[N/A] ESCAPE ROOM - Escape Hotel
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This is Escape Mattster's game No. 64.
Venue: Escape Hotel
Address: 6633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Game: [CLOSED] Escape Room
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 01/12/2019:
Escape with me! Follow IG: EscapeMattster ;)
ROOM 64 & 65 ESCAPE ROOM (TWICE) / Grade: A
I'd never done any escape room hosted at Escape Hotel, or a "pop-up" escape room aimed to promote a movie before. But now, 2 birds, 1 stone, fantastic!
Why I hadn't ventured into Hotel prior was because of 2 main negative reasons reported from other escape room fanatics: 1) rude staff 2) pricing. But neither applied to me. :)
The main driving force behind my trip(s) to this Hollywood escape room company was due to "Escape Room" the movie (2019). To promote the movie, the studios had comissioned Hotel to design, build, and run a "pop-up" temporary escape experience to give the audience a chance to live the movie, get into the mood, and hopefully drive up ticket sales.
Best of all, IT'S FREE TO PLAY! (Hence, pricing was not an issue.)
Driving to Hollywood and finding parking was admittedly not too easy, even for a Friday morning. Allow yourself plenty of leeway when visiting this venue. (As a last resort, you can always use a paid lot.)
When I actually stepped inside the main lobby of this hotel themed company, I was blown away, as expected. (Actually, even the exterior exuded a realistic, 5-star hotel vibe from the 1930s-40s.) The interior, absolutely magnificent. Anyone's who been to the Tower of Terror at Disney Parks would have a pretty good idea of how Escape Hotel looks like. But ya know, add in a lot more creepiness factor--special effects, costumed staff and all. So far, loving it.
Check in process's fun, receptionist's helpful and friendly, and we even got some stylish souvenir passports!
Onto the "Escape Room" escape room itself: impressive translation of what's in the movie into what you can reasonably build in real life within a given budget. And a very entertaining one at that.
Production value was great. Even though the total area of the game was modest, the designers managed to pack in a lot of features, effects, and surprises. Just to highlight how relatively sophiscated this room was, even though the puzzles were definitely linear, the genius use of lighting (or lack thereof) guided the players the correct order of progress and revealed needed info at the correct moment.
And tbch, the secret passageway was one of the best I'd seen. So well hidden.
Puzzles wise, it was kinda meh if you judged them by themselves. None of them was super hard or interesting without the movie context. One in particular took such a huge logic leap, it was borderline annoying. However, upon viewing the movie post-game, I found out the inclusion of such a puzzle was solely because it's a carbon copy of one from the film. So all is forgiven!
Except... things could get frustrating with a weak (spoiler!) magnet.
I do praise the excellent use of tech and the overall theatric presentation--both screamed "Hollywood" loud and clear.
Time limit was cut in half from the usual 1 hour mark to 30 minutes, so actually, many enthusiasts failed the room on first attempt, myself included! There's just so much to figure out and do in such a short time! I actually thought that was kinda cool since Minos Escape Room, the one in the movie, is designed to... kill. X[
No matter if the partcipants survive the test or met their demises, I am very confident that they'd have a lot of fun. What Escape Hotel did incredibly well was staying true to their source materials; as mentioned, their goal was to immerse you in the movie universe, to transform you into one of the hopeful players, but ultimately becoming lab rats for Minos's sick, twisted festivity.
Those who'd seen the trailer before playing would recognize some interesting plot points throughout the escape game, and those who'd gone to see the movie right after playing would see how the rest of the puzzles connected into the latter parts of the film. (If you manage to complete the entire game, that is.) If you had gone through this exact order of motion like I did, trailer to game to actual film, you'd get the full dose of movie magic effect at its maximum strength, and be super giddy how it all came together in 1 full circle.
In fact, I went back a 2nd time to finish the game, so I could witness first hand the entire product. Alas, the ending was the exact same whether you lost or won, just a farewell move clip to entice you to go see the movie.
Overall, this opporunity gave me a chance to experience what Escape Hotel has to offer without my needing to fork over a whole lot of cash. In fact, I paid nothing except perhaps gas money. And since I didn't encounter one single rude staff, I'm more open to come back to play one of their many paid experience... but I'd DEFINITELY wait for a discount of some kind. Man, the admission is super expensive.
Though again, such high quality of production value. What these guys do well, they EXCEL at it.
If money's not a problem for ya, you've got some potential great options here. (4 stars for now, 1 off for not being affordable for most.)