Location: Durham, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5)
Price: $30 per person
Time to Escape: 45 minutes
That’s a Spicy Eyeball!
The town butcher shop has been under investigation recently after a string of disappearances. Your team of detectives have been on the case, as neighbors have reported suspicious noises and smells coming from the area. Recently, your partner has gone to investigate on his own, but hasn’t come back! I’m sure that’s all just coincidence, and he and the butcher are having a lovely chat over some filet mignon! That’s usually how these things work out, right?
Mission X builds great, high quality sets. Entering the dark Butcher Shop started our experience out with the right tone and was just eerie enough to foreshadow the surprises to come. We were told that this room was their hardest, with a very low escape rate, so we came prepared to puzzle our hearts out, hopefully not literally!
Our descent into each layer of the Butcher Shop was well themed. Props were very high quality, and each room felt just a little more unhinged as we found more clues to take us deeper into the story. Mission X likes to use technology in their rooms, and all of these interactions worked smoothly and were interestingly utilized. I particularly enjoyed the big reveal we found near the end, as well as a hidden clue that helped us sort out the room. Puzzles flowed one into the next fairly well, and there were a couple distinct puzzle threads groups can split up to conquer. The use of space feels natural and nothing feels like it goes to waste.
For how well the room was themed, the dreaded Do Not Touch sticker abounded. I understand the purpose of these stickers, but they always feel out of place and pull you from the immersion unless used very sparingly. Mission X’s hint system also breaks immersion, as staff members come into the room to help you out. I appreciate that they pause the clock for you while they do so, but it would be much more immersive to have a hint system that just used the intercom. One puzzle solution felt a little goofy and out of place, but it was a minor one and didn’t detract overmuch. Our final escape felt a little anticlimactic, and we weren’t 100% sure we were done, (even with the final door unlocked,) as our Gamemaster was not there to congratulate us at the end. This lead us to roam a little bit in the hall, confused. I did, however, get to shoot back through the room in the pitch dark to call them just in case, and the walk through the now completely dark room was creepy and fun.
Mission X’s hardest room felt moderately challenging, if a little short, to our experienced group. We did capture the room record, with around 14ish minutes to spare, and therefore got our picture at the top of their Wall of Fame, which is an exciting touch. 45 minute rooms always feel oddly paced since we’re used to the industry average of an hour, but the Butcher Shop flowed well. Overall, this was an enjoyable room that I think escape room fans will enjoy, but beginners might be overwhelmed by. I’d recommend at least a couple rooms of experience before attempting the Butcher Shop. Book your investigation of the Butcher Shop here!