Choose one of the 6 escape rooms available in and around Lewisburg! Escape rooms are perfect for any occasion: a night out with friends, a date, a birthday celebration or a team-building activity. Search for clues, solve puzzles and work together to uncover the mystery – it’s time you escaped the room!
Escape game: Full Moon Murder Mystery
Escape game: CODE RED Zombie Apocalypse
I did Pirate Abduction room yesterday. This room has some serious design and equipment wear issues that I thought warranted a more detailed review.Tim
The concept for this room is interesting, and I liked the overall idea. However, the execution left me extremely frustrated. We have done somewhere in the realm of 25 rooms so far, and this was the second worst. Our game master was, by far, the worst we have had out of all the rooms.
One of the biggest problems (and the easiest to fix) is the wear and tear on the locks. We solved one puzzle correctly, but there was no clear indication of which lock paired with the code. We entered the code into all of the locks but none of them opened. We assumed that our code was wrong, and wasted a lot of time figuring out what was going on. We asked for a hint, and the game master (GM) said, "remember that some locks are spring-loaded." What she was basically telling us was that the code was right, and we needed to work on the lock, but she neglected to tell us which lock it was. We've done enough rooms to know that you always push down and then pull up on the lock to open. So, we went around and tried all the locks again. One of them opened after THREE TRIES. The lock is clearly sticking, which is a sign that it is at end of life and needs to be replaced. A good escape room business keeps an eye on the locks and replaces them at the first sign of wear. Just to add to this, we walked around the town for a bit afterwards. When we were headed back to the car, we passed the Fantasy Escape building and heard a group of people complaining about how their locks were sticking. Clearly, this wasn't an isolated event. The big issue here is that the faulty lock didn't have to ruin the experience. The GM could have indicated which lock was having issues and saved us some frustration. Many of the items are also showing some pretty bad wear and tear. In addition, as a generation 1 room (it ONLY uses locks- no sensors or anything else to progress), it relies exclusively on locks. I really don't mind a well-designed gen 1 room, so long as the locks are in working order.
Another issue with the room came when we were instructed to search an area with a black light. This isn't an uncommon puzzle with ERs. I had a suspicion that I knew where I would find something based on the design of the area. I found something quickly, but then couldn't use it. We found out in the de-brief that what we found with the black light wasn't actually to be used at that point. This is a major design flaw. If your clue is going to suggest that we search an area, and we find something, we better be able to use it.
Finally, the most frustrating puzzle came at the beginning. (This might be a *slight* spoiler, so skip this paragraph if you intend to do the room. I hope for your sake, though, that you avoid this place and go to a real escape room.) There was a piece of plastic with an image on it that implied "place object here." The image on the plastic was drawn to be the EXACT size of the object, and was placed at a particular angle. This further implies that the object is to be placed on the diagram. I wasted a ton of time on this, only to find out through a clue that the item had to be moved off of the diagram to be useful. This is the worst puzzle I've encountered so far, and we've done hundreds of puzzles.
So, the puzzle above could have probably been fixed through some better room testing. Rigorous room testing is absolutely central to room success. There were other bad puzzles, but I can't really talk about them without giving away secrets, and I want to respect the business' puzzle integrity. I suspect that this business doesn't actually care about improving, because when I mentioned the issues, the response was, "Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion." And they said it multiple times! A sticking lock isn't a matter of opinion. I have been to rooms that had issues, and the GM or owner was really interested in finding ways to improve the experience, but not this place! I think a different reaction from them would have vastly changed my perception of the business.
Just as a side note, earlier in the same day, we went to Can U Xcape in Bloomsburg. I like to do multiple rooms if I can when I travel to an area. (Just to be clear, I have no affiliation with either business.) We did the submarine room at Can U Xcape. I would rate the submarine room as a 9 out of 10, while Pirate Abduction is a solid -2. That's how far apart they are. We gave the submarine GM a couple of suggestions, and they were interested in feedback. They clearly wanted to improve and create an amazing customer experience.
So, to quote our GM, "Everyone is entitled to their opinion." If you've never done an escape room before, you can probably have a good time here. If you've ever done a room that's half-way decent, and you're considering this place, skip it and find another option.