RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 19:28
A solid horror-themed escape room with plenty of scares, The Asylum offers a great time for both Escape Room veterans and newcomers alike!
You are a journalist covering a story at Willowbrook State Insane Asylum where your coworker recently went missing trying to conduct an interview. Suddenly, while visiting the asylum, you get a phone call. It’s your boss.
His message is clear. GET OUT as soon as possible. The patients aren’t the problem here…it’s the doctor on staff! He has been keeping healthy people locked up to perform “research” on healthy brains.
The doctor has stepped out for 60 minutes. Can you find your coworker and escape before the doctor makes you both his newest patients?
What happens when a coworker goes missing after trying to interview a doctor at a creepy insane asylum? You get sent in instead, of course! Luckily for you, your boss has finally put the pieces together: the doctor has been locking up perfectly healthy patients in order to experiment on their brains. You don’t have much time to find your missing coworker before the doctor returns!
The Asylum starts in a rather normal looking doctor’s office. That is, if you ignore the bloodstains on the wall. It’s well themed, well lit, and doesn’t give the impression that too much is wrong. What’s even better is that virtually everything in the room is used for one puzzle or another!
I had mixed feelings about the sound effects used for the room. At times they fit and added to the feeling of dread in the room. At others, however, they felt a bit forced. Lighting, however, was brilliantly used to truly make the game terrifying.
Normally I don’t scare too easily, and I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say that there is one moment in this room that made me scream bloody murder. Well done, Game Master. Well Done.
My favorite part about The Asylum is that virtually everything gets used. There are a couple great puzzles that go beyond simply finding four-digit codes, and the game is made stronger by them. Challenges that require teamwork are always a plus, and The Asylum didn’t disappoint in that regard.
As with The Speakeasy, the challenges are all over the place in terms of difficulty. Only one challenge stood out to me as being overly complicated, but it may have been because I’m not used to the form the clue took. Here’s hoping others have better luck!
Once again, there was nothing exceedingly hard or out of the ordinary. There are no difficulty rankings for the rooms at Lakeland Escape Rooms, but I believe this is a good thing. Veterans will have plenty of fun in The Asylum for the scenic value while beginners won’t be turned away by how challenging the puzzles are.
I don’t scare too easily, so I can always tell by my unwillingness to open any door I come across that the game is doing something right. The Asylum was a great horror-themed room that, with a some minor polish could become truly terrifying!
Unfortunately, The Asylum loses a lot of its potential as a 5-key-contender through its somewhat haphazardly told story. The bare bones are there, but there’s some room for fine-tuning. As we escaped, I found myself asking “Wait, where’s the journalist? What experiments did the doctor perform? Who IS the doctor”? While it’s understandable that the majority of players don’t go to Escape Rooms for their unique stories, it’s important for venues to remember that they can make a good room into a great room simply by making the player feel like they have learned something or accomplished a grand goal when they escape. The Asylum certainly has a “wow” ending, but I was still left in the dark as to whether or not it really had to do with the story being told.
Nevertheless, this narrative hiccup doesn’t detract too much from an otherwise great experience. Just remember to be nice to your game master… or be prepared with a change of clothes.
Venue: Lakeland Escape Room
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $25 per person