RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 4:24
If you think an 8-year-old with multiple personalities is all fun and games, you have another thing coming!
The Captured features one underlying theme that links each of their games. Although designed so that they can easily be played in any order, we recommend if you haven’t already seen it that you start with our review of Chapter 1: The Cellar.
Now let’s turn the page to Chapter 2: Scarlett’s Room.
Upon entering Scarlett’s room, you’ll notice she is quite different from the rest of her family. This serial killer, oblivious to her actions, is host to multiple personalities with the mentality of an 8 year-old. Escape Scarlett’s room in 60 minutes by solving a series of puzzles, riddles and clues left by her previous prey or you’ll become her next “broken toy.”
Scarlett’s Room is actually the second chapter of a two-part story, the first of which takes place in The Captured’s other game, “The Cellar”. While I have not played The Cellar, we were assured that no prior knowledge of the backstory was necessary and that the games could be done independently.
The storyworld created by Scarlett’s Room left me excited to finally experience a game that was grounded in the horror genre, and one that already had high praise, to boot.
The Captured takes advantage of their space by breaking this game up across several rooms, but that isn’t readily apparent when your clock starts ticking. To begin, we start off in a rather large bedroom, which is no doubt the namesake of this attraction. While the architecture is pretty much what you might find in an old Victorian house, it was still very well designed. Stepping in, we could easily see that this house was several decades old and the events that took place within echoed through the heavy grunge and distress that was slowly creeping across the walls and furnishings.
In this main room were two scenic windows flanking a large canopy bed, but these were no ordinary backlit acrylic panels. The designers used large LCD monitors set back from the glass with an eerie outdoor scene as the backdrop. These were never part of the gameplay, which made their use even more impressive, as it was done solely for aesthetics and to further the gloomy setting. To top it all off, there was a really beautiful, massive fireplace in the room that gave us quite the surprise at one point.
No expense was spared in the other spaces throughout the game either, and yet they remained vastly different than the bedroom. Of these, the final area was most impressive as they made very good creative use of their space, which is very unique to say the least as the entire venue exists underneath the Gatlinburg Space Needle attraction.
Usually the games I come across either have one or two-out-of-three strong areas in the story, scenic, and gameplay categories; Scarlett’s Room nailed all three. From the moment we stepped in we immediately were thrust into some very interesting puzzles, each of which told a part of the story. One of the main focal points of the bedroom was a large table that contained a puzzle in which we had to collect several items throughout the game, all assumed to be hidden by Scarlett’s past victims, and then assemble them to obtain another clue to get us closer to the end.
At one point, in order to advance to another space, there was a very clever audio puzzle in which we had to use a normal everyday object as a listening device – and what we heard was firmly rooted into the storyworld to make the experience all the more immersive. I always enjoy when objects that one would normally consider to be just decor are actually a part of the gameplay. This seamless use of props brings you further into their story world.
While there were a few kinks we came across, such as the final puzzle that relied on discerning some colors that weren’t quite clear and an early riddle that we somehow bypassed, these weren’t enough to really spoil our experience in Scarlett’s Room, and remains proof that a game needn’t be perfect to be among the best.
Despite living among dozens of cheesy tourist attractions and corn dog stands, The Captured provides a very story-driven, high-quality escape game experience. It’s firm dedication to the horror genre makes it unique among the offerings across the Smokies, and as such makes it instantly marketable and recognizable.
Each moment of The Captured’s two experiences remain rooted within the Craft Family storyworld, providing a fully immersive adventure for those brave enough to step into the manor. Every puzzle step feels like it organically belongs. Nothing is out of place.
Perhaps most compelling is the fact that although technically the sequel, these games really can be played in any order – almost as though they’re more part of the same cinematic universe rather than a traditional part one / part two set.
The Captured is unquestionably a unique offering to the Gatlinburg market – and if you can find yourself brave enough to tackle some intensely themed subject matter, you (and all of your own split personalities) will love your playtime with Scarlett (and all of hers.)
Venue: The Captured
Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person