Captive Escape Rooms – Dracula’s Library (Review)

Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Players:  2-7 (We Recommend 2-3)

Price: $27 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Once again… welcome to my house.

Theme:

A team of Victorian investigators, you’ve been looking into a string of disappearances plaguing your city. You’ve not made much headway until you receive a missive from a mysterious contact, inviting you to dinner to discuss what he knows about the case. Intrigued, you meet with your mystery contact, who seems cordial, until you pass out from something he slipped in your drink! When you awake in an old library, you’re met with a note explaining that you’ve been kidnapped by Dracula, and have only 60 minutes before sunrise, when he’ll return!

First Impressions:

The lobby is very nice, and includes a comfortable couch, along with a guest book to write notes to future captives! Props along the wall got us excited for our post room picture, and the staff was engaging and courteous. The briefing delivered the rules and story in a concise manner, and allowed us to get to the puzzling quickly.

High Points:

The later parts of the room felt more like the library and lounge of a Victorian Vampire, and the searching around the room was satisfying. Several ah-ha moments granted good closure to many of the puzzles and were overall interesting. Props were tactile and fun to play with, and the story setup was well delivered. One particular puzzle helped bring in a sense of realism by delivering a tactile interaction that felt natural for the room that it occurred in.

Low Points:

The library itself was incredibly sparse for such a well funded and aged vampire, and many props were off theme for the time period. The final puzzle was extremely unintuitive, and inexact. Too many possible solutions and a reliance on murky logic spoils what should be a climactic moment. Again, as in Charlotte’s Attic, it is a very linear room, which is alright for a small group, but many more than 3 are going to have people standing around waiting for something to do. The hint system here is unfortunately the same as in the Attic, breaking immersion due to the failure to include the now standard cameras and sound systems. Staff must enter the room and have your group explain where you currently are in the room, which is never good for room flow. Some out of place puzzles feel off theme, but aren’t overly prevalent, but the overall flow of the room does not work as well as it should, due to a lack of intuitive cluing.

Verdict:

Captive delivers another competent room that feels as if it’s from the earlier days of escape rooms. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, innovations among other rooms have launched the industry much farther, and seasoned players may be slightly disappointed. Beginners may have trouble, as the room relies on a bit murkier logic at times, and enthusiasts will appreciate the theme, though should not expect too much technology. Again, I can recommend, as it is an overall fun experience, but players should be forewarned that the rooms, while enjoyable, are not on the cutting edge. You can book your time in Dracula’s Library here!

 

6/10 (Alright)

Captive Escape Rooms – Charlotte’s Attic (Review)

Location: Myrtle Beach, SC

Players:  2-7 (We Recommend 2-3)

Price: $27 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Redrum! Redrum!

Theme:

Your team of investigators has recently picked up an old case file regarding the murder/suicide of a single father and his two young girls. Something about the file irks you, as it seems not to be the open and shut case the police made it out to be. You’ve arrived on the scene, and have an hour to find out what really happened in Charlotte’s Attic.

First Impressions:

The location Captive calls home is a very impressively creepy older building. Climbing the stairs to the lobby is part of the fun, as the dark wood and antique mirror set the tone for their more horror based rooms. They have a very comfortable lobby and a great, customer service focused staff. The briefing was concise and delivered the rules without fluff.

High Points:

The room itself was themed very nicely, and had the feel of a dilapidated old attic down well. The room felt immersive in that it’s soundtrack and the dark, foreboding atmosphere of the room heightened the creep factor. The puzzles were fun to solve for a small group, though the later puzzles were definitely the best, as they were the most tangible and related to the story very well. The storyline and ending were well done, and the paranoia and madness were delivered in a slowly building way. There was a definite cohesive flow between puzzles that worked well.

Low Points:

The hint system is not well done. Staff do not have any interaction with the room unless you ring the doorbell to summon them, and then explain where in the process you are. There are no cameras or sound hooked up, so your group is led into the room, and are not monitored in any way, leading to such a frustrating and immersion breaking hint system. Progression is extremely linear, which, for our group of 2 was not bad, but any more than that, and you may feel you have too many cooks in the kitchen. Puzzles were competent for the most part, but some random math and off theme puzzles felt out of place, overall.  In the middle of summer and on the second floor, this room did not have air conditioning and as such, it was absolutely sweltering in the room. Though the rooms had only been open for a month, it seems counterintuitive to open the room to the public before ensuring the a/c works. Presumably this is being fixed, but I’d make sure it’s 100% done before booking.

Verdict:

Charlotte’s Attic delivers an immersive and creepy experience, but the game is easily marred should you need a hint, as the system for hint delivery leaves much to be desired. A larger group will have trouble finding something for everyone to do, but a smaller group will be well entertained. The room is a solid classic experience, but does not innovate much in today’s market. Beginners will definitely enjoy this introductory experience, while enthusiasts will find the theming immersive, though they may escape much quicker. I recommend trying this one out if you’re in the area, as it definitely is more of a classic, early escape room experience. You can book your time in the Attic here!

 

6.5/10 (Alright)