Location: Shelby, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5)
Price: $20 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday) $25 (Friday, Saturday) per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Hotels are a naturally creepy place…
From the Uptown Escapes website:
After a tragic fire destroyed the Pleasant City Hotel in 1953, no traces of the 13th floor were ever discovered…no debris, no guests saved, no bodies found. Some say the floor never existed, the staff however, believe it is still very much alive and thriving. No one knows the whole truth, all they know is that sometimes guests never manage to make it up to their rooms, or never make it back down. Will you discover the secret of Pleasant City Hotel? Or will yours be the next name added to the list of mysterious disappearances?
We previously were set to visit Uptown Escapes in July, during our last Charlotte area trip, but the day before we left, the business suffered a freak lightening strike, knocking out their A/C during one of the hottest months of he year! Luckily, we were able to make it out a couple months later, and the owners were very accommodating! The ambiance of Uptown Escapes is readily apparent from the time we entered, with no overhead lights on and lanterns placed strategically about, giving the whole place a spooky feel. I love when the room themes “leak” out into the lobby, and this was an excellent touch to get us in the mood for some creepy escapes!
The mood having been set well from the start, we were led into a simple, yet amazingly designed holding room for the briefing. The way it was set up, there was a constant creeping dread as we were never quite sure what would happen next, or where that happening would come from. After that, we were ushered into a spooky “elevator,” which provided even further creepiness through excellent light and sound design! Arriving on the 13th floor was a breathtaking moment, and the set design itself is top notch, with the whole experience looking appropriately burned out and aged. The room opens up in unexpected ways, allowing for some great interactions while making our way into the titular Room 1306, and providing an amazing puzzling experience while remaining thematically lower tech for the most part.
Where there is technology, it works seamlessly and magically, adding on to the ghostly vibe that is constantly being emitted by this room. The storyline is always evolving as you progress through the room, and the atmosphere and narrative work perfectly with the game flow to provide a true escape adventure that remains completely immersive throughout. There is more than enough to do, via the non linear presentation of the game, and we never found ourselves milling about, waiting for the next part. All puzzles were cleverly implemented, and were a delight to solve.
One puzzle contains a red herring that feels unnecessary, holding up progress but not in a way that felt challenging. I do understand the impetus behind it, but it could’ve been presented differently to preserve challenge without cluing towards a solution that wasn’t there.
Room 1306 is an atmospheric masterpiece, blending awesome set design, fantastic game flow, and an appropriately spooky story into an immersive adventure that enthusiasts and beginners alike are sure to enjoy! I am so glad that we were able to make our way to Shelby in order to experience Uptown Escapes’ haunted hotel, and highly recommend that you do too! You can book your stay in Room 1306 here!
Full Disclosure: Uptown Escapes provided media discounted tickets for our team.