NC Escape – The Attic (Review)

Location: Durham, NC

Players: 2-5 (We Recommend 2-3)

Price: $26 per person

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Don’t tell Mom the Babysitter’s dead!

Theme:

Poor Claire! Her babysitters always seem to disappear on her before they can really start having fun. Her parents, desperate for a night out, have been seeking yet another replacement babysitter, but too many are reticent to take care of the child alone for some reason. You’ve stepped up, however, and are eager to make some extra cash, but things take a strange turn when you’re led to the spooky attic to find Claire’s stuffed animals. She wants to play within the next hour, and you’ll need all of her toys for this game. If you can’t find them, Claire will be very, very disappointed in you.

First Impressions:

NC Escape, save for their Ex Machina room, was an overall mediocre experience, but luckily, new management has taken over and given the whole place a makeover! Having been to the new owners’ other location, Green Light Escape in Wilmington, I knew this would definitely be a much better experience overall.

High Points:

The Attic is one of those rooms that is saturated with surprises that can keep even the most experienced escape enthusiast on their toes for the entire experience. Though some of these surprises relate to the horror genre, many are surprising reveals and amazing game play moments that we really enjoyed. The new NC Escape is astoundingly good at ensuring their secrets remain secret, and the way they are revealed is really fantastic. The early game sets the standard for a highly tactile, and spooky experience that really nails the creeping horror theme well. It never gets overly scary, but the creepiness level is just right for a possibly haunted attic. The latter half of the game opens into a non-linear run of puzzles that ratcheted up the experience on the whole, adding a sense of urgency through the increasingly sinister happenings and revelations we uncovered. The story was woven well into the tapestry of the game, slowly revealing what really happened in this dusty old attic, and the climax of the game was appropriately exciting. Like all good horror experiences, I feel like just the right amount of the story was left mysterious, perhaps setting up a future sequel?

Puzzles we encountered during the game were inserted into the game excellently, utilizing the space to it’s fullest, and ensuring that different puzzlers would all find something that caters to their strengths. All of the puzzles also fit the theme of the game well, adding to the story in a natural way, and ensuring that our satisfying moments of revelation were bolstered by breadcrumbs that delivered hints about the overall story. Technology truly enhanced the experience, adding a enigmatic and supernatural feel to the room, allowing for some hauntingly memorable moments. The game flow was seamless, and we were always sure of what we needed to be working on, but the game definitely did not hand feed us the answers. Challenging from start to finish, it definitely was a team effort to escape Claire’s insidious attic with her toys!

Low Points:

There is a very basic puzzle type that comes up a couple times during the game, and though painless, it isn’t the most interesting interaction to run through twice. A couple of the puzzles can be somewhat ambiguous as to the correct orientation when looking at them, but it is simple to try each solution. However, a more concrete clue for these may help remove the guess and check element from the room. During the early stages of the game, the linearity may create some choke points that result in down time for players in groups bigger than three.

Verdict:

The Attic is a fantastic escape room that delivered a spookily entertaining adventure we won’t soon forget! Great for smaller groups and those looking to be trapped in their own interactive horror movie, I highly recommend checking out this room! Approachable for new players but filled with enough surprises to keep veteran escapees engaged, this is definitely one of the top rooms in the RTP region. Book your time in Claire’s Attic at the new and improved NC Escape here!

8.5/10 (Great)

Full disclosure: NC Escape provided comped tickets for our group.

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