Mission X – Vampire Manor (Review)

Location: Durham, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5)

Price: $30 per person

Time to Escape: 45 minutes

Dracula’s surprisingly high tech manor

Theme:

Dracula has been terrorizing the Transylvanian countryside for centuries, but his reign is to come to an end tonight! Your team of vampire hunters has finally decided to take on your greatest challenge yet, the Grandfather of all Vampires himself. You’ve broken into his manor home, but you must collect the source of his immortality, a gemstone of immense power. Once you do so, you’ll be able to strike him down and escape! But do it quickly, who knows when he’ll catch you snooping about!

First Impressions:

Dracula’s got a posh little place going on here. Vampire Manor was dimly lit but very well decorated, with a strange assortment of odds and ends hidden around the room. We found a note from Dracula’s most recent thrall to get us started, and these continued to lead us through the story of the room. Where she got the tape to stick these notes around everywhere, I’m unsure, but it’s a minor issue.

High Points:

Props all fit the room very nicely, and there was a plethora of well disguised technology in the room, which helped bolster the supernatural theme this room is going for. Puzzles were imaginative and well thought out, and cluing for each was, on the whole, well done. Sound cues helped ensure that we were given proper feedback on most technological puzzles, and we rarely felt we were at a loss for what to do next. One particular interaction was very original and led up to a very appropriate reveal. The final big puzzle took a good amount of teamwork to solve, and was a lot of fun to figure out.

Low Points:

There were a couple puzzles in particular that seemed like they were out of place, one of which blatantly required the use of technology in what overall felt like a Victorian theme and was fairly poorly clued, while the other required unintuitive leaps of logic. Like in the Butcher Shop, Do Not Touch stickers were overused and took away from the immersion, as did the hint system which requires your Gamemaster to come into the room. We also felt that we hadn’t quite finished once we opened the final door, as not all of the storyline objectives had been conquered, but we were assured that we had, in fact, completed everything.

Verdict:

We very much enjoyed our time in the Vampire Manor, as it evoked a sense of mystery throughout and the puzzles flowed well into each other. The storyline was interesting, though it never seemed to wrap up in a wholly satisfying way. At 45 minutes, it was a fun experience, but I would very much love to see what Mission X could do with a full hour experience. Beginners and enthusiasts alike will enjoy the technologically advanced nature of this room, though I recommend bringing a smaller than maximum group as the room does not seem quite big enough to hold eight players comfortably. Book your faceoff with Dracula here!

Full disclosure, we beta tested this room, (and were the first ever to escape it!) so our tickets were comped and some elements may have changed since our run.

8/10 (Great)

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