RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 21:00
If it’s one thing we’re good at, it’s getting trapped inside Egyptian pyramids. Like, we’re really, really good at it. That’s why it happens so often.
For centuries archaeologists have dreamed of finding the lost tomb of Amenhotep the Fifth. Amenhoteps’ tomb is said to contain untold treasures and though many have searched for it, few have ever returned.
Another day, another Egyptian tomb to explore. It’s becoming difficult to juggle our two roles as escape game reviewer and the world’s leading Egyptologists! Of course we joke, because the fact is there’s a whole lot of Egyptian-themed games out there these days and we’d be remiss if we didn’t address the fact that the trope is becoming a bit played out. That’s naturally not to say there still cannot be a great one here and there – and thankfully, Pharaoh’s Tomb fits that mold.
From a story perspective there’s not much to stress that we haven’t discussed many times before; we’re exploring the tomb. The tomb is booby trapped. We’re trapped now too. It’s simply enough, but at the same time it works. Maze Room definitely creates a mood of exploration and discovery, casting brave explorers into an active lead role and, in turn, takes what has become a clichéd theme and turns it into an immersive experience.
When our adventure began, we weren’t entirely sure what to scenically expect from what lay ahead. A very unique entrance to the room provides ample disorientation in a way we’d not really ever experienced before. From that dark and mysterious passage, we found ourselves in a large, yellow stone room that, in truth, was a tad bit underwhelming at getting us into the Egyptian spirit.
But all good adventure stories are full of unexpected surprises waiting beyond secret passageways, and Pharaoh’s Tomb packs in several along the way. Darker, undiscovered catacombs within the pyramid enhance the sense of exploration, before ultimately leading into the Pharaoh’s tomb itself – an ornately beautiful, intricately detailed space with ancient hieroglyphs actually carved into the walls, and a massive, stunning sarcophagus resting before us.
Like its scenic prowess, Pharaoh’s Tomb starts off just a tad bit slow on the puzzles, but becomes stronger and stronger as each new anti-chamber is unearthed. After a handful of steps that come across a bit drab in the equally drab yellow room, the subsequent spaces don’t just look cooler, but play out in a much more exciting fashion as well.
Everything we do connects to the world we’re in, keeping us fully in the explorer mindset each step of the way. Importantly, we learn that the Egyptians were clearly a very logical society, as each puzzle they’ve hidden in this pyramid is entirely intuitive.
Searching the Pharoah’s tomb itself by lantern light, and ultimately opening the sacred sarcophagus provides a narrative wow moment to tie everything together as a suitable climax.
Pharaoh’s Tomb marks another clear win for Maze Rooms in their next generation of games. We cannot speak highly enough about how impressed we’ve been over this brand’s transformation. In short time, they’ve completely upped their proverbial game across all aspects we measure. Their stories are becoming more and more immersive, and more and more unique. Their scenic has raised from what was once square box office games into intricate sets full of thematic decor. Their gameplay have moved away from being puzzles for puzzle’s sake and transported itself into the world of narrative driven adventures.
Maze Rooms has jumped from a company barely on our radar just a few years ago into a must see destination attraction on any future trip to the Los Angeles market. Pharaoh’s Tomb stands as a testament to that – a theme which we clearly make no bones about our feelings that it’s a bit over done, wraps us up in what is one of the better games in the region. Get it? wraps? Because mummies? I’ll show myself out.
Venue: Maze Rooms
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 7 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $99+ per group for up to 3 people (plus $33 per each additional person)
Escape Authority readers save $10 using code ERGIG18
We thank Maze Rooms for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.