After Krampus moved out, something very unexpected became of his secret lair. It transitioned into one of the most uniquely themed escape games the world has never seen. Until now.
Welcome to the coming out party of my “lost game,” Man Card!
Though posted within our Reviews section, this entry will not include a Key Rating. As a team, we at Escape Authority feel the correct thing to do is disclose that I was the Creative Director of this attraction, and while I am excited to share its final results with you, our readers, I cannot officially endorse it in order to remain neutral to other games we have and will continue to review.
Our story’s origin is a bit confusing. Each Halloween, I build an elaborate haunted attraction at my home for the neighborhood kids to enjoy while Trick-or-Treating. I call it “Peachstone Scream!”. For our 2016 season, Halloween fear collided with Christmas cheer, as I unleashed the legendary Krampus Beast in Christmas is Canceled. As part of that adventure, a bonafide escape game was hidden within an 8′ x 8′ room literally erected on my front lawn – a structure we would affectionately refer to as “the show house.”
Halloween came and passed, but the exterior of Christmas is Canceled was left standing as our uniquely dark holiday display that winter. Naturally upon the conclusion of Peachstone Scream!’s seasonal run, the show house’s interior no longer served a purpose. That is until it went through a very surprising transformation, converting it into a completely new attraction to serve as a very personalized going away gift for an old friend who was about to move to another state.
I’m going to preface by saying the topic we are about to discuss is not one you may expect to find on Escape Authority – and ask that you remember what’s important is that we are here to discuss a uniquely themed attraction I created for a friend, without allowing this to spark a political, social or moral debate. I will simply once make this statement, and expect your respect for it:
it is Escape Authority’s position that we welcome and respect all people, regardless of race, religion, gender or orientation.
Perhaps you remember Jenny – an old friend of Escape Authority. Jenny happens to be the one who created Investigation of Parc Vue #106, a personalized escape game in her apartment as a surprise birthday present for me. Naturally, as is my style, I knew that one day, I would have to top it. Jenny and I had been friends for quite some time, and while over time many things remained the same, some things certainly have changed as well. For you see, Jenny was once Justin.
Now, to be clear, I’m not spilling any secret that should not be shared publicly. Jenny is very proud of her choice to transition, and that choice plays an important part in the story of this game. It is also important to understand, however, that our relationship has always been one rooted in sarcasm and constant joking. Try to keep that in mind when reading further about this game, as taken out of context some of its content could seem otherwise offensive.
Jenny has a secret. No, it’s not that she has transitioned into a woman; Jenny is proud of that. But there’s something else she hoped no one would ever learn.
Jenny secretly kept her man card.
What’s worse, not only has Jenny secretly stashed away her Man Card, but she has hidden it somewhere in her undisclosed man cave – a fabulously flamboyant hideaway behind the misleadingly decrepit walls of an abandoned old house on Peachstone Lane.
The problem is, people have started talking. The rumors have started to spread, and word got out that Jenny’s Man Card may still be intact. It’s finally time for Jenny to dig deep into her purse, pull out her Man Card and destroy it once and for all! Except, she can’t quite remember where she put it.
The ominous abandoned house that was once the lair of the Krampus Beast remains standing at dead end of Peachstone Lane. A clearly posted KEEP OUT sign hangs crooked on the door – but if you’ve been here before and think you’re prepared for what lies within, you’ve got another thing coming.
And my has she fixed up the old place! What was once a dimly lit, dreary, run down trap now twinkles under bright strings of hundreds of sparkly little lights – casting a pixie dust-like glow across the many new glittered accents she’s added to make herself feel more at home.
Vibrant, flowing red draperies hang proudly around each window. The Christmas Tree has been traded out for a much more stereotypical (and perhaps slightly more offensive) ironing board, and stockings once hung by the chimney with care are now pots and pans straight from the kitchen.
And what Man Cave is complete without dozens of over-sized, pastel-colored stuffed animals. It just screams “Macho Man!” And speaking of, a custom mixed hour long background music loop was created especially for Man Card, blending all of the most stereotypical classics like Dancing Queen, It’s Raining Men, and yes, Dude Looks Like a Lady.
It’s time to put on your brightly colored party hat, because every second of Man Card was a veritable shopping list of storyworld pun-infused puzzles, offering a wink and a fun-spirited nod at every over-done cliché stereotype you could possibly imagine. Including a shopping list.
Furthering the notion that Jenny hid her Man Card away so long ago, she’s left retracing her steps through all her daily activities to locate it. From ironing to cooking, to pinning things to her beloved Aspirations Board, Jenny has had a full schedule.
Pots and pans offer hidden codes. Remnants from her past, like “Justin’s Manly Cookbook” provide just the recipe she needs, and for good measure, tearing the head off one of her teddy bears gives just the tool she needs to literally take apart the appliances, just in case.
Framed pictures from long ago feature Justin and his famous mustache throughout the seasons, styled suspiciously in distinct ways that may just unlock another memory in Jenny’s quest.
Every pocket of Jenny’s purse is padlocked, because after all, a lady can’t be too safe. Each lock opened gives back another missing piece of her puzzle, including, naturally, two tennis balls in one compartment and finally, her Man Card tucked safely away.
All that’s left is to crawl into the secret passage glowing with colorful disco lighting inside her fireplace where Jenny naturally keeps her paper shredder and destroy that sucker once and for all!
Hey – if any of that sounds offensive, I’ll remind you that Jenny once gave me a birthday card written on a ream of paper. To be clear, that card was one word written on each page of the five hundred pages that comprised the ream. At least she left them in order.
Man Card will always be a very special game to me, and as such I knew that at some point it simply had to be spotlighted here on Escape Authority. This will always remain one of the most uniquely story-driven attractions I’ve ever created, and without question, will likely always be the single most personalized.
It’s always fulfilling to dream up an attraction and then see your first guests experience it – but there’s something profoundly more impactful sharing it with the one person it was specifically written for. On more than one occasion, Man Card elicited the actual reaction “That’s so offensive; I LOVE it!”
Man Card will inevitably go down as the smallest audience one of my games ever sees; just five people – including myself – will ever have had the chance to play it. But now, thanks to Escape Authority, the memories it created for each of us can live on forever.
Venue: Peachstone Scream!
Location: Orlando, Florida
Number of Games: 1
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: Not timed.
Capacity: 1 person
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: Free / This attraction’s limited run has ended.