Cracked It Escape Games – DefCon-1 Red Alert (Review)

Location: Midway Park, NC

Players: 2-6 (We recommend 3-4)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Vault (DefCon) 1


It’s the day you had prepared for, but hoped would never come. A nuclear alert has been sounded, and you must quickly gather your friends and family to take shelter in your state of the art fallout shelter. Unfortunately, something has gone wrong, and the life support systems are offline! Try as you might, you aren’t able to get them working, as the keys have all gone missing! Scour your shelter, and solve the conundrums, or all your preparation will have been in vain!

First Impressions:

We have wanted to find a good “Fallout” style nuclear bunker for a while, but unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to find one that was up to our expectations. We’d been planning a trip to Cracked It, however, and had heard great things about DefCon-1, so we were cautiously optimistic! From the spacious lobby, we could see the excellently designed façade of the bunker, and from that small teaser, we knew we were in for something special!

High Points:

This room was absolutely on point from start to finish. During a trip that was full of amazing experiences, this one certainly kept the excitement going! Set design is awesome, and the attention to detail that was given to the room is absolutely top notch, with small hints and puzzles generously peppered about the adventure. The interactions and puzzles within were, for the most part, brand new to all of us, and delivered ah ha moment after ah ha moment in the most satisfying ways! In fact, the puzzles themselves were so intuitive, that we were able to solve a couple even when we accidentally played on a personal hard mode, missing the extra clues cleverly hidden around the room. The hint delivery system was perfectly on theme and worked beautifully through an enjoyable to use prop. In fact, the props within the room were all so fantastic to interact with and expertly integrated with the room. Even though we broke out with over a half hour to spare, this was yet another room that made us feel like we were part of the experience for so much longer, it’s that immersive! My only regret is that we didn’t have time to experience Cracked It’s other two rooms during this trip! Next time!


Keyed Up does it again!

Low Points:

One particular puzzle reminded me of one of my least favorite duties during Christmas time, and while it made sense within the theme, it was more frustrating than interesting as an interaction. One other interaction involved scavenging, and while the answer was obvious, it felt like an unnecessary step rather than a full on puzzle.


DefCon-1 was absolutely the fallout shelter escape room that we were hoping for! An expertly built set that houses a fun story and amazing, well crafted puzzles, this adventure is absolutely one of the best in North Carolina! There’s something for everyone to love in this game, and I highly recommend you plan a trip out as soon as possible! Book your time in the fallout shelter here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full disclosure: Cracked It Escape Games provided a media discount for our group.