Last Second Escape – Dragon’s Keep (Review)

Location: Richmond, VA

Price: $25 per person

Players: 2-6 (We Recommend 2-3)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Locks aren’t Magical.

Theme:

We landed ourselves a great find, a trove of dragon’s eggs! Like pure idiots, however, we decided to show the king, who has locked them away in a wizard’s tower. We’ve only 60 minutes to take them back before the King’s wizard returns to steal them away forever.

First Impressions:

Like Project 00, we were given a mumbled story about a Dragon and how we needed to recover dragon eggs we had found that were taken by the king. We told we were wizards, but instead of being able to wield magic during our quest like we did within Quest for Honor, I could see that we were going to be relegated to solving spin dials and directional locks like mere mortals.

High Points:

Entering the room, Dragon’s Keep had a lovely set design, similar to the polish of Mine Shift, evoking the spirit of an ancient castle keep. There were a few technological puzzles that began to evoke the feeling of magic that we were told they were going for, but unfortunately there were also several basic locks to muddle through as well, killing the magical mood. The ideas of the room, like most of Last Second Escape’s experiences, are great, but as can be seen below, the execution is lacking.

Low Points:

In a room that we were told was supposed to evoke a sense of magic, there were far too many modern locks, the likes of which you’d find in a high school or in a gym locker room. One puzzle that seemed to rely on correct placement triggered randomly, becoming a room-long joke for our group, and ending by falling completely flat when the tech shorted out, which was, according to an employee, due to pieces falling off of one of the props, which is inexcusable for a new room. Of course, this was noted as “interesting” by said employee, and no apology was offered. Another thing noted as unapologetically “interesting” by this employee was that a certain puzzle within the room had two valid solutions as presented, though only one worked, which caused us extreme frustration. Connective tissue throughout game flow was non-existent, leading to incredible confusion and random solutions. Another puzzle within the room was based on colors, which were difficult to see within the dim room, and adding insult to injury, the light sources given did nothing to help illuminate the parts of the puzzle we needed to see. The design of this game was extremely poorly thought out, presenting a nice looking package, but failing to deliver on all other fronts. Because of these many game issues, we needed to call out for a hint on multiple occasions. The first time we did so, we were greeted with two full minutes of silence, wasting our time until we finally grabbed the attention of the game master. This experience was a disaster on multiple levels.

Verdict:

Dragon’s Keep is a beautiful set that is mired in so many basic problems. All facets of our experience were in some way flawed, and we were just happy for it to end. Unfortunate breakdowns in game design and technological interactions leads me to caution against booking this room until it is fixed on multiple levels. If you’d like to check it out anyway, you can do so here.

3/10 (Poor)

Full Disclosure: Last Second Escape provided discounted tickets for our group.

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