RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 23:14
Trapped in a room and accused of witchcraft, we somehow found a way out before the angry mob arrived. How did we do it? Witchcraft! But perhaps I’ve said too much.
There is a crowd on its way, coming after you, to burn you alive. Just as they did with the previous guests in this cozy little room. Whom, as you, were accused of witchcraft and thereby, sentenced to death. It’s an angry blood-thirsty mob, armed with machetes and torches, ready to introduce you to “hell on earth”. You better start believing in witchcraft, and find that spell that will save your souls.
Witchcraft’s story is among the cooler concepts we’ve encountered for a game. Playing on the mass paranoia of times long since passed, all it took was a superstitious accusation to cast guilt onto an alleged witch. And now we talk an active role in a very uncomfortable situation.
How can we possibly prove our innocence to avoid the lynching of an irrational angry mob? Well, the joke’s on them. We are witches, and now it’s time to join together in the woods and cast a spell that will make them regret ever coming for us.
Witchcraft’s scenic is two-fold, beginning in a witch’s cottage, very dimly lit only by the light of flickering candles. The room is full of cauldrons, brooms and other enchanted objects that add realism to its storyworld.
From the cabin we escape deep into the woods, to a clearing where we must gather to perform our dark magic. Tree trunks and branches encircle the space which is lit by an ominous glowing moonlight.
Witchcraft’s puzzles were somewhat on the easier side for Escape Hotel, but we feel that varying degrees of difficulty across a given venue is very much a good thing.
This is a game that would have very much benefited from the inclusion of some tech-based gags – easily implementing them in a means that they feel like magic in motion. Unfortunately Witchcraft is a bit hindered by combination locks and keys. Normally, this is not something that we would ever speak out against in a negative light, as we make it our policy to appreciate all degrees of game whenever possible – and while we did still very much enjoy Witchcraft, the omission is a bit more noticeable here given the theme.
Witchcraft’s finale is built through three milestone achievements in casting your spell for freedom. Each involved unlocking a padlock in a different tree, which admittedly felt a bit odd within the storyworld – though it did ultimately lead to something considerably better connected to the overall narrative.
Witchcraft admittedly was our least favorite game of Escape Hotel’s original slate of offerings – and while that may normally sound like a bad thing, there is very much a positive that needs addressing. Not every game can be the favorite, and if your quote “worst” game is still a GOOD game, there’s no shame in that what so ever. Witchcraft is certainly a good game.
This room suffered more than most from light levels too dim to really search the space. While we appreciate the scenic mood set with dramatically dark lighting, small flickering LED candles just do not cast a viable enough light level to be truly usable in place of a flashlight or lantern. A better light source available to players – especially if it remains a themed object – would greatly improve the flow and experience within Witchcraft. Honestly, our difficulty seeing probably played a part in this game being our least favorite of the five.
Still though, Escape Hotel has a lot to offer, and really left us impressed with their product as a whole.
Another thing that makes this venue so unique is their staff– not only do they exhibit a world class standard of hospitality, but they interact with guests in themed roles that enforces the vintage hotel motif. You’ll be greeted at the door by a hostess in a 1930s flapper dress. Checked in – literally – at the hotel’s front desk where you’ll be issued a literal passport, complete with your personal information and photograph, in a high quality, gold foil embossed sleeve perfectly reminiscent of an official one that could have been issued by the United States government. In it, you’ll collect custom stamps for each room you successfully escape in the Hotel – an absolutely brilliant means of promoting return visits. From there, you’re escorted to your room by a creepy bellhop who clearly has not seen the light of day in some time. That bellhop doubles as your game master, who stays in character even when delivering requested hints to assist you in your mission.
We eagerly await our next opportunity to check-in at Escape Hotel, and we’ll be traveling with our passports in hand. After all, those empty pages won’t stamp themselves!
Venue: Escape Hotel
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 7
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $39 per person
We thank Escape Hotel for inviting us to review this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.