Some Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved
Walking into an attic where two children were reportedly brutally murdered by their father years before sets the scene for one heck of a feel-good afternoon. All kidding aside, Charlotte’s Attic asks you to step in and take over where some small-town sheriff’s department left off on a murder-suicide. The attic has been mainly untouched since the police finished collecting evidence in the 80’s. You’re asked to complete two tasks: one, find the key with a rabbit’s head attached; and two, discover the truth of what really happened in the attic all those years ago.
The storyline is interesting, and this is the first time that we’ve been asked to not only find an object to complete the room but to also finish the story. (It is worth noting that you do not HAVE to complete the story, but if we weren’t overachievers you wouldn’t be reading this review).
The puzzles in the room were engaging and linear, meaning you had to solve one puzzle to move forward to the next one (for the most part). That made it easier to feel like you had not missed a step or left something important behind.
The Not So Good
Captive Escape Rooms has some impressive online preview videos exclaiming that they’re home to Canada’s most realistic escape rooms. The video for Charlotte’s Attic shows a very well thought out room with gabled ceilings, a small window and perfectly themed trinkets. I’m guessing they decided to not bring that to the US since this is not the experience we had at Charlotte’s Attic in Tampa. It was obvious that the space was quickly converted to fit the theme to some degree, but not up to the standards set by their marketing campaigns.
While the linear nature of the puzzles affords some comfort, for our group of 6 it wasn’t the ideal setup. Typically, a room will have multiple puzzles to solve so that large groups can break into smaller teams to work on puzzles. Since we didn’t have that in this room, there were a few lulls while we were waiting for other Junkies to solve the puzzle they were working on so that we all could move forward.
While working on puzzles, sometimes you need a hint to keep the momentum moving. Unfortunately Captive does not utilize in-room cameras and communication systems (come on Captive, my house is wired up with cameras and two-way communications, and that’s just so I can talk to my cats), so if you need a hint you have to hit a doorbell, wait for the game master to get to the room, explain to them where you are and get the hint. This is frustrating when you’re playing a timed game.
The linear puzzle solving and lack of complex multi-step puzzles makes this a good beginner escape room. This location has some work to do to if they want to be on par with other escape rooms in the area, let alone reach the levels of their Canadian counterparts. 2/5
- Location: Captive Escape Rooms
- Time Limit: 60 Minutes
- Number of Players: 2-7
- Recommended Skill Level: Beginner