RATING: 1 Keys RESULT: Loss REMAINING: X:XX
Gather around kids, it’s time for a not scary (but) “scary mediocre” escape from a dingy daycare.
As a team of supernatural investigators you and your partners are hired by the local community to investigate a daycare that was shut down recently for your Spirit Removal Service. You enter the facility without any of your equipment for an initial screening, then suddenly… BOOM! The door locks shut behind you, and it would not budge! Your only option is to put your brain together to survive. Find your way out by clearing the lingering spirit inside.
Lesson learned: always bring your equipment with you when investigating potentially haunted places. That was a rookie mistake on our part.
The story does give you a good sense of why you are there, but it does not give any indication of why you were called in the first place except that there is a lingering spirit. A little more depth would have been nice to know what we were getting ourselves into, and what kind of spirit we were looking for. Regardless, spirits aren’t going to exorcise themselves, so we have work to do!
Let’s get something out of the way upfront. This game is sold as a creepy experience, and the story lends to that as well, so you, like me, may be expecting a somewhat scary setting. That is not what you discover when you walk into the room. If you go into it knowing it was a normal day care facility, then you might not feel as disappointed as I did. But the environment itself isn’t the only thing that makes a game creepy, so maybe there are hidden things in the room that will better serve to frighten you?
Nope. Upon further investigation, nearly everything is what you would expect to find at a normal day care, albeit one devoid of any sort of child-like joy. The barest of decorations and nasty stuffed animals set this location up as one that has seen better days. As a daycare, I don’t think I would have ever sent my kids there for even a few minutes, let alone several hours a day. As an escape game, it was difficult not to imagine how used everything in the room felt. I’m not one to care about germs, but I was ready for a shower upon exiting.
This room walks the line of not fully committing to the theme and making it look like you really stepped in an actual lousy day care that you maybe could believe housed children a few days ago, and one that just looks like one because that’s the theme of the game.
But there was something in this room that did disturb me to my core and made me question my own sanity: the soundtrack. Apparently, there are only about four good songs that the owners felt fit the theme of the room, and even still they could not commit to what kind of vibe they wanted in the room. In the mix was one song that was kind of creepy, and the rest were Disney songs, but the greatest offense to my ears was having to listen to Aqua’s Barbie Girl about fifteen times over the course of the hour we were in there. If you’ve never heard that song, do yourself a favor and look it up right now, go ahead, I’ll wait. At first listen, it’s a silly song, but you might catch yourself getting caught up in the beat or the bubble-gum pop visuals. Now imagine that song playing over and over again. I can enjoy a guilty pleasure song as much as the next man, but yikes, I do not want to listen to it every eight minutes or so.
The puzzles here were a mixed bag. There were some that had clever uses of things I’ve seen in other rooms but that fit the theme well. Most were accompanied by a child-like riddle on how to solve it, which was kind of the spirit to help us out even though I think they were trying to hurt us? Confusing motivation for a ghost, for sure.
There were two big problems I had in this room though. First, when I see a large hole that easily can fit my arm, I’m going to reach into it, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. And when you reach into said hole, and discover something important, it really lends to the idea that you are on the right track. I discovered something within two minutes of the room that made no sense as to what was around us, but we tried our hardest to figure out how this clue was helpful in any way possible. Every step we made forward in the progressing of clues, we kept wasting time trying to see how to use what we found. It was revealed to us after about forty minutes that what I found in the first two minutes, was only supposed to be found near the very end, which made a lot of sense as to why we triggered something and nothing happened. We spent about five minutes trying to complete the task over and over again before we were told we had already found the clue thirty-eight minutes prior.
But more importantly, my second problem with this room was that it just wasn’t really… anything. It wasn’t remotely scary like I was led to believe, but worse than that was that it just wasn’t fun. The puzzles, the setting, and that cursed song, all just led me to want to leave. And when our time was up, we were given the option to buy more time, but there was no temptation to say yes. She eventually just gave us more time for free to finish the game because she felt bad about how much time we wasted with that clue we found, but it still didn’t help. While there were plenty of leaps of logic to be found, ultimately, we were just not motivated enough to push ourselves to finish.
It is disappointing to me that there is a stigma attached to games in Las Vegas that they tend to be mediocre or cash grabs, which is not true of all the venues out there, but it was for this one. Even worse it was the first room my best friend had experienced. Walking out he thought it was okay, and thankfully we went to another one later that really showed him how much fun a room escape could be.
I will say the biggest problem this venue had going for it was its staffing. There were several rooms running, and I believe only one person working there. One person to handle people checking in, setting them up in their game, and to monitor the other rooms. This flaw became frustratingly evident when we needed help and called for a clue over the provided walkie-talkie, then sometimes had to wait a few minutes for her to respond, then wait another minute for her to walk in the room and pop her head in and ask where we were in the game and what we were struggling with. Once we caught her up to where we were, then we were given a clue as to how to move forward. On average whenever we needed a clue it was a roughly five minute ordeal, and that is unacceptable.
A mediocre game, terrible service set up, and just a lack of fun guaranteed that I would never visit any of their other rooms no matter how cool their poster may seem. Fool me once, shame on me, but you won’t get a second chance.
Venue: Live Games Escape
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 45-60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $35 per person (While the Las Vegas location has permanently closed, this venue continues to operate in their Salt Lake City venue.)