Bahamas Hiatus!

The Escape Cat prepares for vacation!

This week, Escape Room Adventurer is taking a much needed week long vacation to the Bahamas, and will return with content next week! Happy Escaping, and we’ll see you next week for more in depth escape room and subscription box reviews!

Game On Escape Rooms – Cat Burglar (Review)

Location: Morehead City, NC

Players: 2-5 (We recommend 3-4)

Price: $29 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Burglary for Fun and Profit!

Theme:

Your team of world (in)famous cat burglars has infiltrated the home of the billionaire CEO and Guinness Record holder for silliest name, Mr. Bestunkovich in order to find and steal the account numbers of all his offshore accounts! This should be a simple job for your team, but Mr. Bestunkovich is crafty and has hidden everything away behind devious puzzles! If you can solve the mysteries before Mr. Bestunkovich returns, you’ll be able to retire from the thieving life somewhere tropical, but if not, Bestunkovich will probably beat you to death with his ridiculous name! Bestunkovich, Bestunkovich, Bestunkovich. I love that stupid name.

First Impressions:

Previously, we’d visited Game On Escape Rooms’ sister location in Cary, NC to do their excellent MacGregor Manor room, which we enjoyed so much, we decided to look into visiting their Morehead City location as soon as possible! We definitely expected great things, and (spoiler alert!) we were not disappointed! The staff was also a delight to interact with, and provided a top notch experience from start to finish!

High Points:

For the most part, the set within Cat Burglar is extremely well done, and provides a great sense of immersion upon stepping into the room. Though the room is smaller, the maximum is capped at 5, which prevents the room from becoming overly stuffed, as we have seen at other businesses, some of which max out at ridiculous numbers they don’t have the space or puzzles for. Gameplay weaves smoothly between non-linear and linear as the adventure progresses, and there always feels like there is something for everyone to be working on, as clues are peppered expertly throughout the experience. The game itself has several surprises up its sleeve, managing to provide new and engaging interactions to our group of grizzled escape room veterans! Cat Burglar also manages to subvert expectations in places fantastically, and provides humor within the room without seeming to try too hard, something of a rarity in most escape rooms. The game flow allows for the energy to last the entire adventure, and left us wanting more, in the best way!

Low Points:

The set design during the later stages tended to taper off, becoming less intricate as we moved further in the game. Unfortunately, one prop that was integral to a certain puzzle did not work, but staff did stop our time in order to correct the issue. One particular puzzle was fun, but felt out of place within the theme.

Verdict:

We went into Game On Escape Rooms expecting a certain level of quality, due to our experiences nearer to home, and they were absolutely met! Cat Burglar was easily a highlight of an already fantastic trip to the coast, and I would urge players new and old to give it a shot! Book your daring heist here!

8/10 (Great)

Full disclosure: Game On Escape Rooms provided a media discount for our group.

The Deadbolt Mystery Society – The Haunting of Indigo House (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

Follow the spirits!

Theme:

From the Deadbolt Mystery Society website:

The ominous shadow of Bleak Lily has clouded the public’s opinions of Indigo House for the past hundred years, turning it into a paranormal hotspot frequented by all manner of supernatural enthusiasts.  A local ghost story rooted in bits of truth, the tale of Bleak Lily is actually the tragic story of Lily Abernethy, one of the estate’s original owners who took to haunting the house after a suspicious and untimely demise.  In the years after Lily’s passing, numerous people have died on the grounds of Indigo House, and although there is never anything to prove that the ghost of Lily Abernethy is to blame, people still whisper that the bloodshed is her handiwork.  The Van Burens bought Indigo House from the Abernethy family around the turn of the 20th century and have done their best to shake off the curse of Bleak Lily.  However, the rumors started up again when the matriarch of the family, Hilda Van Buren, was found dead in her bed.  Was Mrs. Van Buren’s death from natural causes?  Did Bleak Lily claim another casualty?  Or is there something else sinister at work?

First Impressions:

There were even more items than usual included in this box, which was great to see! More puzzles are always welcome, and the quality of props remained a high point of the box. I love supernatural horror the most, so the theme was also a big draw for me with this one!

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Only the spookiest of clues to be found inside!

High Points:

The sheer amount of puzzles and information included provided an even more expansive and immersive experience than usual, and we loved poring over the story! All the bonus items were integral to the investigation, with no fluff, which was fantastic to see. Deadbolt always does an amazing job with world-building, and The Haunting of Indigo House is certainly no exception to that! Further code-breaking is included, per usual, but this box mixes it up well by providing more varied types of deductive and layered enigmas to solve. Most suspects can be eliminated more conclusively in this box, and the motive is quite a bit clearer than it previously was in Asylum, which is a great step in the right direction. Working with a variety of different consultants in this box allows for a nice change of pace allowing us to branch out from the usual case reports. The online component of this experience is expanded greatly, and interweaves within the story quite well. The non-linear nature of this box allowed for us to jump between puzzles whenever we were stuck, and kept the game flow from stalling out.

Low Points:

One particular puzzle was mostly solved by us, but we needed to decipher the initial bit, and were ultimately unable to. This led us to use the hints for the first time, and while the hints were good overall, they didn’t help us with our specific problem, so we still aren’t 100% sure what the puzzle was trying to say. Also, there were some logical leaps we hadn’t experienced before with a Deadbolt box due to the nature of the supernatural mystery, and while that still led to an immersive experience, it made solving certain sections of the mystery a bit more vague than we are used to.

