RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 12:24
A fancy resort in tropical paradise offers rest, relaxation… and the revenge of an angry volcano goddess? I think I’d like an early check out!
Welcome to The Tiki Palace – island’s newest resort. Your weekend of fun and relaxation will have to be put on hold. You will have to frantically find a way to appease the goddess of volcanoes so that she might let you flee the resort before she covers the island in burning hot lava. Do you have what it takes to overcome her test of fire?
Countdown Live Escape Games creates one of the most unique game themes we’ve seen in some time with The Tiki Palace. A luxury resort in the middle of a tropical island paradise, set in the shadow of a looming and suddenly active volcano. Everything about this story is fun and original – and its strongly executed in a way that makes it easy to get lost in the narrative.
Taking things to another level of immersion, The Tiki Palace uses a simple, yet brilliantly clever means of delivering hints to players: a regular telephone on the desk of the outdoor tiki bar. And while that may not seem noteworthy on it’s own – pick it up and you’ll be greeted by any number of departments within the resort, from the front desk to housekeeping and more, who will assist you with your concerns through themed, character based interactions. It’s one of the first times I wanted to be stumped in a game, just to ask for another clue!
This game – designed for larger group sizes – is essentially split between two rooms. The main space where most of your time will be spent is the resort’s outdoor tiki bar – decked to the nines with gloriously tacky island decor and tropical foliage. Here, you’re free to explore both the pool area around it as well as the staff area behind the bar itself. The space is lit to evoke the mood of a peaceful night – the proverbial calm before the (fire) storm that volcano in the distance is about to rain down upon us.
But what’s a good volcano sacrifice story without actually venturing into the heart of the mountain itself? The Tiki Palace’s second space opens up into a cavern in the center of the mighty volcano, light by crystallized glowing magma pulsing just beneath the rocks all around you. It’s clear that at any time now, this mountain could blow her top and melt the entire resort down to charred toothpicks!
The Tiki Palace does a wonderful job of keeping its puzzles within the storyworld. Each one connects to the resort and its tropical paradise setting. Totems hide clues to an ancient mystery while tribal symbols help guide you to safety from the volcano goddess.
This game is designed with the intention to be Countdown Live Escape Game’s quote “easiest” room – but it’s certainly not one we’d define as easy. To the contrary, The Tiki Palace is a great mix of challenges that will no doubt keep experienced players busy while at the same time remain achievable to newer play2017ers without becoming too cumbersome or intimidating. And with its larger group size, there’s something for everyone to do, making this a great introductory room for your lesser-experienced family and friends.
Most importantly, the puzzles around the resort were all intuitive and fun. We never really felt overly stumped, and when we did we’d consistently find it was due to our own over-thinking rather than the puzzles themselves.
As we mentioned previously, Countdown Live Escape Games consistently manages to impress us with their attention to detail, dedication to story, clever puzzles and unique themes. The Tiki Palace is another great addition to their attraction portfolio, and a game that we’d quickly recommend to anyone visiting the Los Angeles area.
It’s clear while visiting that Countdown Live Escape Games is run by a enthusiastic staff that operates escape games not to make a profit, but rather to share a passion that they themselves have as well. We’ve often said that the best games are ones who are designed by fans of the industry – because being a fan is really the only way one can truly understand the flow and stylings that make a game work. The Tiki Palace, along with the other offerings at Countdown Live Escape Game could not ring more true to that sentiment – shining to us as brightly as the lava about to kill us all.
Venue: Countdown Live Escape Games
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 10 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person
We thank Countdown Live Escape Games for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.