ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… murder mysteries or just anything suspenseful.
Avoid if… you’re afraid of the dark or don’t like to be scared.
Address: 44820 10th St W, Suite 103, Lancaster, CA 93534 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 661-494-1198
Room: The Apartment:
Description (from the company website): This is exactly the kind of thing that your mother has always worried about – the kind of situation that you thought only happened on TV. This is the stuff of nightmares.
You’ve been lured into a serial killer’s apartment. In order to survive, you have to play by his rules.
The clock is ticking. You have exactly 60 minutes to escape his sick game before you become his next victim.
But hurry – he’s watching you.
Difficulty (1-10): 5/5 (Intensity 5/5)
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: $25 – but use code ERG10 to save 10% off your booking
Party Size: Up to 10 (children under 15 MUST be accompanied by an adult)
Staging Area: Small waiting area with a few chairs and things to keep your hands busy.
Metro Access/Parking: This was my first time in California, so I just drove everywhere.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.
Description of the room: You’re in the serial killer’s apartment. There are 4 rooms (living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) that you make your way through as the escape progresses. It’s dark (but there’s a flashlight to find) and damned creepy. (It’s also a damn decent sized apartment…)
Understanding of the Mission: Escape with your life so you don’t become his next victim.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 3:33
Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6
Did the room challenge the entire team? Considering it was only me, yes. But it was a helluva lot of fun.
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Just Jason.
Worth the time and money? Absolutely
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- The Thai Restaurant – hole in the wall Thai restaurant that was chill and had good food.
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|I had a business trip scheduled to LA for a few days and figured what better time to do my first west coast escape room, right? One quick Google search later and I found 3 rooms I wanted to try out. One was right out: Mike wanted to do it, so I nixed it from the list. The other 2 companies (this one and one other yet to be blogged about) were emailed. Little did I know that both locations had the same owners and I was able to do both in one night. (Thanks!)
The serial killer theme is kind of common, but it’s one that lends itself to the greatest range of builds (in my opinion), so I left the preconceived notions behind and took the room at face value when I entered. The description of this room is short, but it says “the kind of thing that your mother has always worried about,” so it reminded me of my Mom always telling me to “be careful.”
So off to LA I went, not knowing I’d be in for a treat.
|The quick and dirty version of this escape room is that you are lured into a serial killer’s apartment and must play by his rules to survive. If you can make it out of his apartment in 60 minutes, you escape with your life and it will be the “greatest escape” ever. (Pun intended by them.)
Sounds pretty typical, as I mentioned, for a serial killer-themed escape room. This is basically what is on the website. When you get into the room, you watch a video that sets up the more detailed premise of the room.
You’ve responded to an ad to record an intro to an escape room. Little do you know the person you replied to is a serial killer and you are subsequently kidnapped upon completion of reading your lines.
The video is deliberately grainy and looks poorly done, but fits perfectly with the premise, and is pretty creepy to boot.
One thing I’ll note is that I generally dislike having to rate rooms that have website descriptions and briefing videos that differ significantly, because I never know if I want to rate it lower because of this, even if the briefing is well done.
|The mission was simple: Escape with your life in 60 minutes. Easier said than done, though.
I would have liked to see a little more to do and find in terms of previous victims or who the killer was. You never actually meet him other than in the video. I’m actually lying about that.
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|There was nothing standard about this room. Yes, there were some combination locks. Yes, I had to unlock some door knobs. But that is pretty much where the standardization stopped.
I’ll put it to you this way: I had to, literally, open a can with a can opener. I will say no more on the subject.
It was actually finding these things and figuring out what to do with them that made the room fun. Everything wasn’t just brute-forcing locks (not that I regularly do that). I had to actually understand the puzzles I was reading and know what to do with the items that I found, including the one in the can. Leaps of logic, if you will.
As I progressed through the room, there were subtleties that you wouldn’t necessarily expect of a serial killer. Actually, as I say that, I’m realizing that you ABSOLUTELY would expect them from sociopath. Anyway, these subtleties made the second half of the experience more challenging than the first.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|There were some tricky and clever puzzles in this room. One of my favorites was the deck of cards. For anyone that knows me, I almost always have a deck of cards on me. So that just tickled me a little bit.
I enjoyed the puzzles that involved some kind of physicality, like opening the can. That wasn’t the only thing of that type to do; I just don’t want to give any more of them away. (Basically anything that involved something other than brainpower.)
There was also plenty to find around the room. There was a lot of searching required, and considering I was by myself, it kept me occupied for the beginning of the room while I was getting things going.
One thing I would never have figured out without asking for a nudge was how to remove the door chain on the bedroom door. Just…yeah. (And no, it wasn’t as simple as reaching in the room and trying to pull the chain off, but yeah, go ahead and give that a shot yourself if you don’t believe me.)
I’d like to also point out that there is definitely one puzzle you can say is the hardest, and you’ll know it when you get to it because the answer is obvious while being totally not obvious.
I’d estimate the difficulty spread as a 1-8.
|Before I forget, if you’ve ever played Trivia Murder Party, the killer in the video briefing reminds me of the killer in that game.
For one person doing this room on their own, there’s quite a bit to do and it requires multiple ways of thinking. Thus, it did add a little bit of difficulty to the room for me. However, the payoff at the end, not to mention the cheap pops, is fantastic.
Puzzles do funnel down to one line of… puzzling… pretty quickly, but once you get the door to the bedroom unlocked, that’s really where the fun begins.
The apartment itself is decorated and built perfectly. It’s dark, dank, and fucking creepy. The fact that Rule Number 5 cannot be followed pissed me off at first, but was easily overcome after finding the hidden flashlight (not a spoiler).
Of all the serial killer rooms we have done, this is easily my favorite one.
|This is my very first room that I did all by my lonesome! So not only will it hold a special place in my heart but it was also a new experience having to do literally everything on my own (and of course with some healthy nudging).|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|Matt was good. Clear and helpful hints over the walkie.|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|I asked for some help (twice) because I was stuck and getting frustrated. Again, though, I didn’t pay attention to the instructions given so I just missed doing something. Grrrr….|
|I really just want to give this 2 single-fist ratings because (1) the above note about the help I asked for and (2) they got me (creeped me out). Good on them.
Rating: ? & ?
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING 8.7/10
Final Thought: I always feel like Jerry Springer when I write these. I was totally unsuspecting of this escape room, judging just by the website description, but was pleasantly surprised with Room #99. I literally couldn’t wait to try another (and thankfully only had a 10 minute drive to the next room, #100!). If you’re in the area, you owe it to yourself to give Greatest Escape a try. This room will not disappoint. Just bring an extra pair of underwear. 🙂