5 Keys 6 Keys RESULT: Loss REMAINING: X:XX
Take everything you thought you knew about escape rooms and smash it to pieces; it will just slow you down while you try to escape from the killer of this incredibly crafted horror flick!
This game is all about surviving a horror film – and every member of your private group literally becomes one of the genre’s biggest clichés in the process: The Nerd, the Virgin, the Jock, the Rebel, the Prom Queen or the Detective.
As a new-found likely soon-to-be victim, each of you will be locked – alone – in your own private escape room. Some of you will have items needed in another room. The Detective acts as the intermediary, while also solving his own puzzles in the center room of this horrific hub.
That’s right – gone is the comfort zone of relying on another member of your team to solve a puzzle that’s outside of your skill set. The Hex Room creates a real, cinematic horror based adventure in which every one of us plays a vital role, but not all of us are guaranteed to survive, even if the group as a whole is victorious.
The scenic attention to detail is just simply among the very best you’ll ever find. The lighting is dim and dramatic. The rooms each feel old and in disrepair – all intentional in this brand new space.
It’s clear from the moment you approach the door to the Hex Room that you’re about to be transported into a space that was crafted by some incredibly talented artists who clearly understand the magic of setting a Hollywood-quality mood.
Each room is a completely different style; The Rebel is trapped in the basement, the Prom Queen in the closet, the Jock in the kitchen, the Virgin in the study and the Nerd is locked in his laboratory. Throughout all of this, the Detective remains in the central hub, surrounded by all the other rooms’ locked doors.
More importantly everything also flowed smoothly between each of them for the over-arcing main “horror movie” narrative.
From a game perspective, every puzzle step was intuitive – and some lead to exciting and unexpected surprises.
Another unique moment of brilliance is that each character has their own mini side quests – optional if they have the time to pull them off beyond their required puzzle track throughout the main show. Completing yours will earn you a survivor’s medallion – meaning if you even escape the horror movie in the first place, you also survived the killer’s rampage.
That’s right – it’s entirely possible to win but lose, or lose but win this game!
The Hex Room has to be the most unique concept we’ve ever seen in escape rooms; an ambitious gamble that in the wrong hands could go so very poorly, but in the right hands – well, turns out like this!
In a young industry that seems to still trend towards the same few themes and same few surprises over and over, Cross Roads Escape Games absolutely shatters the mold and doesn’t look back – and it’s without a doubt why they are one of only two venues of the countless we’ve visited who also shatter our rating system and earn an unheard-of 6th Key.
Our team actually lost by winning – which is both fascinating and completely satisfying. Our core gaming squad finished the final puzzle with ten minutes to spare – however, we elected to nobly sacrifice escape to stand by our two lesser experienced teammates. Our Rebels for the evening – Mom and Taylor’s youngest brother – had heard from us over and over how compelling a good escape room can be – but hadn’t really had the opportunity to play one themselves. We knew that their first had to be one likely to be a quality experience, so we insisted they be part of our Cross Roads Escape Games group.
In hindsight we should have paired each of them with one of our more experienced players rather than with each other. This is a sound bit of advice for anyone planning their own visit. It was ultimately myself who made the call to not try the final exit code until they were with us, because it was important to me that their first experience be a positive and inclusive one. It would have been fun to win such a top tier game, but I firmly believe we made the correct decision that night.
Our Rebels did successfully escape their basement room and rejoin us with barely a minute or two left on the clock – and while we had all the numbers solved for the exit code, there was one of two orders it could have possibly been entered into the exit door’s lock. Unfortunately for us we only had time to try one of them. It was a 50/50 shot, and we chose the wrong one.
We didn’t survive the horror movie.
But – the true mark of a good game is one that you can lose and walk away saying “that was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.”
The Hex Room was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
Venue: Cross Roads Escape Games
Location: Anaheim, California
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 5-10 people (intended for exactly 6)
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $160+ per group (requires minimum purchase of 5 tickets at $32 per person)