Verdict:

The Haunting of Indigo House introduces a plethora of new puzzles and story elements that really evolves the experience! The adventure itself feels even more expansive than Asylum and Murder in 3B, both excellent experiences in their own right, and points towards even better things to come! As usual, The Deadbolt Mystery Society remains one of our favorite at home experiences, and we certainly recommend subscribing or trying out one of their previous archived boxes! Join the Deadbolt Mystery Society here! Right now, you can get 30% off your first box with the Promo Code TRYDMS!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: The Deadbolt Mystery Society provided a complementary box.

Beaufort Escape Room – Blackbeard’s Quest: The Last Days of Charles Vane (Review)

Location: Beaufort, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $24.95 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Raise the Dead!

Theme:

During his last days, pirate and contemporary of Blackbeard, Charles Vane, hid three objects of power within his fortress. These objects were used to secret away a powerful artifact that could be used to summon forth a great power that would defeat the British Navy once and for all, ensuring that pirates would reign supreme on the high seas! Unfortunately, Vane has died and his fortress is under attack, so it is up to you to locate and use these powerful artifacts to turn the tide or die trying!

First Impressions:

Though Beaufort Escape Room has a humble exterior, once we were inside, the staff greeted us warmly and had us wait in their cozy lobby, which was filled with tabletop escape games and piratical artifacts. I’d heard good things about this room previously, and looked forward to seeing what was in store for our pirate adventure! As an aside, management was very helpful in allowing us to set up private rooms that fit our schedule, and customer service was really great during our planning of this trip!

High Points:

Blackbeard’s Quest was an amazing game full of surprises and charm! The set was smaller, but held an impressive amount of puzzles and fantastic, (sometimes antique!) props. The game flow wove flawlessly through the many non-linear puzzles, all of which  provided quite a few different puzzle types, allowing for the whole team to shine! Technical and mechanical puzzles are integrated into the theme flawlessly, and feel as though they belong among the ever evolving set. There are a few puzzles that provide interesting interactions we had never seen before, including one that adds a fun side quest to the story. Presentation of the more theatrical parts of the adventure are excellently executed, and the timer is provided in a wonderfully original way. The game itself is challenging, but there never felt like a time that we absolutely had to take hints in order to overcome any of the obstacles, which is a rare feat. There is just so much to do and find in this room, weaving together a run of puzzles and story that truly create a fully immersive adventure within the walls of the pirate fortress!

Low Points:

The room itself was fairly narrow in spots, so our group of 4 was sometimes stumbling over each other to get from dot to dot. I definitely think the maximum of 8 would be overly cozy, but the game itself uses the space splendidly!

Verdict:

Blackbeard’s Quest: The Last Days of Charles Vane was definitely our group’s overall favorite room during our trip to the coast! A challenging, but fair, adventure that engaged us all through the fantastic story and tech, I cannot recommend it highly enough! Book your time in Vane’s fortress here! (After your escape, definitely head by Fins Grill afterwards, it’s just down the street and has the most fantastic seafood and a deck overlooking the waterfront!)

9.5/10 (Excellent)

Full disclosure: Beaufort Escape Rooms provided a media discount for our group.

Sleuth Kings – Case 008: The Fate Killer (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $29.95 per box

You can’t stop Fate!

Theme:

The Fate Killer from Case 007 is on the loose and it’s only a matter of time before he kills again! Not only will you have to follow the clues to a new missing person, but you’ll also need to dig into an old case file in order to decipher the puzzles the Fate Killer has left behind and finally bring this elusive serial killer to justice! Work with Sullivan and his grandfather Samuel to unravel the mystery and bring closure to a cold case file from over 30 years ago!

First Impressions:

We have been excited for this case ever since the ending of the last mystery made it clear that Case 008 would be a sequel! The case file was full to bursting with exciting new props and information, and we could barely wait to get started!

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Solve the mystery of the funky blue fidget spinner!

High Points:

This was our favorite Sleuth Kings box yet, and probably one of our overall subscription box favorites to this point, it was just that expertly crafted! The puzzles continued to be a difficult but fair challenge, and everything just fit together so perfectly with the storyline, as well as the events of the previous box. It was clear, however, that you didn’t need to have played the last box to understand what was going on due to the fantastic inclusion of a short recap of the preceding case’s story. Puzzles themselves involved various types of codebreaking and word puzzles, as well as a couple satisfying tactile interactions we always love to see! The inclusion of a clear meta puzzle being built throughout the story was awesome, and it included an awesome a ha moment once it was brought together and solved. The story builds tension excellently, and working with Sullivan and his grandfather changes things up and makes the case feel bigger than usual. The climax of the story is deeply satisfying, and fit with a lot of the things we had said to Sullivan in our emails, which I enjoyed greatly. All in all, we were invested in this story from the start to when we finished about two hours later!

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Another fantastic epilogue, as always.

Low Points:

Though there seemed to be a choice that could change the story, it didn’t seem like the optional side quest was really that optional in the grand scheme of things. We may be wrong, but in our playthrough, it looked like this step required. Not that it wasn’t something we weren’t going to do anyway, though, so it’s definitely a very small thing. One mini puzzle’s solution is still something we cannot figure out, but it was something we didn’t need the answer to in order to move on, as it was just one part of the overall puzzle.

Verdict:

As each new case arrives, Sleuth Kings has become more and more of a must for mystery and puzzle aficionados! If you think you’d be interested in a subscription box and have an affinity for challenging puzzle based adventures, I cannot recommend Sleuth Kings enough! Especially Cases 007 and 008, which can be purchased separately from the Sleuth Kings archives! But don’t stop there, because you can use the promo code ESCAPEADVENTURE to get $5 off your subscription here!

9.5/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Sleuth Kings provided a complementary box.