Masterpiece Escapes – Missing (Review)

Location: Indian Trail, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-6)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Killer Real Estate

Theme:

Twenty years ago in Harper’s Ferry, young Malachi Taylor went missing and he was followed by another 13 people who disappeared over a two month period. It was always suspected that the hermit Eugene Dutton was to blame, but nothing was ever proven. Now, decades later, people have started to vanish again, and it’s up to you to investigate Eugene’s house and figure out what’s been going on before you too go missing!

First Impressions:

As a unabashed fan of horror themed escape rooms, I was excited to hear that Masterpiece Escapes was building their own take on the ubiquitous serial killer theme. Having experienced their other rooms, full of well designed secrets and twists, I knew that this one would be special! After walking inside, I was sure that I wasn’t wrong on that point!

High Points:

Masterpiece Escapes continues to surprise our veteran group with even more cleverly hidden secrets, original puzzles and a room that turns some of the usual serial killer escape room tropes on their head. The introduction to the room was again delivered in an exciting way by a live actor, and set up the mystery in an interactive way. Meticulously decorated set design helps drive the tense narrative towards the big reveal and beyond! Puzzles were intuitive without being simple, and were integrated into the theme well. Also, the hand-crafted nature of Masterpiece’s puzzles lent this room a more authentic feel, tying together the 70s inspired house and decor in a convincing way. Technology is peppered throughout the room to give the experience a spooky feel, and mounting horror it instills adds to the thrill of this adventure!

Low Points:

One of the focal points of the late game is initially overwhelming, but proves to be manageable. However, it still requires a fair amount of guess and check due to several repeat types of lock entry. After a large and exciting buildup, the climax doesn’t quite deliver a big payoff, but the room as a whole doesn’t suffer from this.

Verdict:

With Missing, Masterpiece Escapes takes a common escape room theme and weaves it into a unique and exciting adventure! I always go into their rooms expecting to be amazed, and this room is no exception. I highly recommend escape room fans and lovers of all things spooky to give this one a shot! You can book your investigation into the old Sutton house here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Masterpiece Escapes provided media discounted tickets for our team.

Escape Plan Columbia – Missing (Review)

Location: Columbia, SC

Players: 2-10 (We Recommend 4-6)

Price: $28 per person

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

Gone Baby, Gone

Theme:

You’ve been kidnapped by an elusive serial killer, and a team of detectives are trying to find and save you. You’ll have to work together to solve the puzzles and escape before he returns to finish you all off!

First Impressions:

The fairly sparse and generic serial killer theme is still one of my favorite overall guilty pleasures as far as escape rooms go, so I wasn’t overly worried to that point, and when we were told that we’d be separated into two groups, one for the kidnapped victims and one for the detectives, I was fairly excited for this twist. We were briefed just outside of our respective rooms, blindfolded, and set upon the room.

High Points:

The split up as detectives and victims idea was interesting, even though it didn’t play out excellently. Room flow was alright once we were reunited and there were a couple surprises here and there to keep us on our toes. Emphasis on teamwork was appreciated, and worked as intended.

Low Points:

As the kidnapped, my group was locked in a sparse room and had our end of the puzzles solved pretty quickly, and did what little we could to help our teammates. There were several minutes we spent sitting on the floor wishing we were in the next room while we waited for the detectives to figure out how to get us together. Once we had been reunited, we found that the detectives were next to done with most of the puzzles in their room, so we weren’t able to help much there. Due to poor gating, it is very likely that many groups will have the same issue of waiting around for the other group to figure out which puzzle gets everyone back together. Once we entered the final stage of the game, it didn’t take overlong for us to finish up, as the game was fairly sparse overall. Puzzles weren’t overly exciting, and themeing was sparse. For all the good ideas in the beginning, we were fairly unimpressed with the execution. The fact that one group of us were detectives and one were victims could’ve been played up for much better effect, but was sadly just a reason to split us up.

Verdict:

Missing has a few good ideas to start off, but fails to execute properly. Puzzles are overall pretty banal, and do little to excite. There are a couple interactions that lend a fun bright spot, but don’t quite overcome the overall average nature of the room. A major retooling would be necessary for me to recommend this room, but for now, I cannot. If you’d like to check it out, however, you can do so here.

4/10 (Subpar)

 

Full Disclosure: Escape Plan Columbia comped our tickets for this room.