DR PSYCHO - 60Out Escape Rooms
This is Escape Mattster's game No. 23.
Address: 1316 N Western Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Game: Dr Psycho
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 02/03/2018:
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DOCTOR PSYCHO // Grade: A
"...Holy mother of God! Orgasmic-ly good!"
My novice escape artist friend was ready for a horror room, so I hand-picked out a medium difficulty game "Dr Psycho" from 60out, fully tailored to his needs. It's a great gen-1 room mixed with some cool techs, equipped with puzzles manageable by beginners, & a mildly scary theme to satiate his virginal need for terror (no live actor involved).
[A quick note: though this location provides its own private parking lot, all spaces were taken. Street parking nearby is available.]
The narrative behind this game is a tale as old as time--Patient sees doctor. Dr kills patient. Dr eats patient. Police tries to stop dr. You know, horror escape room 101 materials. You, utterly undertrained newbie detectives, were to infiltrate into the dr's clinic & apprehend the good dr. ...Except you're new at your jobs, so he found out & is now challenging you to escape before he turns you into filet mignon too.
A sufficient story to get you going, but it was also the weakest aspect of the room. All the puzzles you'd solve in the room would further you no more, like NOT AT ALL, in cracking the case. You neither help rescue kidnapped patients, nor do you gather evidence to build a case to arrest the murderer. Your only goal was survival.
Make no mistake, this was still a great room we'd come to love. The atmosphere was mildly creepy, mostly due to the dim lighting at the start. My friend who's never done a horror themed room before was seriously freaked out. He was petrified for the first 10 minutes upon hearing the dr's greetings. As the sound effects gradually died down throughout the game, he regained composure & did some fine sleuthing.
The room itself was spacious enough for 6 players, yet I wouldn't recommend playing with more than 4, as my duo team did just fine (with a few hints given). The room had enough props to support the vibe of the plot, but was barer than expected for a relatively large space. Interestingly enough, there was one gigantic red herring that many players would waste time on, I'd suspect. Overall, a solid effort on the scenic, sufficiently immersive for both casual & expert players. Yes, there was blood & gore (blatantly obvious from the game's publicity stills & trailer, so this is not a spoiler), & no, you would not (technically) have to touch any of it.
You most likely would end up doing exactly that anyway. Told you it's immersive ;)
Without giving much away, this is not a 60out escape room that features a "room to room to room" adventure, which is actually quite common with this brand. Rest assured, there was enough for us to do that kept us engaged & entertained, including self-inflicted mutilation.
I kid, kid. Pretend mutilation. (See trailer!)
The puzzles were mostly gen 1 (& linear), meaning a lot of key/combo/locks going on. I honestly kinda love these, so it was a splendid time for me. Along the way you'd encounter some set-based & tech-based interaction puzzles, which added to the variety & mixed up the flavor a bit. My friend & I found this mix-bag format highly appealing. (You might also find a certain pop star's cameo, & if you love them, all the more appealing!)
The actual puzzles themselves were not super challenging, as someone who's had only 20 something rooms under his belt, I could fly through a handful of them with my typical escape room logic. I also got stumped at certain moments, though.
Nonetheless, the puzzles WERE fun to do, & many of them tied in closely with the theme of "crazy medical doctor hunting for his latest meal". & yes, that also means that a small number of puzzles felt tagged on, & did not relate as organically. It's a minor issue, really, as it did not affect my positive game play experience.
As with any police officers game, clue system was easily made immersive. You as detectives could select to receive unlimited help from dispatch unit (ie the game master) through a walkie-talkie, & the 4th wall theoretically would be well preserved. This, of course, would depend on your gm's performance. (Mine did fine.) We ran into trouble a couple of times, but with the gm's gentle prodding, we escaped after 47 minutes!
I was so psyched about our performance with only two brains, & so impressed with the overall package of this escape room; we give it 5 thumbs up!
(You'll get it if you play!)
What really pushed this game over the edge & into the land of incredible-ness was a piece of evidence you'd discover towards the end. It's personalized, immersive within the narrative, & oh-so-creepy. My friend was stunned & immobilized for a good 2-3 seconds. Best of all, I got to keep this as a cherished memento. So freak-ing awe-some.
Dr prescribed us an hour of fun, & we were more than happy to be compliant. I recommend you to do the same, because a little bit of horror never hurt anyone.
Well, except for all the people he killed, I guess.