THE FUN HOUSE - Cross Roads Escape Games
This is Matt's game No. 3.
Venue: Cross Roads Escape Games
Address: 4245 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807
Game: The Fun House
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 12/02/2017:
THE FUN HOUSE // Grade: A-
This is my updated review after doing "The Fun House". For my other review on "The Hex Room", please see below. Just in case, I wanna forewarn you that this review may contain very minor spoilers, if at all, but I can guarantee you this review will not ruin your experience.
Fun House has a very basic storyline or premise--you either pass the test by escaping the room and become worthy magicians, or you remain as clueless clowns. For a room like this though, a storyline isn't needed and that's pretty much all you need to know upon entering.
As its name implies, this is a house of fun, a house that one may see at a carnival. Though the exterior is themed with a huge clown's mouth, the interior is not clown based. If you have a fear of clown, no worries, you can still play!
This brings me to the set! Similar to Hex Room across the hall, the attention to details is prominent, and customers will really appreciate the level of sophistication and quality Cross Roads is able to bring to this room. Let's face it, if a room is run down, or poorly decorated, you just won't feel as good playing it, even if the puzzles are top-notched. Between the carnival themed props to special rooms with fantastical effects, you'll get plenty for your eyes to feast on and your brain to process... and I am not even talking about the puzzles yet! I am talking about the sheer amount of creativity and wackiness that are thrown at you. You'll enjoy this room visually, that's for sure.
Now the puzzles, well... Upon reading many, many reviews prior to actually experiencing the room, I was under the impression that a room with a 40% escape rate and aimed at teenagers and adults alike, the puzzles are gonna be easier than Hex's. Um, not true. I was more stumped by the puzzles in Fun House. I mean, come on, Cross Roads! You actually made me feel stupid, (but in a very good way!) Truth be told, when doing Hex Room, I was able to intuitively navigate myself from problem to solution smoothly since the puzzles are things that I have seen before, or things that my mind can easily solve from previously gathered puzzle solving skills. In Fun House, not so much.
These puzzles come in a wide range of formats. Some are mental, obviously, and some are oddly physical, and one in particular requires the group to really work together, or else you are not going to conquer it. I mean it. It isn't physically possible otherwise. I especially appreciate puzzles like this one which encourage group members to bond. If you're playing with a bunch of close friends, this is a magnificent feeling, and I love it.
There are puzzles that require you to think through layers of clues before you can reach the final solutions. Those are the head-scratchers that I needed clues on, and dare I say these will perplex even the most seasoned experts. Just remember to pay attention to all the decorations around you! It's soooo easy to miss some important key items. =\!!!
Finally, without giving much away, the clue system for this room is well incorporated, and it's hinted at from the official trailer of this room. You are in complete control of how many clues you want to receive. In Hex Room, you can either accept or refuse clues. In Fun House, in contrast, you have to be the one asking or initiating the request from the get go. So experts out there, just skip asking for clues for the truly difficult game that you crave. And I mean it--this room is challenging!
Like many has pointed out before, however, this is a room full of combination locks, and it does get somewhat tedious to open the same style of locks over, and over, and over. While high tech reveals are somewhat missing in this room, the entertainment value does not suffer since the puzzles themselves provide you with plenty to chew on. All in all, fancier locks would've been nice, and a more immersive theme or story like Hex Room would be appreciated as well, but I still highly recommend doing both rooms.
Treat Fun House as its own unique specie of animal, and you'll see the gem that it is.
Btw, we escaped! Will you? To give you one last tip, DO NOT push the red button. I mean, I was determined to push it anyway to test my hypothesis of what may happen, but are you sure you wanna do that, too? ;)
(On a side note, I wanna thank the staff for being helpful and friendly as always. Though not directly related to the room itself, Cross Roads's customer service has always been A+, judging from my phone calls, emails, and in-person conversations with various members. Please keep this up as this is an important bonus factor that makes me stay as a loyal patron.
And since I have more characters space to use, I will just throw in one more brownie point for Cross Roads's spacious parking lot; it definitely takes the stress of finding parking out of the equation! Much thanks!
Until next time! Psych Ward... Coming soon...)