PanIQ DC – Prehistoric (Review)

Location: Washington, DC

Players: 2-7 (We recommend 3-4)

Price: Varies, check here for details

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

History of the World: Part One

Theme:

You and your team are a band of cavemen during the year 6,000 BC. You were out hunting when a terrible storm kicked up, sending you all scattering to search for shelter. Luckily, there was a highly convenient cave nearby! Unluckily, it belongs to a band of cannibals! You’ll need to solve their clever puzzles and escape before they return and put you into their stew! (Why we can’t just walk out of the cave, I’m unsure, but it sure is a unique theme, so let’s roll with it!)

First Impressions:

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Do you see this door? It’s fuzzy and wonderful and I love it.

High Points:

The room was very well decorated, with animal skins, cannibal necklaces, and various cave stones and detritus. The game starts with a small area, and gradually opens up, giving a nice flow, while drip feeding pertinent bits of puzzles. While the story is fairly dark when you think about it, the room itself is very lighthearted and fun, and doesn’t get too caught up in the cannibal grossness. The mostly non-linear, teamwork based focus is enough to keep a group entertained, and the interactions have intuitive logical connections. A few puzzles in particular stand out as either enjoyable tactile experiences, or interesting mechanical activities, and the room as a whole feels satisfying to play with and solve.

Low Points:

I felt as though the theme would have been better served with well hidden technological interactions, or clever “prehistoric” locking mechanisms, as the cannibal cavemen from 6,000 BC had a good number of modern locks and accouterments peppered about their cave. One puzzle felt a little laborious in it’s solving, but was otherwise well implemented. There are a couple tight spots may make accessibility difficult for some players, and having more than 4 or 5 players will more than likely feel very cozy. The room may feel a little simplistic for experienced players, but as PanIQ DC provides private rooms as the default, you can book fewer teammates to customize your difficulty.

Verdict:

Prehistoric is a light-hearted puzzling romp, containing one of the most unique themes I’ve seen lately. The story is light, but the puzzling is solid and well woven into the room. Beginners will be provided with an immersive and fun romp, and it is a good room for enthusiasts to tackle with a smaller group. Book your time inside the cannibals’ cave  here!

7.5/10 (Good)

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