[N/A] ENTROPY - Entropy LA
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This is Escape Mattster's game No. 22.
Venue: [CLOSED] Entropy LA
Address: 940 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Game: [CLOSED] Entropy
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 06/01/2018:
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ENTROPY // Grade: NA
"...Put on to-do list... or not, YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY."*
*ATTN: Due to recent complaints about extreme heat, lack of professionalism, and other issues from my reliable Yelp friends, please consider reading multiple reviews for a more comprehensive and accurate reflection of the business as of late. (And sadly, I can no longer endorse a 4-star rating.)
[Game play experience on 6-1-18, prior to recent issues:]
Today, my friend and I had the pleasure of playing one of LA's newest escape rooms, named Entropy LA, opened for only 3 weeks. It's always exciting to witness the beginning of a freshly budding business.
Two things stood out prior to arrival: The theme was mostly unheard of. Entropy? Last I saw this was in college chemistry. So, is this about disorder and randomness? Next, it's a 90-minute escape room. Does this mean experienced enthusiasts would have an extreme surplus of time? Will novice players have an easier time?
First, the story/theme: Before game play, we were informed that we're scientists traveling between portals and exploring through dimensions of the space-time continuum. Do what you will with this info, but it flew right over my head. Even inside the room, nothing much helped elucidate this particular plot line.
What you would get, truly, was randomness. Disorder. Whimsical sights. Colorful props. A series of eccentricity stringed together in no apparent order. I actually enjoyed all this weirdness. What confused me was, this thematic motif only occurred in certain parts of the game. The random splashes of hues, tints, & shades would cease suddenly at the main core of game play. And as you advance to the final parts of the game, it'd come back! Strange.
As far as scenic went, it was somewhat of a minimalist approach, though there was no shortage of the colors of the rainbow. While there was no high production, Hollywood movie set, Entropy placed its players in the center of what almost felt like random sketches of a comedy show. Each scene encountered felt a little bare and disconnected, though each on their own, provided satisfying and unique game play. It wasn't so much a lack of effort on the designers' part, but their conscious choice of presentation. Tbh, this could be hit or miss.
What shined through, however, were the puzzles.
The puzzles were linear, & almost completely devoid of high-tech integration, which were entirely intentional, as explained by the owners. Tech use, while impressive, certainly runs the risk of malfunctions. Gen 1 style (aka lock and key), however, is more reliable. I agree; I never dock points off purely for gen 1 style game play, because there's something very satisfying about solving a puzzle, reaching a goal, obtaining the pass code, and inputting into the lock. It may sound old school, but it's tried and true, and it works.
I enjoyed all the puzzles given. I was impressed by some refreshing ones that were not seen often, & delightfully overwhelmed by the wide variety and formats offered. Although even the owners admitted to avoiding high-tech props, it didn't mean there were no fun gadgets! They provided several cherished "ah-ha!" moments. Moreover, Entropy managed to join the short list of escape rooms that evoked many of the players' senses. If you're a dominantly visual player, be ready for a good challenge.
Though given 90 minutes to crack the codes, my novice friend (3rd room) and I (20ish room), a duo team, struggled through the entire way. Thank goodness for unlimited hints, delivered through walkie-talkie. Some clues were cryptic and hard to connect between the dots, though all solvable after a healthy nudge. One particular puzzle required minor outside knowledge, though shouldn't be much of a problem for American-born audience. I recommend 4 players for the best gaming experience.
To put into perspective, our team of 2 were given 100 total minutes (with grace time added), assisted by numerous hints, but were still 2 steps short of escaping. There was a hearty volume of difficult puzzles that could satisfy beginners and enthusiasts alike. Well, we had fun... though a victorious escape would be sweeter.
Although it is 100% kid friendly, the game's difficulty is more suited, and the complexity is more appreciated, by teens and up.
I wholeheartedly commend the owners for trying something bold and different. For what it was, it's still an excellent intro course to beginners who may not care for a heavy central theme, or a respectable gen 1 room for the more puzzle-inclined veteran players. Certainly intellectually stimulating, it made for a great brain workout.
To be transparent, I did find Entropy through Groupon, & our tickets were decent bangs for our bucks.
There's always a learning curve with new businesses. With much needed polish (scenic and theatrics in particular), Entropy may one day turn its potential into something decent.