Rush Hour Escapes – Medieval Heist (Review)

Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

Players: 2-10 (We Recommend 4-6)

Price: $24 per person (Wed-Thurs) or $26 per person (Fri-Sat)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Ocean’s 1311

Theme:

The scheming crown prince has stolen the throne from his father; unceremoniously exiling him from his own kingdom! It is up to you and your fellow rogues to break into the castle, steal back the crown, and ensure that order is restored by returning it to the rightful king! Do it quickly, however! The new king is not known for his gentle dealings with spies.

First Impressions:

We were pleasantly surprised with the more detailed set design of Medieval Heist, as well as the readily apparent realization that the room was much less linear than The Inheritance. It was already obvious that there would be several tactile interactions to be had, with several creative looking puzzles beckoning us!

High Points:

The non linear threads wove around each other expertly throughout the experience, and came together at perfect points throughout. The sheer variety to be had in this room was a lot of fun, and allowed everyone to pitch in with their areas of expertise. Puzzles were interesting and thoughtful, leading up to many eureka moments. Story was light, but everything remained on theme, and many puzzles added to the immersion by being an integral part of the heist. Even though we still had 38:54 left on the clock when we completed the room, we felt as though we’d been puzzling for much longer, as the flow of the room was extraordinarily good. All members of our 5 person party were engaged throughout, and we experienced no boring dead time. The ending was appropriately climactic, and provided an excellent capstone to the adventure.

Low Points:

One instance of outside knowledge may frustrate some players. A couple parts of the set near the beginning did not feel quite as polished to fit within the medieval theme, but this was a minor issue.

Verdict:

Medieval Heist is a rare room in that it contains an amazing game flow that didn’t lull at all! Puzzles lead from one to the next in an intuitive way, and very little ambiguity is experienced during solving. The experience is great for beginners and enthusiasts, as the room contains a lot of interesting things to do, while still maintaining an excellent cohesion. The maximum of 10 may be far too many, especially during the early game, but 5 players felt just right for us. I highly recommend checking this room out! You can book your daring heist here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full disclosure: Rush Hour Escapes provided media discounted tickets for our group.

Rush Hour Escapes – The Inheritance (Review)

Location: Fuquay-Varina, NC

Players:  2-8 (We Recommend 2-4)

Price: $24 per person (Wed-Thurs) or $26 per person (Fri-Sat)

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Show me the money!

Theme:

Grandma has been sent away to a nursing home by her greedy children, who’ve done so in the hopes of finding the cash she’s hidden away. Luckily, her late husband set up puzzles and traps to keep it safe for just this sort of situation! Unluckily, he never got the chance to tell grandma how they worked. She’s sent you to her home to pick up her medicine for her, and if you are able, find the money! If you can, it’s all yours.

First Impressions:

Rush Hour Escapes is part of the a new set of escape businesses that have been popping up in shopping centers, which is great for visibility, and an obvious evolution from older locations hidden away in business centers and warehouse districts. Easy to find, cleanly laid out, and a great advertisement for escape rooms by virtue of its visibility. Staff is personable, and very helpful!

High Points:

One particular puzzle was very tactile and enjoyable to put together, leading us through a fairly satisfying run of connections toward the solution. GMing was well done, and hints were given as needed when we needed a nudge forward. The soundtrack in the room was unobtrusive, but added a nice vibe to the experience overall. The theme itself is original and creative, and well out of the escape room norms. A few of the puzzles had a nice vibe that encouraged thinking outside of the box, and were innovatively done.

Low Points:

The room was vastly linear, and unfortunately not in a way that allows more than two people to work on a puzzle at a time. For the majority of the experience, it felt as though there was a lot of waiting around for at least 3 members of the team. Many puzzles felt overly ambiguous in their solutions, and on a couple of occasions, the solutions themselves were unsatisfying and caused us to groan. One large unintentional red herring caused us significant frustration, and the room at several points felt like it was meant to trick players, but not in an enjoyable way. Décor was appropriate for a grandma’s house, but did little to excite. The experience as a whole had few real standout points, feeling average at best.

Verdict:

The Inheritance is a room that feels more adversarial than most escape rooms I’ve been in. Though the theme is based on a booby trapped, hidden away inheritance, escape rooms should not be frustrating to experience. With a bit of fine tuning and clearer cluing, I feel like this room could be much better, but as of right now, it’s just run of the mill. Funnily enough, I feel like beginners will have an easier time with the room, due to red herrings seeming to be positioned to mix up enthusiasts, but don’t think this room would be a good introduction to escape rooms for a new player. Enthusiasts themselves will more than likely feel underwhelmed by the experience, and frustrated by unclear puzzling. Hopefully, further iteration can make this a more worthy experience, but based on our visit, I cannot recommend this one. If you’d like to book a search for the Inheritance, you can do so here.

5/10 (Mediocre)

Full disclosure: Rush Hour Escapes provided media discounted tickets for our group.