Conundrum Escapes – Conjurer’s Dungeon (Review)

Location: Garner, NC

Players:  2-10 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $27.63 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Welcome to the Dungeon!

Theme:

A foul tyrant has taken over the kingdom, but a mystical sword could break the hold she has over the people. Unfortunately, the creator of that sword, a powerful wizard, was trapped in the dungeon and the weapon has gone missing. It is up to you to break into the dungeons and decipher the clues left behind by the wizard to find the sword and ensure the defeat of the evil queen!

First Impressions:

We had a fun time escaping Conundrum’s previous room, Airship Legacy, and were excited to hear that they had opened a new game. Once we had an opening in our escape schedule we booked and had high hopes for this adventure!

High Points:

The latter half of the game is where Conjurer’s Dungeon really shines. One particular prop gives a sense of direction to the rest of the game, and allows the puzzling to flow quite nicely. Connections in this half are clear and direct, without taking away from the challenge of the room. The room is well decorated, if sparse, due to it’s nature as a dungeon. The general ambiance of the room feels chilly and appropriately lonely. One puzzle in particular I really enjoyed due to it’s engagement of a sense that’s rarely used in escape rooms.

Low Points:

The first half of the game was a slog, as much needed cluing and direction was absent. This led to too much ambiguity and murky logic, as well as a fair amount of wasted time trying to find the path we were meant to be following. A good bit of iteration and the addition of clues to fully flesh out the challenges during the beginning would go a long way towards ensuring the room flows well and feels logically balanced. Especially with one main puzzle being original and well implemented, but obtuse if you don’t already know the solution. The room gets better after the initial unclear puzzles, but the frustration lingers through the rest of the experience. A large amount of unclued scavenging comes across as more of a time sink, and doesn’t provide as entertaining an experience as a few more puzzles might.

Verdict:

Conjurer’s Dungeon is an uneven experience that starts weakly, but finishes strong(er), so I’m sure with a bit of finesse and iteration, this room can be great. Currently, however, I can’t recommend it due the lack of connective tissue between many of the puzzles and the frustration that causes. In the meantime, I still recommend trying out Airship Legacy and am confident that with a bit of tweaking, Conjurer’s Dungeon can be a great challenge. You can book your time in the Dungeon here!

5/10 (Mediocre)

Full Disclosure: Conundrum Escapes provided media discounted tickets for our group.

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