Escape Authority

In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: The Inferno

RATING: 0 Keys          RESULT: Loss          REMAINING: X:XX

The seven deadly sins, an apparent ritualistic sacrifice in a conference room and absurd amounts of long division? This really is hell!

Story

The Inferno was meant to be Salvation Room’s cautionary tale of the consequences partaking in sin can create. It aimed to teach you to live your life by the seven virtues, rather than the seven deadly sins. It also, um, taught us not to sacrifice animals in what appeared to be a large empty conference room space, and that hell is where school children go to solve ridiculously complex math equations.

I’d say the story here was muddled at best but the reality of the situation is that it was far more non-existent. The notion of being trapped in hell as the setting for an escape game is certainly a unique one, but unfortunately at the end of the day, it was just not something Salvation Room managed to pull off.

Scenic

 

The Inferno was split between two rooms – the first larger space had literally nothing in it. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. Its crude carpeting surrounded by four black walls made the giant empty open space feel more like a conference room available to rent, ready to set up folding tables and chairs to host your next business meeting than it did a themed environment.

The empty room’s walls were surrounded by seven fake door frames – each dedicated to one of the seven deadly sins – and for some reason each sealed with a padlock. I suppose our goal was to solve puzzles to release the sins? But why are we apparently wanting to release the sins in the first place in this biblical themed venue?

Behind each door was a small, laminated sheet of computer paper, on which was literally printed the written definition of the sin. Because……escape….game? Because……….. hell? I’m not really sure.

The only physical object in the room was a weird box / tunnel to no where that I guess was intended to be the sacrificial altar? Above it, a pentagram drawn in blood, surrounded by red human skulls with what appeared to be the red skull of an antelope in the center? Because………escape………………..game? Because……………………………. hell? I really cannot be held accountable to make sense of out this mess.

The second room was a very, very foggy “hell,” comprised of vinyl flame graphic wallpaper and, for some reason, a few elementary school lockers sealed with padlocks. This time, I can affirm clearly, “because escape room.” One of the sections of fire wallpaper also included a life-size graphic of the Devil, and again I can affirm clearly here, “because hell.”

Puzzles

From start to finish, The Inferno’s puzzles were some of the roughest, most unpolished we’d seen in any escape game. Our experience started off poorly. Upon entering the basically pitch black first conference room-like space, the staff failed to mention to us that there are flashlights available. And rather than start us off with those flashlights, they’re hidden behind door frames in the darkness, nearly invisible to see and placed in such a way that would not be intuitive to simply find on their own. As such, we spent nearly the first 40 minutes of this game’s hour stumbling around in the dark before one of the owners reentered the room to tell us “Oh, sorry, I forgot to tell you to feel around the walls for a flashlight.”

Once able to see, the puzzles were of the most basic variety – many of which lead us to a number or letter code to open one of the seven deadly sin doors to receive our commemorative seven deadly sins collectible printout. Along the way, we also obtained printouts for the good virtues which would ultimately combat those sins. Again I’d like to stress that each card was a plain, white, laminated strip of paper on which was printed the biblical definition of each sin or virtue. It came across as the worst form of spoon feeding religious beliefs to players in a way that felt not meant to inspire them, but force them to change their ways.

As we would go on to learn, those low rent slips of paper would actually serve a far more unpleasant purpose – each come together in a specific order on a large grid in hell – which, mind you, we literally couldn’t even see due to the constant density of fog in the air, to form the finale puzzle – the mother of all complex mathematical equations, because escape room. We’re talking full on long division and multi-digit multiplication without any calculator or even scratch paper. After several minutes, we decided it just wasn’t even worth continuing to work on, because there wasn’t even a tiny bit of that activity that was remotely fun. We waited out the clock until we could finally get the hell out of hell.

 

Overall

Salvation Room’s biblical-themed adventures certainly offered a unique take on the escape room genre. Their more family friendly Noah’s Ark game offered an ok-experience that if polished, had hopes of becoming a decent one. Having played that one first, we were certainly curious to see how they’d approach the more adult subject matter of literally going to hell.

I’m not personally a religious individual, but I’d like to be clear that I fully respect and support anyone’s choice of faith. I also appreciate uniquely different experiences, and as such I was actually quite excited to check out Salvation Room. That being said, if hell is indeed a real place, there’s no doubt in my mind that Salvation Room nailed it perfectly – because I promise you, my own personal hell would most certainly be nothing but math for the rest of eternity as well.

The Inferno brought hell to life in an escape game for all the wrong reasons. Everything about the experience was bad – and not in a “you’re a bad person, you’ve gone to hell sense.” I don’t know – I mean I guess it’s reasonable to not expect a visit to hell to be a fun experience – but this game was truly awful.

Salvation Room has permanently closed – and it is not my intent here to kick them while they’re down; the owners are great people who really wanted to create something special and unique. They came close with Noah’s Ark, but sadly were no where near it with The Inferno. It was our hope to offer them detailed feedback to try to improve the experience for their future guests – something we did at length after our visit. Unfortunately it proved a bit too daunting to achieve, and as such all that’s left now is to report on the experience we personally received on the day of our visit.

Again, I’m not a religious person – but Salvation Room certainly taught me something that day: I never, ever want to end up in hell again.

Venue Details

Venue:  Salvation Room

Location: Commerce, California

Number of Games: 2

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Cost: This venue has permanently closed.

EAR Disclaimer

We thank Salvation Room for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.

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Salvation Room - The Inferno
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