Location: Mebane, NC
Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-5)
Price: $26.69 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
From Mind Games of Mebane’s website:
You find yourself in jail. Red entrusted you with her suitcase. You realize that Red’s wedding ring, wedding dress and red cape are gone. Can you save the wedding? If you don’t, Red will be devastated… and vengeful.
The theme here is very ambitious and outlandish, so we were very excited to see how it would be pulled off. An adult themed room that seemed to be a mashup of The Hangover and Disney Princesses sounded like one of the most original rooms we’d heard of, (Vampires v. Unicorns notwithstanding.) Needless to say, after the excellent Tarot Card Mystery, we were ready to see what Mind Games of Mebane had cooked up!
The story as conveyed by the room is very playful and contains some fantastic twists that we definitely did not see coming! This is easily the main draw of the room and it pays off very well. Some of the puzzles are fiendishly difficult but follow a great internal logic that follows smoothly and conveys a proper sense of accomplishment to the players when they’re solved. One initial puzzle sees an escape room mainstay tweaked partially, turning it into a much more gratifying, (and challenging!) interaction. The rooms were very large and were more than comfortable for our group while we worked on the many non-linear challenges presented.
Once Upon a Hangover’s theme is highly original, but the humor of the room often falls squarely within the realm of toilet and body part jokes, which we felt were a little immature for the age restriction of 16+. The main room was, due to the theme of the day after a debaucherous party, trashed, but this didn’t really work well as part of the room’s mechanics since it just felt like a lot of junk was strewn about. The rooms also felt very separate from each other with little geographic logic between them. There was a point in the room where a door opened as a line from one of the SAW movies played, which was extremely out of place and off theme. At two points, reset failures turned puzzles into red herrings because there was no place for us to input their solutions. Game flow was choppy, and puzzles did not flow well from one to another. One particular hidden object was hidden in a way that we don’t condone due to the potentially dangerous habits that it forms in players down the line.
Once Upon a Hangover has a lot going for it, but ultimately fell short with us. Some of the issues are very easily fixed, such as reset fails and certain small interaction problems, and the owners seemed very receptive to our feedback, so I’m sure those tweaks are on the list. However, we were overall disappointed with our experience in this room. Mind Games does have some fun rooms, however, and I’m sure with some adjustment, this one can definitely become a must see room. You can book your time with the princesses here!