AMITYVILLE - 60Out Escape Rooms
This is Escape Mattster's game No. 39.
Address: 1333 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 10/06/2018:
Escape with me! Follow IG: EscapeMattster ;) Current room count: 39. (Almost 40th milestone!)
AMITYVILLE // Grade: A "...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
After solving the case of missing children at the Hyde Circus (see previous review of "Hyde & Seek"), I traveled through a space-time portal to 112 Ocean Ave a few feet over in 1970s New York. Having just purchased my fancy new house, I couldn't wait to spend my first night in my new home sweet home... Except something felt off. There're blood stains all over the window panes. And I was feeling a bit more murderous than my usual Saturday night. Gotta adjust to the new "Amityville" lifestyle, I guess!
Raved among members of the escape room and 60Out fans community, this horror escape game elicited high expectation in the scare department by donning a title inspired by such well-known documented paranormal activity. (And what perfect time to play this room than October, the scariest month of the year?) So just how frightening did this room stack up against the likes of "Orphanage", another recently published terrifying 60Out game? (I also reviewed that room, at the K-town location, btw.)
Well, not *that* scary! Compared to the ballsy move of starting players in 100% darkness in Orphanage, Amityville was never all that dark for a horror experience. Plenty of strategic lighting was provided even from the beginning, in addition to your personal portable candles, so I felt quite at ease. However, due to the excellently executed lighting, sound, and other special effects, the foreboding sense of being engulfed by the haunting within this house was more effective than ever. (I was in awe when things actually started shaking!)
In fact, my sister felt quite the opposite, and confirmed to me that she felt more nervous throughout in today's game. There were plenty of sudden movements and loud, unsettling noises, some of which made us both screamed out loud, which were always greatly appreciated. If I don't give a couple of good outbursts, it ain't a legit horror room. Weirdly enough, since this room selectively fine tuned its intermittent frights in between puzzles, the jump scares, in a way, packed more punches because I was otherwise quite relaxed.
Though the siblings disagreed which of our two evil-fighting adventures was scarier, we concurred, without a doubt, immersion was Amityville's best achievement. We both had A GREAT TIME. Though the overall gaming area wasn't that big, floor plan, set (GORGEOUS, btw), and props were employed efficiently to provide both a great narrative and game play. For the most part, key props made sense in the setting of a house, though usage of video screens seemed more iffy and out of place. Solutions mainly involved manipulating props and set pieces, never requiring the players to leaving the story world--overall, a beautifully crafted, immersive gen 2 room.
The game designers also managed to create an organic, linear game flow that made so much sense, it was easy to follow the steps and progress the game. (I'd rate this room novice friendly. We completed the game in 40 mins without any hint.) Truth be told, the clues were so direct and obvious, you literally just had to follow directions. Not much thinking was needed. Furthermore, every time something was done correctly, there was obvious acknowledgment cue, and subsequent clues to push you further along. You'd either love/hate such close hand-holding, but either way, the game was so well structured, my inner OCD self was gushing with admiration at the genius organization.
Lastly, alas, I did have a complaint: the game was too darn short. (Quite a number of enthusiast-level past patrons was able to finish in 30 minutes or less.) Though the ending was spectacular, potentially really challenging some participants to face off their inner phobias, there really were many missed opportunities, especially in the last room. Surely they could install more puzzles towards the climax, instead of wasting an otherwise perfectly creepy chamber. While I understand they tend to budget down the number of puzzles, factoring in players' stress levels in a terror experience, dare I say, they overdid it? There were really only a handful of objectives in each room, rendering it a so-so escape room challenge, but still an Excellent Eerie Experience (!) overall.
To wrap up this review, I'd like to again point out, the friendliness level of this particular venue still ranked among the top out of all my past 60Out interactions. 60Out, as a brand, already guarantees premium level of service, but the team members at the Silver Lake location, so far, were all consistently cordial and patient. Sammy, who welcomed us upon entry, and Baxter, our game master, were more than welcome to answer my questions, which I'd habitually have post-game, most regarding technology used to achieve such a magical experience.
To be continued in "Cartel", after the assembly of my perfect drug lord battle task force!