Location: Mebane, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)
Price: $26.69 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
No Pawn Shop for Old Men.
Your friend Billy drives a taxi, and thought that he had come upon a bit of luck when a laptop was left in his backseat one night. Being the forward thinking and morally upstanding man he is, he immediately took the laptop to a sketchy pawn shop for some quick cash. Unfortunately, the owner of the laptop is back, and is looking for the smuggled diamonds that were stashed inside! Unless you can break into Tiny’s Pawn Shop and find the laptop, Billy will get his (wholly deserved) reward! Watch out for Tiny, though, if he finds you snooping around, he will visit his own brand of justice upon you!
The story is a little bit more uneven here, since I’m not a hundred percent sure why we’re risking our necks for our scumball “friend,” but hey, as long as the game is fun, we’re in!
Puzzles flowed well though gameplay and also physically throughout the space of the room, with clues peppered cleverly throughout, allowing for us to come back to important spots we’d spotted earlier. The puzzles themselves were well thought out, and utilized several convincing props that definitely belonged within a shady pawn shop. The game flow itself was linear, but clues could be found and tagged as we explored the room, ensuring that we always had something to engage with, even if it wouldn’t come into play until later in the game.
We were told at the beginning of the room that we would need to watch out for Tiny, who is hosting a party next door. This turned out to be an explanation for why there was bleed over noise from the group doing The Loft beside us. While we appreciate an in story reason for the bleed over, it was still another group that we could hear very clearly, and I’m sure they could hear us as well. One prop delivered an audio clue that could only be heard once, and if the answer was entered incorrectly, would cease to operate, which could definitely be a problem in the case of accidental missteps in solution entry. Although the set looked like a pawn shop in general, it’s not the most exciting theme to emulate, and gave off an overall banal vibe. A certain puzzle gave us problems as one particular number was unnecessarily difficult to decipher, so we needed to solve the puzzle in a couple different ways, arriving at different answers, and entering all of them in order to unlock the next part of the game.
The Pawn Shop is a competently done escape room that provides an hour of fun that will definitely enchant newcomers, but may not be quite as exciting for enthusiasts. I recommend giving it a shot if you’re new to the hobby, as there are some great escape room standbys to engage with, and the game flow works well. However, it isn’t wholly remarkable when all is said and done, so I’d recommend checking out The Loft or Tarot Card Mystery here instead. You can book your time in Tiny’s Pawn Shop here!