Location: Fayetteville, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5)
Price: $26.50 per person
Time to Escape: 60 Minutes
A Smorgasbord of Spooky Serial Killer Clowns!
A deranged killer has been terrorizing Fayetteville, and now he’s come for you! You’re (possibly) lucky, however, because he hasn’t killed you yet, and it seems like he wants to play a game with you. He’s hidden the evidence from his last kill all around his lair, and if you can find them and make your way out of the room in time, he’ll spare your lives. Promising to pin his spree of chaos and murder on you should you fail, you’d better work quickly!
Having just finished the great Haunted in record time, we were raring to get started with our next Escape Adventure at Xscape Factor! Well, I was at least. The rest of my party does not like clowns. At all. I caught a lot of flak for booking this one, sorry guys! After a short wait, our GM returned to blindfold us and lead us into the lair of the most psychotic clown we’d ever seen.
Usually with horror themed rooms, things are spookily themed rather than going for out and out terror. This was definitely not one of those rooms. The creep factor was severely high within Circus of the Damned, and I definitely liked how horrific the room felt at the beginning. As we puzzled, the uneasiness died down, but the set design provided excellent ambiance throughout. A fairly linear room, the Circus still kept us all fully entertained while we worked through the twisted machinations of the killer clown. Puzzles are varied, and bigger ones are doled out slowly as we continued to solve, allowing for everyone to start solving different parts of the room in tandem. There was a lot of fun tech, and only a few mechanical locks, ensuring that the game flow felt varied, and that the answers all had logically sound places to go. The room itself slowly got creepier and darker as we moved through the story, leading us down into the most crazed parts of the killer’s mind.
The storyline is a bit of a jumble, as it seems that the clown is going to frame you for the murders he committed, but he also says he’s going to flay you alive? If you go missing because he killed you, it seems like the frame job would be vastly hard to pin, but we went with it. He’s a psycho anyway, right? There was only one light in the room cycling between several different colors, which helped establish the ambiance, but at the same time made solving some of the color based puzzles much more difficult than they had any right to be. Players with poorer vision will definitely have a hard time with this. This is alleviated in the second half of the room, but just barely. The final puzzle was fun to solve, but unfortunately, the tech fizzled out even though we had the correct code, leading to an ending that fell a bit flat, as we had to confirm our answer with the GM and just… walk out.
Circus of the Damned is a fun if sometimes uneven room that provides a chilling serial killer story and excellent game flow. I’d recommend trying it out if you have an affinity for the horrific and decent vision! The story in this one gets really dark (story-wise and lighting-wise) though, so if you don’t like that sort of thing, I’d check out the less scary, more spooky Haunted instead! You can book your trip to the Circus of the Damned here!
Full Disclosure: Xscape Factor provided Media Discounted tickets for our team.