RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Loss REMAINING: X:XX
We have let our ancestors down, because we were not skilled in the ways of Origami and couldn’t fold our way out of a paper bag.
As the last Samurai of your clan, you have to decipher the clues hidden within the bamboo forest to restore the honor to your ancestors. Sharpen your wit, as well as your katana, for this one.
A great honor has been bestowed upon us because… well, we are the only ones left of our clan. Our mission is to restore our Samurai ancestors’ integrity so that the great name of the clan can live on. It’s not quite clear what happened to defame the family, but nonetheless it is our job to make sure we mend what has been (apparently) broken.
Colonial Escape Room does a decent job of immersing you into the storyworld from the very moment you walk into the Samurai Showdown room. The path the story takes throughout the gameplay follows your journey on this important quest where you encounter many Japanese cultural treasures.
The scenic aspect in Samurai Showdown is a little hit and miss. A vinyl forest decal lies motionless on one wall, while another wall is painted green with some faux foliage added for additional visual interest. The lighting is on the dim side with luminaries littered about the room, while lights twinkle overhead in an LED starry night sky. While the aesthetic of low lighting is always dramatic, it was a little difficult to see at times.
By far, the best aspect of the room is a cute bamboo forest wall, apparently serving the purpose of protecting a koi pond from outsiders. Underneath the rippling water, a school of fish keep their secrets just out of arm’s reach. Like the ambient noises of a bubbling brook, the running water of the pond brings about feelings of tranquility and calm, which just may come in handy as you tackle some of the challenges you’ll face in this room.
The puzzles in Samurai Showdown tie in nicely with the theme of the room and help progress the story along. One minute you are gathering traditional Geta sandals, and the next moment you are making a rudimentary fishing pole out of found objects. You must keep track of various objects located throughout the environment to accomplish this task. We have played many rooms where we needed to craft something to acquire objects in tight or unreachable places. However, this is the first time we literally had to “go fish” in an actual fish pond – a nice touch.
We were making excellent progress in our game when, at around 30 minutes left, we came across a large Origami challenge. The solution to that puzzle was required to advance further in the gameplay, which was very linear. It was here that our progress came to a disappointingly screeching halt. While there were plenty of paper provisions to complete the task, the ones we encountered had been handled by previous players to such an extent that the pieces of paper seemed close to absolute disintegration, which only added to our confusion. In the end, we had to seek guidance from the game master, only to find out it wasn’t quite as complicated as we were thinking – or should I say overthinking.
Samurai Showdown is a cute little room with solid ambient elements and several unique aspects we have not seen before. While we’re on the topic, this is a unique theme we hadn’t seen before or haven’t seen again since.
Colonial Escape Room definitely applied the story and theming effectively. Our hopes were very high, and we wanted to like it more than we actually did. That said, we gave this room 3 Keys because of all the positives it does have to offer – and in the end, that means that it truly is a good room worth visiting.
Venue: Colonial Escape Room
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $25.00 per person