Cabin In The Woods • Eskape Rooms OC • Escape Room Review
Eskape Rooms OC (Based In Irvine, CA, USA)
◣ GAME'S SPECS
🕹️ In Person Experience » Escape Room
💪 Rated as beginner/intermediate by company.
⏲️ 60 minutes duration limit.
🔢 Accommodating 2-8 players, private booking.
💬 Hints system available. (If memory serves me correctly, should be walkie-talkie based.)
🛒 If you BOOK GAME due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout out! ;)
◣ MATTSTER'S TAKE
💪 Difficulty: For Matt's team of 2, standard and easy, 3/10.
🔢 Ideal Team Size: 2, or 3 max. This is a gen 1 room with common tropes, so keep it intimate.
🤷♂️ Best Fit For: Those who are new-ish to escape rooms that don't mind a creepy thrill of a dangerous cabin.
🍵 Boils Down To: One of the more basic, albeit well executed rendition of, "escape the cabin killer" experience.
🙂 Overall Rating: Game play lands somewhere in the average ballpark; staff & business practice ace their tests.
You and your friends have chosen to stay at one of the most highly rated cabins around owned by Mr. and Mrs. Berns. Once you get settled in you start to discover some questionable things. Can you uncover what the Berns are hiding before they arrive back?
This game play took place before pandemic announcement in the United States (before March 2020). This review reflects previous business standards & practice at the time. Your experience may follow new health & safety guidelines where and when applicable. Please contact business venue for operating hours, booking info, and other further inquiries.
The following is adapted from a Yelp review I've previously published.
The Detailed Read
Technically a rebirth "version 2.0" of Eskape Rooms (that closed in 2018), Eskape Rooms OC's coming back with their newest game, Cabin In The Woods. I usually approach new venues cautiously with somewhat of an open mind: because, with escape games, newcomers seem to pop up rather frequently as of late. Some rooms turn out to be wonderful, and some... not so much.
Initially, I thought, this could've swung either way. But keep reading... ;)
Anyhoo! The waiting lobby looked unassuming, and helped set up a more-or-less mediocre expectation of what's to come--but that's A GOOD THING. Because once I stepped through the doorway to our ill-fated vacation in the Cabin, the visuals took a sharp turn.
The game's interior looked rather gorgeous!
Considering the space used to be a plain office space, they really flexed their artistic muscle and transformed the area into a reasonably realistic looking wooden cottage. While I never saw what the old Eskape Rooms offered, I could really, really feel what the new Eskape Rooms was trying to achieve. There's a definite sense of determination, careful calculation, and professional execution in the way they want to re-introduce their brand to the audience.
While not giving too much away, if you do visit, take the first minute or two to take it all in. Check out the beautiful wooden panels on the wall. Take note of the furniture choices. Listen carefully for the nicely supplementary sound effects. The amount of effort put in was obvious and commendable, especially for a small business.
As the game progressed, it did become apparent that the later area could use further improvement. (And upon discussion post-game, the staff acknowledged that, indeed, there're plans to enhance the current experience.) This isn't something unusual; in fact, I've witnessed similarly scaled escape rooms progress step by step after opening, tweaking things for the better as they go. For what it was, though, production value was more than sufficient.
Theme or puzzles wise, though, Eskape had fallen into somewhat of an average ballpark range. For reference, out of 70ish rooms I've played at this point, this is probably the 4th cabin themed escape room I've encountered, and the owners themselves probably know they aren't reinventing the wheel here. (An idyllic trip to the forest could be very well be my last! I mean, it seems like my life is endangered every time I stay in a cabin?!)
I do, however, give them credits for doing it well. You don't necessarily require incredible innovation to run a successful escape game, but you do need to know what you're capable of, and you need to push for excellence--the best version of what you can offer--and this's exactly that. I particularly loved that little "bed and breakfast" or "vacation" angle that tied the narrative together more enjoyably than I anticipated.
Puzzles were your standard tropes, quite easy ones, in fact; if you're an enthusiast, you're gonna rock 'em. Even if you're a beginner, Cabin's still completely doable. With its variety and range, it makes a great introductory room.
In fact, it's getting increasingly difficult to find rooms that graciously accommodate smaller groups without outrageous admission, so Cabin fills out this particular niche nicely. Specifically, if you're willing to cover the affordable minimal players requirement, this room is an excellent choice for dates (for lovebirds), and even a solo-player room (for loners) to complete for bragging rights. (Not everyone has friends, right? No? Just me?)
Back to the puzzles--they leaned towards solving for combos/finding keys for locks. As such, however genuinely the creators tried to tie everything in an unifying theme, some puzzles still inevitably came across a bit unnatural. That's the general nature of gen-1 game play, and I don't fault them for that. Overall, it was pleasant and just challenging enough even for me to struggle a tad--which was essential to feel accomplished.
In closing, as a business, Eskape OC checked off all the essentials for me to recommend. They may be currently more catered to a specific type of audience (novice oriented), but assuredly still a fun time. Additionally, staff was polite and receptive to suggestions, and complimentary beverages and souvenir photo were available. (I mean, c'mon, free stuff.)
For the price that you're paying, you're getting some quality entertainment packaged with little sweet bonuses. I believe in their potential, and I hope my positive review would help pave way for greater things to come.
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