Videos/ Photos provided by Castle Escapes
Company: Castle Escapes
Country: USA 🇺🇸
Type of Game: Audio/GM led Escape Room
Date Played: 7/17/2020
Difficulty (based on 3 players): 5.5/10
Size of Team: Up to 8 Players
Time: 60 Minutes
Price: $95.00 (Up to 6 Players)/ $125.00 (Up to 8 Players)
We've been recruited by The Nocturnal Underground Tactical Squad (NUTS) to assist one of their rookie vampire hunter to "Hunt for the Crimson Fang" ("The Master"). The experience started with an intro video of the back story and seamlessly connected us with the avatar starting off in a bloody butcher shop, or so we thought...
The set design was amazing. The blood splatter, body parts, knives created a perfect stage for a horror movie. It's not surprising since one of Castle Escape's co-creator's family owns a haunt production company. There were definitely moments of us saying: "Wow, did he just do that? Was that real?". Even though I was behind the camera, I felt like I had to be prepared for jump scare moments. Our avatar was hilarious. He was very clever with comebacks during the game. Everything was great until we started to ask him to roam around the room and solve puzzles. At first, we saw some lag time on the camera screen when we asked him to look to a certain location or open some items. At other times, he would ignore some of our requests. He also proceeded to lock up all the opened locks but later explained that he was trying to cover his tracks. In our minds, we were thinking perhaps we were solving the puzzles too quickly and he was intentionally trying to drag out the time. The puzzles were not different and many had added humor in it. There was one puzzle we thought needed some outside knowledge so definitely ask the GM for help if needed. The big reveal was at the end of the game when the game master informed us that the entire game was prerecorded! All of a sudden, the "strange behaviors" from the "avatar" now made sense. Every time he had to return to the same location and then go to where we were telling him to go because the next video always started from the beginning position. He also could not take out certain objects when we told him to since the room wouldn't look right on the next recording. Essentially we felt like we had to play the room according to the order that the videos were recorded in. I do have to give props to the GM who had to keep us entertained while search for the right video to play among hundreds of videos.
Our initial categorization of the room was remote escape room but have since corrected to audio/GM led escape room experience. Even though there were visuals of the room, the avatar was not physically there in real time taking the players through the game. Even though those "stall moments" were a bit discomforting, the whole production was still pretty amazing. Because the videos were prerecorded, they were able to utilize props and special effects we would normally not be able to use in an escape room. The professional actors also connected us closer to the story. Our favorite part was the ending. The choices and different alternative endings set the game apart from a room with a normal exit door.
If you are an enthusiasts that will be playing the game solely for puzzles, you might get a bit frustrated because of the delays. But if you want to try to enjoy the acting and the story line, you might see this experience in a different light! We are excited for Castle Escapes's two other new experiences coming out around Halloween and we hope by then it'll be a smoother game flow.
*** Please note that some parts of the game might not be appropriate for kids. The company website recommend players to be 14+.
(If you do decide to try this game, please remember to let them know that you heard it from"ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)
Disclosure: We thank Castle Escapes for comping our tickets for this game. Although a complimentary experience was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.