Location: Hudson, NC
Players: 2-10 (We recommend 3-5)
Price: $20 per person Tuesday-Thursday, $25 per person Friday-Saturday
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Riddle of the Sphinx
From the Xscape website:
You are part of an archaeological excavation of a CURSED Egyptian tomb. Traps have stripped your fate. Doors have closed and you will run out of air in 60 minutes. Egyptian head pieces, real sand, lighting, pneumatics, and other special FX and props work together in order to create an extravagantly detailed environment like no other. This escape adventure features not only one but three rooms! The Curse of the Mummy escape room & puzzle adventure creates an immersive experience that feels like you’re right in the middle of a movie!
After the excellent Bomb Squad, it was time to travel to Xscape’s Egyptian tomb, which we were excited to explore from the moment we stepped in! The quality of Bomb Squad and the amazing set design that Xscape usually develops ensured that Curse of the Mummy was a highly anticipated experience!
Set design at Xscape continued to be amazing and immersive inside Curse of the Mummy, providing a Hollywood style set that truly wowed us. This is definitely their most theatrical room of the two currently open, and it was noted that this one definitely made our teammates feel as though they were working through an adventure movie. The storyline to accompany the escape was simple, but effective, and wove throughout the puzzles in a convincing way. Some subtle nods to Indiana Jones and other adventure movies in the genre are peppered here and there, and serve as engaging and immersive easter eggs for fans of those films. Some of my favorite puzzles within this room engage players with large scale set pieces and tactile interactions that really pull the player into the experience superbly. In fact, the game’s opening is very interactive, and serves to set the tone for the experience immediately by inserting the GM’s involvement in as a part of the story itself, rather than a disembodied hint giver.
The game flow presents an excellent challenge, and is generally non-linear for the most part, which allows for larger groups to stay fully engaged. Several puzzles also rely on teamwork, and these are woven in during what would usually be major choke points, so the design is well implemented in these parts. Connections between inputs and solutions are well done, with no guess and check required during the experience, which is always nice to see.
One early lock was already open when we came across it, possibly allowing us to solve the room out of order. A few boxes were left locked when we completed the room, but when we inquired if we had skipped anything, we were told these were just red herrings. At one point in the game, we came across several riddles, which fit the theme of riddle of the Sphinx, but are still based off outside knowledge that doesn’t translate well to escape rooms. One of these riddles in particular feels very out of place, theme-wise. The climactic moment of the room was a fun and interesting puzzle, but it too seemed strangely out of place within this ancient Egyptian tomb. One particular puzzle can be solved in a few different orientations, but only one is correct, and the clue to direct players to the proper orientation is a very loose connection at best. Another puzzle is set up strangely, with a solution somehow prompting the answer in a way that was jarring to the immersion and internal logic of the game flow.
Curse of the Mummy is a great experience for those looking for a Hollywood style set and a story that will transport players into their favorite adventure movies! This room is definitely an easier, but not simplistic, room, but new players will find a good challenge, and there are still great conundrums for enthusiasts to enjoy, especially those that prefer great sets and immersive qualities in their escape experiences. Escape the Mummy’s curse here!
Full disclosure: Xscape provided a private experience for our team.