

The best part about playing this game was debriefing with the five other players after escaping, who were all first time players. Every person in the room contributed in some way or another to our victory, and every single person left absolutely thrilled about their first escape room experience. I can’t stress enough how important it is that a player’s first experience is a game of this caliber. You can never take back the first room you play, and, while I didn’t know four of them, I can confidently say that every single person in that room will be playing more games in the future. It was awesome being a part of that memory for them, and I can’t thank Portland Escape Rooms enough for offering these players such an amazing adventure; one that will surely have them coming back for more!

Venue Details

Venue: Portland Escape Rooms

Location: Beaverton, Oregon

Number of Games: 6

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 6 people

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

Cost: $30 per person

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