The Escape Trials – Jasper the Great (Review)

Location: Jacksonville, NC

Players: 2-6 (We recommend 2-4)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

I just want to do wizard stuff with my friends.

Theme:

Jasper the Great has been imprisoned within a mystical mirror world! The spell is working towards sealing him away from our reality forever, and the magic, as we’ve come to expect, will finish it’s work in just an hour! It is up to you to enter the reflected tower, work some groovy spells, and bust Jasper out before his time is up! Don’t worry, your game master Hagrid is going to be a blast!*

*Game Master Hagrid may be subject to change. While Escape Room Adventurer loved Game Master Hagrid, his glorious beard unfortunately may not run the room at all times. We also believe Game Master Hagrid should be given a raise and no less than six high fives.

First Impressions:

The Escape Trials greeted us warmly, happy to see us even though we were so very early due to how quickly we escaped at DefCon 1. We enjoyed talking to them about escape rooms, recommending some, and hearing about their favorites in the area, as well as chatting about Dungeons & Dragons! (The Escape Trials runs D&D game nights, which is only the coolest crossover!) Their lobby is quite cozy, and boasts several fun ways to pass the time while you wait for your room.

High Points:

Game Master Hagrid,(who’s real name we totally forgot, sorry Hagrid!), was a blast from start to finish. Game Mastery seems to be The Escape Trial’s strongest point, which makes sense due to their experience with D&D game nights! The room itself had an interesting theme and game mechanic that I enjoyed following the logic of. This allowed for new an interesting puzzles to be revealed while we were working through the adventure. The technical interactions involved were excellently hidden, and popped off in unexpected ways. Several non-linear puzzle threads wove through the game, keeping us all involved with the solving, and once we were able to wrap our heads around the logic of the room, the game flow worked smoothly throughout. Several props were surprising in their utility, and made for involved puzzles that had us hopping from point to point around the room.

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For the purposes of representing our House, Keyed Up temporarily changed our team name to “50 Points to Gryffindor” in celebration of our 2 second victory over Ravenclaw. Not pictured: Hufflepuff or Slytherin.

Low Points:

While the room itself had magical elements, it didn’t capture the fully immersive magical feel overall. It’s a hard to explain feeling, but the best way I can put it is that there were great technical interactions that evoked a magical feeling, but did not quite cross the line into total immersion. The set itself was nice, but still felt more like an office than the lair of a great wizard. I think this may be partially due to the open nature of the room, which feels empty at times. The mirrored theme of the room is a great idea that leads to some interesting puzzle solving, but we didn’t notice what the mirror was meant to be straight away, and I feel like that could be better incorporated with the room. There were several points where more cluing would be preferred, as certain things go in certain places without a real direction that we could determine without guess and check. The finale was overall anticlimactic, as the room felt like more of a puzzle room on the whole, with the story taking a backseat.

Verdict:

This room definitely felt like a really great, family friendly introductory room. While we did have a few critiques overall, it was still a lot of fun. What really helped the room shine was the attention of the staff and Game Masters who we could definitely tell are very excited to perform their duties! I’d definitely recommend giving it a try as a starter room, or to bring newcomers to the hobby to. Book your time in Jasper’s tower here!

7/10 (Good)

Full disclosure: The Escape Trials provided a media discount for our group.

One thought on “The Escape Trials – Jasper the Great (Review)

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