When I did this room separately with some other people, we weren’t sure if the room had changed since the others had done it previously given the differences in experience. The room was pretty lit up and didn’t feel like a swamp at all, not sure if they just didn’t turn the lights off or not. The smoke machine went off every now and then, but for the most part only one wall in the rooms was fairly decorated with one more with a wallpaper of a forest and the other two were just blank. A few things were neat, but wasn’t a big fan of the story being left in the room for you read off a sheet of paper while your time is already going. The element of searching for everything seemed a bit odd. Finding items hidden inside other items that you have to take apart is something you don’t really do and a general no-no in most rooms. There was no real explanations of how some of the locks/devices were suppose to work in the room when we entered and thus had to use a hint when we couldn’t figure out how to progress. The hint system was also a bit flawed as there was no audio receiver we couldn’t say where we were at puzzle wise, and kept getting clues for puzzles we had already solved. The final puzzle involved getting a bunch of specific objects and weighing them, and the final weight to be the last answer. Now, we couldn’t get the right number, nor could we get the same number a second time, and neither could our gamemaster when they came in and tried to show us.
Entering this room, you actually felt like you were entering into a dark swamp. The decorations were well done, and a smoke machine gave it that extra creepy ambiance. The music and sound effects also fit the environment and helped to immerse you in the room. The puzzles were extremely unique in that they were super physical. For this room you should be prepared to be on your hands and knees, digging through things, collecting things, and physically manipulating things. It felt a little bit like I Spy mixed with your typical escape room locks. There was one element however, that unless you are 5’9” or taller like I am, you would physically be unable to reach. I asked them about this and they replied “have you never climbed a tree before or gotten a boost from someone else?”. This means that you WILL need to climb on things to reach things up above. This is a very different element than any other room we’ve done, as the general rule of thumb is that anything out of your reach is out of play, and absolutely NO climbing on anything. To be fair, the only rules they gave us was to not touch a certain machine, and to not rip out the shrubbery. So just don’t assume any of the same rules apply to these rooms. The only negative we had about this room was the customer service. They were 25 minutes late, with the previous group running late and the room reset taking quite a while. As well, the employee we dealt with came across slightly rude when we were asking him questions about the room after we were done. This room has been one of the most unique in it’s puzzles, and despite not-so-great service, it really stood out as a super fun room to do. I definitely recommend trying it if you are looking for something outside the typical escape room.
The Swamp at Escape Emporium—well this is our first room at this relatively new establishment and I must say, this room was quite good. We were immediately intrigued by the premise of this room as it’s something we’ve never seen or done before. I’ll skip the rant about having to wait an extra 20 minutes for them to reset the room, but we were not pleased about it. The room itself is quite different than anything we have ever done. The room was quite immersive—the décor and special effects really did make you feel like you were in a swamp. For hints, they have a monitor inside the room and a clue card that you present in front of the camera which they would then type out hints. It wasn’t as responsive as we would have liked and at one instance they were giving a hint on a puzzle we already completed. As for puzzles and locked boxes, this is where this room sets itself apart from other rooms we’ve done. Without giving too much away, this room is a scavenger hunt. You HAVE to look everywhere. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is that searching for clues and locked boxes are quite fun. No stone can be left unturned and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The bad thing is that there wasn’t a great sense of direction and it throws the traditional rules of escape rooms out the window so you can be caught off guard with things you’re actually allowed to do. Also, if your group does not contain someone who is relatively tall, you’re either going have to be really creative or you’re SOL. Anyways, the puzzles were relevant to the theme and quite easy once you have all the knowledge and pieces to solve them. The end task was really interesting and neat. I’d say more hints were burned on the spatial aspect than the puzzles themselves as that’s what seemed to have killed the most time. With only 45 minutes, this room can definitely benefit from a group bigger than three. The game master himself was kind of a douche. I’m not sure if they truly thought out the height issue in a safe and relevant factor given his obnoxious response to the matter. Despite all of that, this room was really good. It served as a good reminder for things we tend to overlook and if this room is truly their beginners’ room, I’d say it’s a fantastic launching pad.
- Different style of gameplay
- Poor hint system