Carnival E. Scape | Containment Escape Games
COMPANY: Containment Escape Games
ADDRES: 936 W Foothill Blvd, Claremont, CA 91711
GAME: Carnival E. Scape
THEME: Fair Games, Lighthearted Mystery
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 11/11/2019:
- THE 10-SECOND QUICKIE VERSION -
Step right up and bring your A game. "Carnival E. Scape" is literally a collection of carnival fair games, with some traditional puzzle logic hidden here and there. Beautifully decorated and wonderfully smelling, this one's for the actual kiddies AND the child in your heart that refuses to grow up. (And why should he ever?!)
- NOW... THE SIGNATURE DETAILED VERSION -
First off, before you do anything, go to the bathroom. Not only should you void your bladder before an hour-long adventure, you should also try to win a little bonus prize by solving a warm-up puzzle in the john. Just be respectful of others and let those who *really* need to pee/poo go first ;)
Bodily functions and mental stretches out of the way, it's time to meet the carnival host. "Carnival E. Scape" is open for business! He wasted no time to invite us to our first midway game of the night. (The first of MANY, I shall alert you now!) Yelpers, how's your aim? You're gonna need it throughout the night.
Finally stepping inside the giant tent of the Scape family's carnival, (after months of waiting for its grand debut,) I, or rather, my nose, was greeted with the undeniably aroma of cotton candy. Say whattt? As an escape room AND candle enthusiast, I was ecstatic to see more and more game designers' starting to tackle the sense of smell. (Side note: if you can overload all 5 of my senses, is there any way I can give you less than 5 stars of a review?)
The main play area was gorgeously decorated, definitely the most elaborate effort from this venue so far. The space can comfortably fit a large group, though the 3 of us wasted no time beginning our quest. The goal of this room's plot was a little muddy, perhaps not yet fully molded and presented clearly during testing.
But the actual story line mattered little, because we're here for amusement games!
Just like in a real carnival, much like I suspected, you'll be doing some classic fun fair activities to advance through the room. What blew me away was how wide of a range of things we're offered--from chowing down some junk food (metaphorically speaking), to participating skill games, and to winning prizes, it's the very first time an escape room captured much of your childhood memories by letting you do EXACTLY what you did when you're little.
(Or in my case, getting to finally try something I was forbidden to do so as a small child. But big Matt gets to have some fun, safely I should add, now!)
On the puzzle and technical aspects, all challenges were logical, and a selection of gen 1 and 2 elements were strategically combined to one fluid product. Containment really wanted to add in as much tech that made sense in this narrative as possible--and they certainly did. Conspicuously so, there's a heavier emphasis on "to do" than "to solve", so your skeletal muscles may actually work harder than your cerebral ones this time around.
Thoroughly impressed, my entire team walked away with smiles wide across our faces.
Even with all that joy this experience was to provide, this was only their beta testing (at the time when I played)! The owner hinted at us that more puzzles could be potentially inserted depending on audience response, and I suspected as much since there were props left unused. Here're my finger crossed, because as an expert level player, I wanted more! I *needed* more! We got out without any hint, perhaps too fast even.
Nonetheless, obviously a game designed for the kiddies as well, maybe this length of materials would pace just fine. For parents who plan to bring their children to the Carnival, you guys are in for such a treat. But do supervise your little ones accordingly for their safety and for the best preservation for the business's equipment.
And though this isn't directly related to Carnival, I just want to also briefly commend on Containment's continuous effort to improve on their existing properties. The entrance to their other game(s) are decked out from ground up with immersive props and decors, and just like Carnival, helps begin the narrative before the patrons even step through the door.
I was also given a quick tour of an improved "The Cabin", and versus how I first saw it back when it first opened, it felt more refined and cohesive, and is definitely now more of a contender for a escape room player's top picks. It's weird--I am not on staff, but even as a customer, you feel proud of how much they've come since the beginning.
Lastly, Kyle/Nic, if you're reading this, congrats on the newest member on your Containment team! ;)