6th Se6se Escapes – Asylum (Review)

Location: Clayton, NC

Players:  2-6 (We recommend 2-3)

Price: $27.75 plus a $.69 booking fee per person (With the option to make the experience private for a flat $150 added on.)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

That way lies madness


The old Asylum is meant to become an elegant hotel soon, but the workers keep coming across explainable phenomenon! It’s up to your team of ghost hunters to eradicate the spectral menace, and ensure the Asylum is free of ghosts. You have sixty minutes.

First Impressions:

6th Se6se seemed to have some good ideas for themes, if not business names, and were on the way during one of our most recent escape trips, so we thought we’d give them a shot. The lobby was interestingly decorated, and we had checked out a couple of pretty great businesses earlier in the day, so we were jazzed and ready to give another few rooms a go!

High Points:

The system for delivering clues to each other while split up between rooms is pretty awesome, if slightly difficult to reach for shorter players. The first part of the room does encourage a good bit of teamwork, and communication back and forth is absolutely key to getting the team back together. There is quite a bit to do within the room, however, it is very hit or miss, and the mantra, “quality over quantity” came to mind frequently. This is also 6th Se6se’s most original room, for what it’s worth.

Low Points:

The room starts out in a pretty poor fashion, with our GM jumping in over the walkie talkie to ask us if we want a hint since pretty much everyone needs a hint for the first puzzle. Not the best way to start, as if everyone needs the hint, why not incorporate it into the game via a in room clue? The puzzle itself also required leaps of logic that made little sense, and was a puzzle type that is widely despised, furthering the negative first impression. Beyond that, the rooms are very first gen, which is not an issue in itself, but a lot of the locks repeat, so there is entirely too much guess and check after solving a puzzle which becomes tiresome. This could be alleviated by adding in some in game method of tying locks to puzzles, which tends to be the norm. There were also particular locks that were pointed out to us before the game that were known to be overly finicky, and there was no reason not to replace these with better functioning locks. True to form, these locks were difficult to open and it’s very frustrating that the owners know the locks are temperamental, yet haven’t replaced them with better locks. There was also a reset failure for one box, which was already set to the code needed to open it.

Asylum was filled to the absolute brim with escape room sins. The first was a seeming love affair with the black light we found, which needed to be shined everywhere because of reasons. No direction at all, just lazy, shine the light on everything “puzzles.” An extremely common escape room code was used over and over, padding out the game time in a way that added absolutely nothing positive to the experience. Very frequently, the victory of opening a lock was confounded when all that was found inside was a random key or yet another locked box, ultimately destroying any sense of satisfaction or progression we could eke out from the room. There’s a lot of junk in the room as well, leading to an extremely messy set, even though we tried our best to stay organized, per usual. This was exacerbated by the room’s inability to comfortably hold the six escapists we brought, much less the maximum of eight that was advertised. Luckily, we weren’t joined by any strangers, or we probably would’ve been crammed in there even more uncomfortably. Most puzzles involved some Herculean leaps of logic, with one making next to no sense, essentially requiring us to spin the last dial for reasons unknown.

Truly, this room is just an absolutely miserable time.


The Asylum has some good ideas in theory and 6th Se6se’s best set, but it’s not quite good enough to overcome the bland puzzling and the uncomfortable nature of the escape room itself. Unfortunately, this is also their best room. If you’re really desperate for an escape room, it might do the trick, but there are others within a thirty minute drive that’ll scratch that itch way better than this one. Even worse, this room is one of the most expensive in the area, and it certainly does not live up to the almost thirty dollar price point. I don’t recommend booking here, but if you would like to get trapped in this particular Asylum, you can do so here.

3.5/10 (Poor)

The Deadbolt Mystery Society – Asylum (Review)

Location: Your Home!

Players:  We recommend 1-4

Price: $24.99 per box, plus $4.99 shipping

We’re all mad here!


The Saturn Hills Asylum has been shaken by the murder of the Judas Killer, Wolfgang Koch! The circumstances of his murder have police baffled, so the Mayor of Valley Falls has contacted you to help solve the case. This one’s a doozy, though, as most of the suspects are the manipulative and murderous patients at the Asylum! Sift through the evidence and find out what sort of insane plot caused the Judas Killer to be hanged!

First Impressions:

The sight of another fantastically designed Deadbolt Mystery Society box on my doorstep was a highlight of my day! Opening up this box revealed a much heftier second case from Deadbolt, which is always a great surprise! We enjoyed Deadbolt’s first case Murder in 3B quite a bit, so seeing that there was even more to solve this go round was excellent! Already our favorite subscription box, we were excited to delve into this twisted mystery.


Another crazy mystery begins!

High Points:

Asylum absolutely upped the ante with their second box! Not only does the mystery include more props and evidence to go through, the mystery itself is much more involved, including numerous side stories, online components, and great codebreaking to tackle. Though the side stories aren’t quite as humorous as their previous box, they are engaging and provide realistic clues that immerse you into the world and social dynamics of Saturn Hills Asylum perfectly. We were happy to see that hints and the solution document were separated from the in universe files, which kept us within the world of the Asylum. The puzzles are presented in a believable way, with hidden details pointing you toward each new breakthrough. The props are great, and fit with the theme well, intertwining with the mystery and becoming more integral to the story than in most other subscription boxes. One particular Easter egg was hidden in plain sight and provided us with a particularly interesting moment of realization, occurring just in time to begin unraveling a deeper conspiracy than we had originally suspected. The story is self-contained, and resolves with an excellent climax and explanation, while still hinting that we may not have seen the last of Saturn Hills and its colorful cast of characters. Except Wolfgang. You know, on account of the hanging.

Low Points:

Connections could feel a bit more vague during this investigation, and while we correctly determined the killer, it felt like it was due to our full elimination of other suspects rather than solid evidence pointing toward them. Though there are reasons for the suspect to be the killer, we weren’t as 100% sure as we were regarding the Murder in 3B case.


Asylum upped the bar for The Deadbolt Mystery Society and subscription boxes overall, further cementing them as the standard all others should be measured by! Crafting an excellent self-contained mystery that left us wanting more, I cannot recommend this box enough! I’m really hoping we get to see more from the cast of crazed characters residing within Saturn Hills in the future, and cannot wait for next month’s box, The Haunting of Indigo House! Join the Deadbolt Mystery Society here! Right now, you can get 30% off your first box with the Promo Code ESCAPE30! You can also see the rest of our Deadbolt Mystery Society reviews here!

9.5/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: The Deadbolt Mystery Society provided a complementary box.