ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you enjoy magic (think Harry Potter), castles, wizards (fantasy in general).
Avoid if… you dislike rats, potions, and towers.
Time Emporium Escape Rooms:
Address: 391 Denver Ave, Loveland, CO 80537 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 970-619-8639
The Room – Wizard’s Tower:
Description (from the company website): Explore a fantastical world where things aren’t always what they seem. In this exciting new adventure, you will travel back to the age of swords and sorcery. Can you harness all five elemental runes, unlock the mysteries of the Wizard’s Tower, and prove yourself worthy of the challenge? But be wary, brave puzzle-solvers, because if the crystals fall into the wrong hands, the entire world will be in danger.
Difficulty (1-10): Hard
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Party Size: 6 Max
Staging Area: Small waiting area with merch and a couch.
Metro Access/Parking: There’s a parking lot for the facility and the adjacent store. Unsure about metro access.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
Note: I did the post FB Live for this and trailed into the Pre-room FB Live video of room 2, so sorry for the abrupt ending here as I split the video. ~J
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 a freaking Wizard’s Tower. I will say nothing more.
Understanding of the Mission: Retrieve the Time Medallion by solving all the puzzles of the Wizard, whose tower we have encroached upon.
Did We Escape: Yes
Time Remaining: 0:55!
Our Suggested Party Size: This room is listed 6 max, but 4 would be a sweet spot. This would be incredibly challenging for 1 person due to the amount of things to do, IMHO.
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D
Worth the time and money? Absolutely
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
- Grimm Brothers Brewing Company is across the lot but they were closed by the time we finished.
|Overall Expectation (Summary)
|While we were in Estes Park on a mini-vacation some weeks ago, we went to Estes Park Escape Room and the GM there told us we should really go to Loveland to the Time Emporium (and gave us their flyer). I had it sitting on the counter for some time only to be lost to the playfulness of our cats. Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed it was gone until I tried to figure out what location we were told to check out in Loveland (and there are a good number of locations in the area).
One day, while minding my own business, our oldest cat, Lilly, decided it would be a good idea to knock my glass cocktail shaker on the floor, shattering it. During cleanup, as I pulled glass shards from under the fridge, out came the Time Emporium flyer! Now that I knew where we were supposed to be going, I sent an email to the owners (Jeff and Noah, previously interviewed here), and scheduled a time to head to Loveland.
I had only been told good things, so spirits were high but expectations were not (as usual for a new location).
|Let me start this review off with a low point: we were (quite literally) told there was no ‘pre-game’ story. Everything you need to know is told to you IN the room by a disembodied voice. (If you’ve ever played Skylanders, this voice reminded me of Eon.) The only thing we WERE told was that, once you hear that voice, pay attention, because some of the story portions are long(er than others) so if you have to have them repeated (which we did on several occasions), it can eat into your time.
That being said, once you actually get in the room and the door closes, you really are in a tower (and I’ll get more into this in the F/C/U section below). Now the narrator tells you what’s going on, which is basically that a Time Medallion owned by the wizard who lived in the tower has been hidden there. Now that he’s gone, it’s up to you to find and claim it before it falls into anyone else’s (nefarious) hands. There’s a ton more detail as you progress because as you figure out how to use your wands (yes, you have to flail (not really) your arms in the air with magic wands to make things happen), “Eon” provides more background (and yes, I’ll probably refer to him as “Eon” for the rest of this review because…why not?).
Side note: all of the escapes at Time Emporium focus around this theme of time medallions, hence the name of the facility. If this person (or whomever) recovers all the medallions, they can control time. It’s a pretty nifty concept and I was eager to see how it would play out here (and in our upcoming run of Murder in London).
|Solve all the puzzles in all the realms to recover each corresponding time crystal. This allows you to recover the hidden time medallion else it may fall into evil hands and reality as you know it may never be the same. (If you’ve ever watched DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, think the Spear of Destiny thread on that show.)
It’s an interesting concept, and as I mentioned, fits into the overall time-travel theme of the facility and its other rooms. Have we done other wizard-style rooms? Yes. Were they as good as this one? Not even close.
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)
|This room had some very unique puzzles to figure out, not limited to use of a magic wand. First, there were no locks (zip, zero, nada, zilch, bupkis, nil) whatsoever, which is one of only a handful of rooms I’ve (tried to) escape that can say such a thing.
Second, the majority of the puzzles were hands on, meaning you had to actually manipulate something. You also have to learn the spells to use with the wands as you progress, which was fun too. Pro tip: when you’re using the wand, don’t just touch the wand to the wall sensor; that sensor is actually a button for you to press and wait for it to flash.
To give you an idea of what was there: logic, pattern matching, riddles, a maze, a puzzle similar to the one we had trouble with here (but a gazillion times easier), among others. Hell, there was even a well-integrated (and freakin’ difficult) find the differences puzzle!
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)
|Let me start by saying the 2 easiest puzzles made us feel (1) stupid for not figuring them out quickly and (2) stupid for being completely blind to them. (That statement is, in and of itself, actually a hint. I didn’t mean to say it that way but will now leave in for your benefit.) Just make sure you use Rule #10 in this room.
Looking back on this experience, there were few things that actually were straight up difficult. There were a few things that we weren’t sure we were doing right, and some things we just blatantly missed (see the paragraph above), but more than difficult, there was just a LOT to do, especially for 2 people. Had we had a few more, we easily could have made the leader board here.
I would put the difficult range somewhere around 2-7, which is a good spread and gives you some really quick wins at times.
As I like to say…CLICK HERE.
|Let’s start with this: this room looks AMAZING. Because it’s crafted floor to ceiling, it really feels like you’re in the chamber of an old mage. I can think of only 3 locations that I’ve seen rooms that were this well crafted. (I don’t think I said that about the other rooms, though, probably because either theirs had more space or they just weren’t as well crafted. Also, one of the 3 was a sneak peek; we didn’t actually do the room.)
There are 5 distinct paths in this room, as there are 5 separate ‘realms’ you have to figure out how to access. This requires that you have the spells to access them via your wand, which you will learn as the game progresses. As you do, you unlock more that you can do in the room, eventually ending each path with the unveiling of a time crystal.
Oh right, time crystals. To complete your objective, you need to find a crystal from each realm to remove the sword from the stone, thus bequeathing unto yourself the time medallion from the tower. (Side note: the medallion was physically missing from the sword when we were there because it was unceremoniously “removed” from said sword by a prior group and not yet fixed, so we didn’t get to see it. We did see the one in Murder in London, however.)
|Yes, we certainly did. The only bummer was not making the leaderboard!
|Game Master (Summary)
|Considering it’s somewhat automated, “Eon” was good. Sam, the actual human GM, was great, too.
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)
|“Eon” didn’t make us feel stupid, and his “pet” was pretty funny as well.
|RAGE Meter OR ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score
|I was only really annoyed at myself for not seeing one of the puzzles (and I say “seeing” because we very definitely didn’t see how to solve it. And it’s ridiculously simple.
Rating: 0 fists
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING 9.3/10
Final Thought: After we completed this room, I immediately said that this was my new favorite room and I couldn’t wait to do the rest of the experiences there. So, stay tuned for the review of Murder in London and, if you haven’t seen it already, watch the interview with Jeff and Noah. That said, these guys have a similar philosophy to the ERG in that they design the room around the story and not just plug the story into the puzzles. If you’re in Colorado, this location is a MUST.