An All-New Trick From Houdini
The Junkies have seen a few Houdini theme rooms before and most of them have been delightful. It’s easy to easy why such a character would make for a popular theme on the escape room scene in general. First and foremost… the dude was a freaking ESCAPE ARTIST! Add illusionist and internationalization man of mystery to the resume, and he’s a perfect fit.
There’s another aspect to Houdini’s character which I personally find to be appealing in a unique way. It’s that he’s a period character. I always know when going into a Houdini themed room that it’s going to have that vintage-y feel from an era with tons of swag.
All of this is what you’ll get from The Great Escape Room’s newest room: Escape Artist. The good folks at The Great Escape Room invited the Junkies out to test drive this brand new room and we’re so glad they did!
The room’s got an excellent narrative for its back story. The gist of it is that just before Houdini passes away, he promises his beloved wife, Bess, that he’ll try to contact her from the other side. After many attempts to contact the spirit of her husband, she’s about to give up. But YOU come along and have a chance to sort out the clues that have been left behind that just might have a chance of reuniting Bess and Harry after all.
I am absolutely thrilled that my lackluster dime version of the story doesn’t have to be all you get. The Great Escape Room has the intro video on their website! Go check it out here: Escape Artist Overview Page and Synopsis.
The room has a great aesthetic. The game takes place in the old Knickerbocker Hotel. I don’t know why, but I find old hotels to be super cool and super mysterious at the same time. I love that the game designers leveraged this kind of cool for a lot of their game choices. This goes not just for the aesthetic, but for the puzzles as well.
Puzzles in this room are well designed. If you’re as experienced as Junkies you’ll definitely recognize the basic puzzle types… and you know these basic types get reused over and over again. I think a lot of game designers probably accept this fact for what it is and hope that their overall experience is good enough for players not to notice. But with the Escape Artist, it seemed that the designers intentionally made the puzzles just a tad bit unique. They didn’t want to make it obvious. While a particular puzzle may indeed have been a true representation of its basic type, an element of originality can still be found there due to minor, yet thoughtful, variations. These little “extras” are often what make or break a room. The Junkies ALWAYS appreciate attention to the details.
Pacing a flow were good too.
It’s always a bit awkward when you’re in the middle of your escape and you have no idea whether or not you’ve even begun to sniff the finish line. I’m happy to report that this room had no such awkwardness. I acknowledge this can be somewhat subjective, but it’s always better when players know where they stand in terms of progress. It builds excitement, stress (the good kind), anticipation, suspense, and all the other things that make escaping a trill rather than just a simple mental exercise!
The Not So Good
As one might reasonably expect for a brand new room, there were some kinks in the system that were still being worked out, but they were relatively minor and there’s only a small chance that you or your group would encounter the same thing.
Escape Artist was a really enjoyable room. The folks over at The Great Escape Room were gracious enough to spend some time with us to get our thoughts and impressions of the room after we completed it and it was great getting to dialogue with them. It’s not often we get the chance to hear their impressions of rooms!
You and your team will have a great time in this room. I have a feeling it’s going to be one of The Great Escape Room’s bests rooms.
- Location: The Great Escape Room
- Time Limit: 60 minutes
- Number of Players: 2-10
- Recommended Skill Level: Slightly intermediate, but I bet some beginners will do just fine, and LOVE it!