Speedway Escapes – Sorcerer’s Quest (Review)

Location: Harrisburg, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-5)

Price: $27 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Merlin, who?

Theme:

From the Speedway Escapes website:

Your team of adventurers will enter the mystical chambers of a powerful warlock. Your quest is to find the sacred crystal of the Ancients by solving clues and combing your Magick. There is only one hour to locate and return the crystal to its rightful owner and keep it from being used to cast a spell extinguishing the sun and plunging our world into darkness. Can you save the world from eternal darkness? Remember in Sorcerer’s Quest You control the Magick!

First Impressions:

Speedway Escapes was a new spot we’d heard good things about, and not too far away from our usual haunts in Charlotte, NC, so we made the trek out to try their two rooms. Boasting set designs inspired by haunt attractions, I was very excited to see how they stacked up! A good set alone does not a great escape room make, but luckily, it seemed their puzzles would be up to the task as well.

High Points:

Upon stepping into the room, the first thing I noticed was how incredibly spacious Sorcerer’s Quest was. I’ve been in rooms that boasted a 14 player maximum that were nowhere near the size of this one, and even though most puzzles took place on the periphery, the experience never felt sparse, nor the room empty. I absolutely commend Speedway Escapes for building a large, comfortable space to puzzle in while still limiting the player groups to a maximum size that conforms to the limits of the game flow, rather than the size of the room. Set design was, as we suspected, lovely, and gave off the feel of a huge, ancient castle perfectly, and the lighting effects and soundtrack added excellently to the whole immersion of the experience. This shone through best via the responsiveness of puzzles, making it easy to know when we were on the right track, and when a solution was correct, the trigger was immediate and noticeable. Most of these puzzles were well integrated into the theme, and minus a physical lock or two, (all of which fit within the world of the room,) everything is a magical, tech based experience.

The game flow within the room is very accommodating to larger groups, with a non-linear run of tasks that allowed all six of us to become fully engrossed with the experience. Never did it feel as if we were standing around, waiting for the next part of the room to open up, and I think the maximum of eight players will be more than comfortable in the bounds of the game. Many of the enigmas within Sorcerer’s Quest were eminently creative, and a couple were ones I’d not seen before, or classic conundrums that were twisted in original ways to present something fresh. Several were in the running for my favorite until we reached the final puzzle, which was a logical interaction that was enormously satisfying to solve. The climax of the room is fantastic; finishing up with a great reveal and just enough fanfare to have us all smiling and ready for more!

Low Points:

Audio tracks for spoken lines were somewhat spotty, which was more noticeable in contrast to the great soundtrack. While that came through very crisply, voices could come across as crackly or muted, when a more booming, magical presence was called for. Some props in the room have started to become worn, and could use a touch up or two to ensure everything still looks fresh. Finally, a particular addition to the room was a cute idea that added a small surprise here and there, but was too close to being a puzzle, and created a red herring for us.

Verdict:

Sorcerer’s Quest is Speedway Escape’s first room, and it’s a knockout! Despite a few minor issues, it’s an amazing time, with some cleverly original challenges and a highly immersive set design to boot. Enthusiasts will have a great time dividing and conquering the adventure’s non-linear game flow, and new players will find the experience immediately approachable. Book your time holding back the darkness here!

8.5/10 (Great)

Full Disclosure: Timed Out provided comped tickets for our group.

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