The Cabin: Fleeing a crazed serial killer, our group stumbled upon a cabin in the woods. The door locked behind us and we discovered that we were now in a real-life horror movie.
Zombie: A zombie is chained to the wall and with each passing minute it inches closer to us. Our group must find a way to escape before the zombie munches on our brains for lunch.
Pros: We must start by saying that we LOVED the Cabin. It was an absolutely terrifying and completely immersive room escape experience. The set design was exceptionally detailed adding to the horror theme vibe. The element of fear made the challenge of escaping even more difficult and the actors added to the fear factor. The storylines were clear and engaging. We found all of the puzzles enjoyable, logical and, most importantly, solvable.
Cons: Despite our LOVE for this place, we had a few concerns. The Cabin was GREAT but we could have used a few more flashlights to avoid unnecessary frustration. Solving puzzles could have been much more enjoyable with a bit of additional light. The fear factor would still exist. Headlamps might even work better since we would have hands free to work on mechanical puzzles and hold the flashlights.
Now to digress on a tangent about our experience in the Zombie Room. This is a message to escape room owners generally. It's time we had a talk. Despite what you say, more people in a room is not always a good thing. In our experience, four people is the optimal group size. More than that and half the group misses half the action. Twelve people in a room (cough, cough, Zombie Room) is WAY TOO MANY. Every room escape experience we have had with 10-12 people has been an utter disaster. People are completely confused. People are angry. People are yelling. People are stepping (literally) on other people. And that was just me. The game master is stressed, frustrated, and often down-right rude as he/she is overcome with Annoying People Overload Syndrome (APOD). APOD is our term for what occurs in your brain when you are surrounded by annoying people. Your anxiety increases, your voice gets louder in order to be heard. Your anger level rises. You get territorial about clues and information and eventually all collaboration and communication breaks down. APOD can occur in smaller group sizes, but the symptoms are usually more manageable and rarely spread to infect others in the group. However, in large groups the infection spreads rapidly and the symptoms become unbearable. The voice in your head screams: "all of these people need to SHUT UP so I can think." Eventually, you just want the game to be over. When the game finally ends, you walk out dazed and confused having lost the ability to speak coherently or make even the slightest polite eye contact. The sudden flash of the game master's camera startles you out of your stupor as he tells you: "We hope you enjoyed your escape room experience." But you are at a complete loss for words and continue staring blankly at the wall trying to remember what just happened and trying desperately to remember your name. Then some schmuck who was completely clueless for the entire game, never attempting to solve a single puzzle, cracking lame inappropriate jokes with no awareness at all that he (or others) were even playing a game, shouts out: "BEST TIME EVERRRRRRR!" To which the other dazed and confused players at first grunt in hesitant agreement but quickly catch the infectious optimistic fever and similarly shout in glee "OMG we LOVEEEED IT!" You look around in shock and confusion because clearly they DID NOT love it at all. But memory has a funny way of repainting the past so anger becomes joy, enemies become friends, and bygones become bygones. Everyone puts their arms around each other smiling gleefully with the "We Failed" and "Maybe Next Time?" signs prominently in hand. They leave happy and contented. Except for a few lone escape room addicts who walk away refusing to fall for the trick of memory and recall it for exactly what it was: chaos and anarchy culminating in an utterly inescapable escape room experience.
But we would probably play it again...
Thanks Great Room Escape for all the heart you put into your games!
Egyptian Tomb: Trapped in an ancient Egyptian tomb our team of archaeologists to discover the mysteries of the tomb, locate a missing archaeologist, and find a way out.
The Big Game: The opposing team was trying to sabotage us on the big game day. Locked in the coach's office, our group of football players had to find a way out before the championship game.
Casino Heist: Our team of robbers had to break into the casino vault and get the goods before the police arrived to haul us away to jail.
Pros: The experience at Escape Works is top notch from the moment you walk in. The waiting area is nice and clean and the game masters are professional and courteous. The set in each room is simple and decorated to fit the theme. Props are minimal but the few props fit with the overall storyline. The emphasis is less on searching and more on solving the puzzles themselves, which is what we enjoy the most. The puzzles were all logical and linear and worked best with small groups of 6 or less. Smaller group sizes were also best since the rooms themselves were very small. We successfully escaped all three rooms (in spite of ourselves at times). Everybody had a great time!
Cons: These rooms definitely work best for smaller groups of people since moving around can be difficult with too many people. The puzzles ranged in complexity and there were a few moments when we were completely stumped and could have used hints a little earlier. The hint system worked but was a bit delayed at times. Some of the puzzles in the Big Game were less logical and therefore delayed our progress. We loved Casino Heist but our brains definitely hurt after trying to solve the mathematical based puzzles there.
On a personal note, we most enjoyed our experience in Casino Heist since we had the opportunity to work with a lovely group of women who really took the time to think through the puzzles carefully and clearly enjoyed the challenge of working together. Meeting new people is one of the best parts of playing escape games. Working with people who enjoy the challenge and spending time with each other is best of all. Thank you ladies!
The Heist: Transported back in time, we found ourselves in an old west saloon tasked with pulling off the greatest bank heist of all time.
Pros: The Heist had a cool, immersive set that helped create a realistic old west type feel. We really did feel like we were stepping back in time. The puzzles were generally logical and all aligned to the theme. The game master was friendly and provided us with clues as necessary to get us un-stuck at times.
