Location: Gastonia, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)
Price: $20 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Great theme, but the execution kept us from falling in love.
Pa done caught Bo and Penelope kissin’ down by the river! As a God fearing man, he cannot let such foolishness stand, and is forcing them to get married. Bo and Penelope aren’t ready for domestic life, however, and have asked you to break into Pa’s barn to steal the rings, ensuring the wedding cannot proceed.
I didn’t know this before booking, but Xtreme Xcapes is located inside of a mall, which, as I’ve heard from the Enthusiast community, is a bad sign. Once we had made our way to the room’s lobby, it did seem a bit more like pop up experiences than most sets, and therefore a bit cheaper looking than usual. The actual room itself did convey the theme well, and was overall very cute.
The themeing of the room was surprisingly well done for a mall game, and did feel like a barn. It was overall spacious enough to explore and seems like it would fit the max players comfortably. It was situated far back enough that we were unable to hear any mall noises and utilized some fun country props. The story was very original and allowed us to have fun with what was an overall average experience.
Possible allergens are present within the room that while they add to the barn feel, should be noted beforehand as a possible irritant. Puzzles fit the theme on the surface, but overall felt like they were there because this was an escape room instead of part of the environment. The connective tissue between puzzles was sparse, and guess and check was required for a few of them as no clues as to order were given in some cases. One puzzle was unintentionally gross, and may put some off immediately. The reveal of one part of the room was extremely underwhelming, and felt a bit hollow. Having any more than 4 players will leave others standing around, as there aren’t many lines of puzzling to follow. Though the room was large, most of it was empty space, with precious few puzzles and clues.
This room was overall just alright, as the theme was fun and caught our interest, but was lacking substance. In fact, our group of 4 were able to bust out in a little over 23 minutes, leaving us with 36 minutes to spare, which is probably the fastest I’ve ever escaped. Enthusiasts will be able to solo the room quickly, but beginners may enjoy the experience. Overall the entertaining theme but underwhelming room and use of space make for what feels like a missed opportunity. The owners noted that they are constantly working on improving their rooms, but at this point, Shotgun Wedding is just an average experience at best. You can book your escape here!