Cons: There was almost too much going on this room. Multilinear puzzle format and the need to search for the many hidden clues made it difficult to focus on anyone task at a time. The flimsy material of a few of the hints and puzzles impeded our progress. Some less than logical clues and hints also slowed us down.
Colorado Escape was an overall solid middle-of-the-road room escape experience.
Pike's Peak or Bust: Our group of adventurers found ourselves locked in an old miner's cabin reliving Colorado's Gold Rush past. We had to stake our claim and find the gold as quickly as possible.
Dorm of the Dead: The university had been overrun by zombies. Fleeing the science lab we desperately struggled to make our way back to the dorm in order to find a way out before we became zombie lunch.
Mustache Thief: Pierre is on a quest to be the world's only mustache-bearing man. We had to find the secret to stopping him from shaving the mustaches off of his unsuspecting victims.
Toys in the Attic: Stuck in an attic full of toys, we had to find the key to liberate us from our childhood prison.
Conspiracy Theory: The truth is out there! Or is it in this conspiracy theorist's apartment? Leo has lots of wild theories but which one is true? Only time would tell.
Pros: We played all five of their games in a single day and successfully escaped four out of the five (you can guess which game was not our favorite). Puzzle types were unique to each room and the difficulty level varied substantially. Toys in the Attic, for example, had all toy themed puzzles and was decorated like a child's play room. We had three different game masters and they were all nice and ready to provide us our three maximum clues per game. The story lines were generally simplistic and easy to follow. Our mission was made clear to us in the beginning. We especially enjoyed playing the Mustache Thief with its very unique theme and humorous puzzle elements. We still can't get the song out of our head!
Cons: We repeat: We still can't get that song out of our head! But on a more serious note, we liked all of the games except Conspiracy Theory. The concept behind it was great and the set design cool. But we felt that puzzles were overly complex and less logical. We felt ourselves giving up at times which is never a good sign.
Thanks for letting us play with you Epic Escape Game!
Kazam: The great magician Kazam has mysteriously disappeared! Our group had to unravel the story of the magician's life in order to discover his fate.
Tick Tock: A crazed maestro has set up an explosive device that is set to blow. We had to locate the device and defuse the bomb by solving the musical clues the composer left behind.
The Steal: Our expert band of bank robbers had to break into a museum and steal priceless artifacts while avoiding detection.
I.R.I.S.: Time machines are polluting the planet, but I.R.I.S. has a plan to solve the problem. We had to follow her guidance to save the planet.
Pros: We had a great time solving the puzzles and playing three of the four games at Puzzah. Our favorite part about the experiences was that all of the puzzles tied into the storyline of the room. The puzzles were enjoyable and solvable with a few hints from the electronic game guides who helped monitor the flow and pace of the games in each room. These were some of the most unique puzzles we have seen. The puzzles challenged us on many levels, from the musical puzzles in Tick-Tock to the mechanical puzzles in the Steal. Although there was only two of us, we were able to successfully escape all three rooms. The decorations and props added to the overall theme especially in the Kazaam Room where we really felt like we were in a magician's room. Although we enjoyed and recommend all of the rooms at Puzzah, Kazaam was by far our favorite room.
Cons: There were some technical difficulties with the puzzles in the Steal that slowed down our game play. The game master made up for it with his friendly assistance and helped walk us through the rest of the game.
Overall, Puzzah was our FAVORITE room escape experience in Denver.
Meltdown Room: We found ourselves trapped in the lab of a distraught nuclear physicist trying to discover his secret plan and prevent imminent disaster.
Pros: The owners/game masters were exceptionally friendly people who really took the time to ensure that we had a quality experience. Although the room was tough for two people, they gave us a bit of extra time to progress further. The theme was compelling and the room set-up added to the storyline and game flow.
Cons: Some of the puzzles were logical and straightforward. Other puzzles were overly complicated or less logical. One of the mechanical puzzles was not working effectively and delayed us substantially. Even if that had been working properly, we still would not have broken out in time. More people is an advantage in this room. We definitely recommend playing with at least 4-6 people. You will definitely leave this room with a full brain workout!
The game masters/owners were awesome and made us love the experience despite our puzzle fails.
Sabotage - Black Ops: In an effort to prevent the beginning of World War III our team had to sneak into the Russian National Defense Control center and discover the secret codes to stop the missile launch.
Wanted: Winning isn't always lucky in the Old West. After angering an outlaw in a card game in the saloon, we had to flee the scene before the sheriff returned to drag us off to meet our feet.
Pros: Breakout Fresno is owned by two lovely families with tons of enthusiasm and love for their games. We enjoyed every moment we spent at their establishment. Their rooms had fun themes and clear storylines that were linked to their puzzles. We saw some new and creative puzzles in the Western room! The game masters provided helpful hints via a monitor. The decor was appropriate to the theme. We especially liked the music that helped set the mood for each room.
Cons: Some of the puzzles took us longer than we expected. We thought there could have been a few more guideposts to lead us in the right direction toward the correct order to solve the puzzles. Sometimes the shear the number of the locks was overwhelming. However, the puzzles were logical and perfectly solvable with a few extra hints from the moderators.
A fun time was had by all! We recommend a trip to Fresno to check out Breakout Fresno. Be sure to play some laser tag at Tactical Ops while you are in town. We had a blast there too. Though that's a completely different type of strategy game.
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 370 games in the U.S. and Europe. We love the art of escapology and we wanted to share our adventures in playing room escapes with you!
Rooms Played: 370